Apple’s Autumn Event: FaceTime for iPod Touch, Cloud-Based iTunes and a New MacBook Air?!
Now that the date for Apple’s annual September media event has been set, speculation about its focus is the order of the day. First in line at the rumor mill, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who sees the company uncrating about what you’d expect–a new iPod touch with front- and back-facing cameras for FaceTime video calls, as well as updates to iTunes and Apple TV that will leverage a new cloud-based media service.
“Apple is developing a data center in Maiden, N.C., that we believe could serve as the hub of a cloud-based service for iTunes content streaming to connected devices,” Munster said in a note to clients today. “The company has indicated that the data center is on track to be completed by the end of CY10 and it will begin using it then. We believe an announcement at the Sept. event is likely, but the service may not begin until late in CY10. With Apple’s growing family of connected devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, and Macs) it only makes sense that Apple would deliver a cloud based media service to leverage its competitive advantage in the space: devices.”
Also potentially on tap for the Sept. 1 Apple (AAPL) event, says Munster: A new MacBook Air. “An updated MacBook Air, in our opinion, is a wildcard possibility. It has not been redesigned since its launch in Jan-08 and has not been refreshed with new specs in well over a year.”
While it’s true that the machine is in need of a refresh, it’s unlikely one will be announced at this particular event, which tends to orbit around iTunes and the iPod. And, to be fair, Munster does note this. The most interesting wild card from my perspective? An App Store for Apple TV.