August 29, 2005 11:20 AM PDT

Apple hints at big music announcement

Apple Computer is preparing a major announcement next week, dropping hints of something as critical to the company's future as the release of the original iPod in 2001.

The company sent an invitation to reporters on Monday morning for a "special event" being held Sept. 7 in San Francisco.

"1,000 songs in your pocket changed everything," the invitation reads, referring to the release of the first 5GB iPod nearly four years ago. "Here we go again."

As with any planned announcement from Apple, details are scarce and rumors are running rampant. However, some potential clues have emerged.

Record company executives have said recently that Apple has been seeking licenses to distribute a wide variety of music videos through the iTunes music store, and that the computer company has told them of plans to unveil an iPod that plays video.

Research firm iSuppli recently reported that Samsung Electronics was dedicating a large amount--perhaps as much as 40 percent--of its flash memory production to Apple, leading to speculation that the Mac maker was preparing a larger-capacity version of its flash-based Shuffle player, or even switching its iPod Mini to a flash-based technology.

Apple sold 6.1 million iPods in its last fiscal quarter, and the company has ridden the demand for the music player to its strongest financial position in years.

Other Apple-linked products are also nearing market release. Motorola has said that a long-promised iTunes cell phone will ship before the end of September. And the latest version of iTunes, version 4.9, contains hidden references to mobile-phone features, adding to the expectation that an iTunes-compatible cell phone is coming soon.

The Federal Communications Commission has granted regulatory approval for Motorola to start selling one iTunes-capable phone, although it is not certain that handset will be the first model Motorola introduces.

Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg cautioned against expecting anything too far out of Apple's existing product line, saying that a video iPod is unlikely. The iTunes-compatible phone is a likely candidate, he said, but added that the company could have surprises in store.

"When it comes to Apple announcements, expectations are often set unrealistically by Apple enthusiasts," Gartenberg said. "But Apple has been known to pull rabbits out of the proverbial hat. It may be a new category of device altogether."

39 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Would be helpful to put a Stock Ticker link here
In the event that Apple does it again, being known for breaking
ground it new ways that others will try to copy, it would be cool to
place a link to yahoo's finance section for those who want to track
or buy Apple stock. It is up 3or 4 fold in as many years, what a
great investment <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=aapl" target="_newWindow">http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=aapl</a>
Posted by educateme (101 comments )
Reply Link Flag
One thing makes Apple hard to recommend
At the end of the day, it's still a tech stock, and there are hordes of investors out there who won't touch it with a 30-foot pole.
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Link Flag
go stock
Can't wait for a cell phone playing music to take off, do you? Well Apple earnings come from the players and a cell phone is the last thing Apple would want, unless they get a major cut of the earnings, but still cell phones aren't that lucrative (see Treo - $50 after rebate with contract).
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
Link Flag
2002 to 2005
On 8/29/2002 - With the later split included, Apple stock was
quoted at approximately 7.33

Today, that same stock is flucuating between 45 and 48. That is
roughly 6.5 times the money. So your 10 dollars is now worth 65
dollars. Not back for a "tech" stock.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
1000 Songs in your Ear?
Apple has always been the master of miniaturization, so perhaps we'll see a 1000 song set of Ear buds?

Or still waiting on the Wireless iPod, Bluetooth 2 is now in the new machines, so that's a possiblity.

And to the other comment on Apple Stock, a sure way to triple your money in the next 5 years is Apple. It's very unlikely anyone can compete with them in the Music arena, (they own all 4 parts to the future of music, (iTunes, the Apple Music Store, iPod and Logic/GarageBand) everyone else, barely has 1) and with OSX... the Mac is by far the top computer for smart buyers worldwide.

If or when Apple decides to Advertise and Distribute the Mac, it's all over for Windows &#38; Linux.

The Fat Lady is warming up... and will soon have a 99 cent song on iTunes :)
Posted by OS11 (844 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not necessarily so
"Apple has always been the master of miniaturization, so perhaps we'll see a 1000 song set of Ear buds?"

I doubt anyone would say the PowerMac G5 is miniaturized at all. Its size rivals or exceeds that of many over clocked, maxed out gaming machines. With minimal room inside for additions. Even the Mac Mini has significant design trade off to get it into that small box, e.g., a single RAM slot.

"Or still waiting on the Wireless iPod, Bluetooth 2 is now in the new machines, so that's a possiblity."

But is Bluetooth in any of the iPods? And what benefit would it be? a wireless headset? unlikely.

