Apple Prepping FaceTime iPod touch, New MacBook Air

The analysts are weighing in with their expectations for Apple’s September 1 media event, and Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster is expecting a FaceTime-ready iPod touch and possibly even a new MacBook Air. He also expects Apple will update iTunes to take advantage of a new cloud-based music and video service, according to AllThingsD.

A new iPod touch with a front-facing camera for FaceTime video call support fits with other analyst’s predictions, including Maynard Um from UBS.

Apple has hosted a media event to refresh the iPod lineup around September for the past few years, and based on the guitar image on the invitations sent to the media, this year’s event will likely focus on iPods and music, too.

One of Apple’s music-related announcements could be that it is launching a cloud-based music streaming and storage 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,” Mr. Munster. “We believe an announcement at the September event is likely, but the service may not begin until late in calendar year 2010. 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.”

Mr. Munster also thinks there’s a chance Apple will introduce an updated MacBook Air next week at its media event. “An updated MacBook Air, in our opinion, is a wildcard possibility. It has not been redesigned since its launch in January 2008 and has not been refreshed with new specs in well over a year,” Mr. Munster said.

While the current MacBook Air is feeling long in the tooth, Apple hasn’t used its music events to show off new Macs in the past, so next week’s event will likely stick with iPod updates and iPod-related services.

Apple is currently trading at US$245.55, up 2.66 (1.10%).