On September 7, Bloomberg is reporting that Apple will hold a special event in San Francisco. Special events have meant one thing for Apple in the past — product launches. And September has traditionally become Apple’s time to air new iPods.
Bloomberg believes that at least one of the items revealed at the event will be a $99 Apple TV and 99 cent, 48-hour rentals via iTunes. The new campaign would be geared at reviving the 3-year-old product that’s perhaps the only laggard in Apple’s successful stable. And it would also try to fend off Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming video services.
News Corp. (owners of Fox), CBS Corp., NBC Universal, and Walt Disney Co (owners of ABC) are all reportedly onboard with the project.
A new iPod Touch, likely a clone of the iPhone 4, sans GSM wireless 3G hardware, is also expected to launch in September. The key feature there will be the inclusion of Apple’s higher resolution “Retina Display” (960×640 pixels) currently found on the iPhone 4. A hot topic of speculation at this point is whether the MP3 player will feature a front-facing camera, which could allow VoIP video calling over using Apple’s FaceTime.
Likewise, updated iPod Nano, Shuffle, and Classic seem likely as they typically see September upgrades. The iPod Nano is currently in its fourth generation, the Shuffle is in its third generation (with some minor revisions), and iPod Classic has seen six generations.
Looking at Apple’s other products, the MacBook was last updated in May and the MacBook Pro saw an April upgrade, so they seem unlikely candidates for new releases.
The Mac Pro, Apple’s high end desktop was quietly upgraded on August 9, ditching NVIDIA’s GeForce GT 120 for the ATI Radeon HD 5770 and getting the option of using two 2.66 GHz 6-core Gulftown Intel Xeon (X5650) processors with 12 MB of L3 cache (up from the previous max of two four-core processors).
The iMac received an i3/i5 upgrade in July. And the Mac Mini saw a June update. Thus it is unlikely that Apple will reveal any new desktops. More likely is that Apple could upgrade the MacBook Air, its ultra-thin design which has languished without an update since June 2009.
Slightly less likely are rumors that Apple could be preparing to launch a smaller variant of its wildly successful iPad. Also possible is that Apple could launch its long-rumored music streaming service, though that also seems less likely.
No one knows quite what Apple is cooking up, but on thing is for sure — whether you love Apple or hate it, you’ll likely be bombarded with Apple-related news on September 7.
Apple has sent out official invitations for its event, and it’s scheduled for September 1.
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