Apple has a major announced scheduled this week and, as usual, the media is already doing a lot of free advertising:
When Apple said it was going to make an announcement at the Moscone Center in San Francisco next week, it triggered an elaborate and familiar guessing game.
Could it be the iPhone Nano, the subject of speculation in a financial analyst’s report this summer? What about a WiFi-enabled iPod that some bloggers are buzzing about?
C’mon, Steve Jobs, how about a hint? No, Apple remains tight-lipped.
If documents prepared by an Apple partner and obtained by The Washington Post are to be believed, both of those products are in the works and slated for release in the coming months. One would be an iPod with WiFi and a touch screen like that on the iPhone; the other would be an iPhone Nano priced lower than the cheapest iPhone, which sells for $500.
Such speculation not only moves markets, it also prompts action from companies, from retailers to analysts and accessory makers, for whom every Apple launch creates new business opportunities.
A J.P. Morgan analyst in Taiwan scrutinized patent applications and probed overseas vendors, concluding in a July report that an iPhone Nano — a version smaller than the iPhone launched in June — would be released this year.
The report caused such a stir that another J.P Morgan analyst issued a subsequent report clarifying the firm’s position. “We have been unable to independently confirm . . . so we are not yet convinced this is a likely event” before year’s end, the analyst, Bill Shope, wrote.
There are other clues bloggers are trying to imbue with significance. One is that Apple’s retail channels apparently have not received new iPod inventory in recent weeks, a possible sign that a new iPod will come sooner, rather than later, bloggers said. A second: The image on Apple’s invitation features album cover art used in its iTunes jukebox software.
You’ve got to hand it to Apple. Yea, the make good products, but they are masters at getting everyone else to market them.