Apple shares slipped to an eight month low on trading yesterday as analysts considered American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu's warning that a new iPod may not ship until December.

In a note to clients received by Macworld, he wrote: "We believed that the new iPod nanos and widescreen vPod could be slated for release in calendar Q3 and Q4 of this year respectively. We now believe that both could be delayed by a quarter or two."

While some reports claim Wu wants investors to sell the stock, this isn't in fact the case, and he has simply lowered his Apple price target to $75 - though that is significantly down from his previous $101 target price. He continues to rank Apple as a stock to buy.
He describes the delay as likely to reflect Apple's move away from previous chip supplier, PortalPlayer to a new manufacturer, which he believes is Samsung.

On the next version of the iPod nano, he writes: "We believe price points will remain the same at $199 and $249, but that storage capacities will double to 4GB and 8GB, up from 2GB and 4GB (we believe Gartner's 12GB and above forecasts may prove optimistic)."

He also observes that battery life on the new widescreen video iPod "continues to be the key gating factor that could delay its release until the first half of 2007."

"We believe Apple is exploring different ways to improve battery life including: better battery management software, using a bigger battery, and using both flash and microdrives."

Future development also seems part of the iPod package: "Depending on how much progress is made, we are picking up that wireless Bluetooth headphones may or may not be included with this next-generation vPod," the analyst says, anticipating these will feature within the new standard iPod.

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