“There has been little activity out of Cupertino on the iPod front recently. But hints of new products are in the air,” Arik Hesseldahl writes for BusinessWeek. “The waning of August has kids getting ready to go back to school—and Apple Computer watchers wondering when Steve Jobs is going to pull the next iteration of the iPod music and video player out of his turtleneck.”
“The company certainly had iPod-related news this week, though not the kind many consumers were looking for. On Aug. 23, Apple and Singapore-based Creative Technology settled a wide-ranging patent dispute, putting an end to five different lawsuits between them. Apple agreed to pay Creative $100 million for a license to use patented technology relating to how song menus are displayed on an MP3 player. Meanwhile, Creative, which has been lagging badly in the MP3 market, will introduce iPod-compatible accessories,” Hesseldahl reports.
“While some analysts may be glad to see Apple move beyond the legal rift with Creative, the wait for the next iPod continues. The most recent addition to the family came in June, and that was just a revision of the old U2-Special Edition iPod. But there are intriguing hints that Apple’s plans will ripen in the fall,” Hesseldahl reports..
Among other things, Hesseldahl covers the probability of an Apple ‘iPhone’ by Macworld Expo in January and an iTunes movie download service launch before the end of 2006.
Hesseldahl reports, “It isn’t as if Apple has been idle. The company focused throughout most of 2006 on its Macintosh computer line, completing the transition to using microprocessors from Intel (INTC) and phasing out chips from IBM (IBM). That transition was completed with the introduction of the Mac Pro on Aug. 7, which leaves the marketing ground clear for a preholiday ramp of iPods sometime in the fall.”
“And then there’s history. Last year, the iPod nano debuted on Sept. 7 and the video-capable iPod bowed on Oct. 12, a schedule that made both products strong players in the fourth calendar quarter—Apple sold a combined 14 million units in the quarter ended December 31, 2005. In fact the release schedule was so fast that CEO Steve Jobs was lampooned on Saturday Night Live, announcing one iPod after another over the course of two minutes, each replacing the ‘obsolete’ one before it,” Hesseldahl reports.
Hesseldahl reports, “Analysts generally agree: There’s no way Apple is going to sit out the fall quarter. ‘Don’t confuse silence with having nothing to say,’ says analyst Michael Gartenberg at Jupiter Research. ‘That has never been the case with Apple.'”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Alison” for the heads up.]