Analyst: Apple Working on Touchscreen iPod. Also: Fire, Hot. Bread, Good.
When Apple CEO Steve Jobs first announced the iPhone at Macworld 2007, he described it as three revolutionary new products in one— “a widescreen iPod with touch controls,” “a revolutionary new mobile phone” and “a breakthrough Internet communications device.” Given that “widescreen iPod with touch controls” figured first on Jobs’s list of iPhone features, it’s dumbfoundingly obvious that Apple plans to bring a touchscreen iPod to market.
Certainly, it doesn’t take a gaggle of analysts to point that out–although Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster is happy to oblige. In a research note issued yesterday, Munster suggested that, as one would imagine, the next generation of iPods will sport the iPhone’s touchscreen interface. “We believe the iPhone reveals much of what the iPod will soon be,” he explained. “Specifically, we expect Apple to release high-capacity iPods based on OS X sometime during or before Macworld ‘08 in January. These iPods will likely have touchscreen media features similar to the iPhone, but will not have the wireless phone or Internet features.”
In other words, they’ll be the “widescreen iPod(s) with touch controls” Jobs hinted at seven months ago. Where’d you get that product road map, Gene, AAA?
Anyway … What’s far more worthy of mention here is the larger Apple ecosystem, which may be headed for some big changes. At a recent all-hands meeting to discuss the iPhone, Jobs said Apple has the “best Macs” in the new-product pipeline ever right now. Machines that are “off the charts.” Just what Jobs meant by that is, obviously, known only by Jobs and certain Apple engineering proles sworn to iMerta. But it doesn’t take a leap of imagination to see the company recasting much of its other hardware as multitouch devices.
Indeed, UBS analyst Benjamin Reitzes suggested as much this past March. “We believe the multitouch platform initially to be shown in the upcoming iPhone can be integrated into several products, including Macs and iPods, facilitated by Apple’s software and retail ecosystem,” Reitzes wrote in a research note. “We believe this ‘megaplatform’ could help Apple become an open-ended growth story again, with a logical chronology. … We expect multitouch to be prevalent in Apple’s major hardware products within three to five years–making its way into touchscreen Macs next year. We also foresee new touchscreen video iPods, ultraportables, more phones and possibly even TVs.”
Ultraportables, you say? What’s the number for Apple Financial Services again?