Analyst: iTV Likely, ‘vPod’ & iPhone Uncertain for Macworld

| Apple Stock Watch

Apple Computer is likely to officially announce iTV, while the long-awaited full video iPod (ivPodi) and a cell phone are either near or at the manufacturing phase, but may not be ready to be announced at Macworld Expo. These predictions come via a research note to clients from American Technology analyst Shaw Wu, who also said that Apple has become better at plugging leaks, which means "more surprises" at this yearis show.

Mr. Wu also said that Apple will announce improved Windows capability, including the possibility of a full-blown virtual machine, for the next Mac OS X release, Leopard. He did not predict a release date for the OS. Apple said it would be ready by the Spring of 2007, but some (including The Mac Observer) believe that Apple will beat that deadline.

New movie deals for iTunes was also deemed "likely" for the show, with possible content from Fox, Universal, Paramount, and Warner Brothers.

The analystis sources for his vPod and Apple cell phone predictions come from the supply side, where Mr. Wu said that both products are near to being ready, or are at the manufacturing stage. This does not necessarily mean, however, that either product will be announced at Macworld.

"Our analysis in the supply chain indicates that [the current iPodis] successor has been under development for some time and recent data indicates shifting component order dynamics," wrote Mr. Wu. "We do not have high conviction on timing but see improved battery life, widescreen, and Bluetooth 2.0 stereo as the newest features."

About the cell phone, he said his conviction remained high that such a product would be released sometime in 2007, but not necessarily at Macworld.

"While our analysis continues to indicate AAPLis first cell phone is technically complete, its "go-to-market" strategy continues to be a mystery and likely a gating factor (MVNO vs. traditional carrier or both)."

Apple is trading higher in the early afternoon session, up 1.14% ($0.97) at 86.018 in strong volume.

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a small share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article. ?

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