Predictions for the September 1 Apple Event

| Rumor

Lots of predictions have been made for the Apple event scheduled for Wednesday, September 1. Here’s my list and notes on each.

1. 60 second song samples in iTunes. According to one of our editors, the music industry has gone with 60 second samples on other services to take some wind out of the iTunes sails. Apple finally gets parity. But is this mildly embarrassing change important enough for Mr. Jobs to bring up? Probably not.

2. iPod Touch with camera. This is a big deal. The iPod touch is a very popular product, and adding both cameras combined with FaceTime will take it off the charts with high school and college students. Just how Apple will solve the technical issue with an iPod touch not having an AT&T phone number remains to be seen. Some other device identifier will come into play. This one looks good to me.

3. iPod nano shrinks, absorbs shuffle. AppleInsider refers to people familiar with the mater: the iPod nano will shrink to the size of an iPod shuffle, gain a small 3 x 3 cm touch screen and still retain the 30-pin connector. This might make the shuffle obsolete. This rumor seems to be based on some solid information, yet the scope of all the options presented by AppleInsider seems to suggest that Apple hasn’t yet made up its mind. This one is hard to call.

4. iPod touch with 3G (data). Like the iPad 3G. Apple seems to be toying with this idea in order to reinforce the family tree schema of the iPod touch and the iPad. Some have even proposed that the iPod touch will be renamed the iPad touch (or maybe the iPad mini?) and that the former iPod nano becomes the iPad nano. Where that leaves the rumored 7-inch iPad is anyone’s guess.

5. iTV. This is the most exciting rumor. Engadget and Bloomberg have both strongly suggested that Apple will retire the Apple TV and replace it with a small US$99 iOS-based device that customers can use to stream video from iTunes. That’s not new — the Apple TV can do that. What we’re waiting to see is if the iOS device will be allowed to run all iPad apps. That would bring the competing Netflix and Hulu apps to the iTV. That’s dicey and reflects Apple’s ongoing struggle with how to embrace and/or compete with those services.

In concert with the new iTV, or whatever Apple decides to call it, Apple is said to be in discussions with the networks to offer commercial-free TV shows streaming for 99 cents. This adds credence to the iTV hardware rumor.

With the fall TV season upon us, I’d say Apple has to do this now rather than later. The limiting factor is the courage of the networks.

6. Apple Data Center roll out. Apple’s Data Center in Maiden, N.C. has been the subject of much speculation. At first, many thought that it would become a new cloud for iTunes allowing customers to listen to their purchased music from anywhere. Lately, the focus has shifted to video. To be sure, no one really knows what’s in store for that 500,000 sq ft, US$1B facility, and no doubt it will have multiple uses. We may find out about just one on September 1. Recall, however, that Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said it won’t be completed until the end of calendar 2010. So Apple’s current data center may have to carry the load for any new services right now.

7. A new iPhone 4 with a revised, fixed antenna system.  This is anyone’s guess and based on a dubious rumor. Because it would leave a bad taste in the mouth of so many iPhone 4 purchasers, a major update so soon seems unlikely to me.

Have I missed any? I believe #1, #2 are a lock and #5 contingent on a new iTV streaming service deal with the networks.

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I think they will shrink both the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle.
The latter will them become microscopic.

John Martellaro

Reminds me of the Sat. Night Live skit.  So small, it’s a speck of dust!
I think that YouTube video has been removed, however.


Yes, it will be the iPod Nano mini in the form factor of a band-aid.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

No predictions on the band? Too bad The Atomic Love Bombs are locked in the studio.


Okay, it’s a long shot: iPod Nano with Facetime and two cameras, and, of course, wi-fi.

Here’s why I think that might happen: Apple wants to see FT expand as a standard - they think it might be the Android killer, and they might be right. But for it to me a standard, they have to get a lot of them out the door. So, they make an inexpensive product with FT (plus the rest of the iTunes features). They don’t want to cannibalize iPhone sales, so the FT Nano would have crappy cameras and a small screen, and would only work over internet, not phone. Imagine a gazillion teenagers talking to each other, showing each other what party they are at, and other things (not all of them, uh, correct). All these kids would get addicted to FTing and communicating over wifi, and they will want to upgrade to iPod touches or cameras as soon as possible.

I don’t know if FT makes any sense or if it will catch on, but I think Steve Jobs has BIG ambitions for it - like, going head to head with the phone companies, starting with AT&T.

They might keep the nano brand and give the new thing a new name - the FacePod. The iFace. The iFaceTimePod. But I don’t think so. I think they want everyone to have FT, and they will throw it in with the music player, rather than giving people the option of getting an iPod without FT. Apple is not about choice!


How about FaceTime on the iTV?


iLife ‘10 as a bonus? (maybe ‘11 since it’s late in the year?)


Reminds me of the Sat. Night Live skit.? So small, it?s a speck of dust!

Ah, yes - the iPod Invisa. “It can hold 500 billion songs and every photo ever taken.” :D

Whatever that data center is for, I personally don’t think it’ll be introduced as part of the Apple ecosystem just yet. Just from the rumblings I’ve seen in the news… Apple not having their cloud-based iTunes store ready to go, not having deals in place for TV show rentals, that sort of thing.

Whatever Apple decided to blow a few billion on that thing for, I’m sure it’ll be a big deal.

Dave Hamilton

What about iOS 4 for iPad? I think that’s a given, no?


I’m still hoping for iFab, a 3D printer, but more realistically I think cameras and FaceTime on the Touch.


Anyone think they’ll release a 128G iPod Touch (since they need more thickness for the camera) and drop the iPod Classic?


What about iOS 4 for iPad? I think that?s a given, no?

Whoop… good call. It’ll most likely be mentioned in passing, along w/ iPad sales status updates unless there is new hardware to introduce (ie. the rumored 7” iPad).

Anyone think they?ll ... drop the iPod Classic?

The canary in the tunnel on that one is if competitors are no longer selling hard drive-based MP3 players. I think Apple is only keeping that one around for people who really, really need mass storage, and to fill out the iPod product line.

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