Analysts are convinced Apple will reveal the fabled 'video iPod' during its special event next week, but notes of dissent are beginning to be heard.
Shaw Wu of American Technology Research yesterday said that his research among "industry and channel sources" he expects Apple to release an iPod video next week.
But ThinkSecret denies these pre-event rumours, saying: "The event, Think Secret has learned, will not usher in the much-rumored video iPod but rather new PowerBook and Power Mac systems."
Power Macs and notebook upgrades posited
While persistent in his long-held belief that Apple will announce an iPod video in October, Wu also predicts speed-bumped Macs will debut at the event.
In a note to clients obtained by this reporter, he writes: "Before the transition to Intel processors in mid-2006, we believe Apple will introduce new PowerPC processors to keep its Mac product line fresh," he writes, adding: "We believe Apple will likely introduce new PowerMac G5s with dual-core PowerPC processors and PCI Express to bridge the gap to Intel processors. iMac, Mac mini, eMac, PowerBook, and iBooks are also likely to see speed increases."
Wu writes: "After spending the past two years studying this market and negotiating with content partners, it appears Apple is ready to go to market with a first generation video-capable iPod."
Wu warns that other firms with such products already available, Samsung, Creative, iRiver and Archos, "have shipped portable video devices for some time albeit without much success".
Video kills the audio star
The analyst expects Apple to enter the market with an aggressive price proposition, warning that setting price at $400 or more may stymie success. "If Apple can charge under $400 and preferably $299, we believe it will sell well. At higher price points, we believe it may be difficult to drive high volume," he wrote.
Wu expects initially-available content to include music videos and video podcasts, but not full-length feature movies yet.
"I would not be surprised to see some test movies in the future as the studios are still figuring out their future business model against today's movie theatre and then DVD approach," he said. Wu also expects Apple to produce an optional cable users can use to plug their portable video devices into televisions.
Increasing chatter fans rumour's flame
Industry sources have claimed to this reporter that Apple had intended to debut the new device last month, but was unable to do so.
Music industry sources continue to point to the move, hinting Apple to have signed multiple music videos to make available through iTunes in tandem with the launch.
All such sources could be misinformed, if Think Secret is to be believed. Apple has mastered the art of surprise in recent years.
However, one more analyst, Keith Bachman of Banc of America Securities, expects a video iPod, which he says would: "Strengthen Apple's position in the digital-home market."
Bachman rates Apple as a stock to buy with a $56 target price.
Apple will reveal the real deal on October 12 at 6pm, UK time.