“It’s time to turn our attention to… that ‘future product transition’ Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer mentioned several times on the company’s recent earnings conference call,” Arik Hesseldahl writes for BusinessWeek. “The smart money is on a revamp of Apple’s notebook line. I know I’m not the first to opine on the matter, but here’s why I’m expecting new iterations of the MacBook Pro to be a big part of the lineup that Apple expects to help narrow gross margins to 30% in fiscal 2009, from 35% in the third quarter, which wrapped up in June.”

“The first clue is the drop in margins itself,” Hesseldahl writes. “There are really two ways to reduce margins: Cut prices or increase the cost of the product by adding or improving features… MacBooks [includes MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air] accounted for about 60% of the computers Apple sold in fiscal 2007, and while they’ve sold like crazy, they haven’t seen a serious redesign in several years.”

“The most likely place to look for change is in the display screen. Expect a multitouch display similar to that found on the iPhone and the iPod touch. Apple has a solid set of patents on the new technology and has boned up on multitouch tech through the iPod line,” Hesseldahl writes. “I’m thinking a small MacBook with a multitouch screen that measures about 9 or 10 in. will be among the ‘several wonderful new products’ Jobs referred to in the earnings press release issued July 21.”

“Imagine the possibilities. Zoom in on pictures or documents easily, using a motion similar to that of the ‘pinch’ that makes the iPhone so great,” Hesseldahl writes. “You could ‘zoom’ in and out of the desktop, letting you arrange tasks as easily as you would pieces of paper on your real desk, and just as easily zoom in and out of applications.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Carl H.” for the heads up.]