"And to the other comment on Apple Stock, a sure way to triple your money in the next 5 years is Apple."

I doubt Apple will triple again in the next 5 years. It's possible, but doubtful. Apple would have to come out with some all encompasing combination as innovative and captivating as the iTunes/iTMS/iPod combination. Possible. But also unlikely.


"It's very unlikely anyone can compete with them in the Music arena, (they own all 4 parts to the future of music, (iTunes, the Apple Music Store, iPod and Logic/GarageBand) everyone else, barely has 1)..."

Most people don't even think of Logic or GarageBand. I would wager few people buying or selling stock do. Those pieces of software are of interest to small studios or individual artists/bands. I don't believe they drive the stock price much at all. On the other hand the iPod becoming pretty much an icon all its own has definitely driven the stock price.

"and with OSX... the Mac is by far the top computer for smart buyers worldwide."

Mac OS X may or may not be the greatest OS on the planet. However, OS X is not driving Mac sales anywhere near as much as two other things: 1) iPod halo effect and 2) Windows security misteps. Without those two effects Apple's Macintosh market share growth would be minimal if anything at all.

"If or when Apple decides to Advertise and Distribute the Mac, it's all over for Windows &#38; Linux."

Apple has tried many, many times over the years to come up with an ad which effectively shows of a Mac user's perceived advantages of OS X. Apple has never pulled it off. The closest they ever came was the "Think Different" series of ads. But those were about a state of mind and Apple Computer -- not about Macintosh.

But even if Apple were able to come up with an effective ad it will be a decade or more (probably 15-20 years at least) before the roles of Apple and Microsoft are reversed.

"The Fat Lady is warming up... and will soon have a 99 cent song on iTunes"

There is considerable pressure on Apple to change its single price structure. Apple has already done that in Japan. It is possible, but extremely optimistic to assume the single price structure will remain for more than another year or two in the U.S. By the time your "Fat Lady" sings the song could easily be $1.99.
Posted by shadowself (202 comments )
Link Flag
Apple become a real computer compay? Dream on!
It's a joke: the idea that Apple will pass Windows PCs in market share. They obviously will never catch the intelligent buyer market either. Anyone buying a computer based on 3% of the computer market better have some killer ap that won't run on a Windows-based PC. If I had a real use for a Mac to go with my Windows PC I'd actually buy one. But owning one without owning a Windows PC makes no sense unless you're one of those Apple religious fanatics.
Posted by lingsun (482 comments )
Link Flag
Motorola about to launch iPod phone
Could this be connected to the Motorola iPod phone? Or maybe it's connected to the idea that Apple might be launching its own phone network? Now that's interesting...
Posted by hutchike (157 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I hope it would be...
... something a little more significant than that...
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
It is, but could be more
Interesting that Apple is working closely with Motorola lately (new
phones, the G4 chip agreement). It could be more. See the
Cingular article too.
Posted by (174 comments )
Link Flag
alas itunes phone has a limit of 25 songs
Forbes magazine, review of early pre production prototype , are currently limited to 25 songs maximum,irrespecptive of flash card memory size(the phone comes with 128mb flash card memory it seems). This may change or else hackers will find a way arround it, only time will tell
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
Link Flag
So Steve Job's magic show again?
i would not suprise if Job pull out a elephant from his magic hat this time...

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://aaron365.blogspot.com" target="_newWindow">http://aaron365.blogspot.com</a>
Posted by toaaron (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Who Cares
He so wants to be a clown, so why not just give him a cage? :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
iPod Intel Inside?
Hehehe... Guessing game... I like...
Posted by Mendz (519 comments )
Reply Link Flag
1000 Songs
You all have it wrong. Apple are not releasing anything at all. It must be a Hango/Remote Solutions re-launch and Apple are probably just provinding drinks or something.

Unless Apple are trying to take credit for the idea of another company... no Apple wouldn't do that.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A New Newton?
Hey thinking about it Motorola could be making a processor for a
new Newton or something like it. Samsung's flash memory not for a
new iPod Shuffle but the memory for the Newton. I think that there
is a large enough demand for a new Newton and could be what is
up Jobs' sleve...
Posted by (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I hope so
I liked the Newton. But Steve didn't so I doubt it.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
And the Candidates to Most Likely Are ...
1. An iPod mini, same build, all flash memory (no hard-drives)
2. A cell-phone with enough flash memory to compete with the
mini, and completely synch with iLife.
3. Probably the most desireable, but most un-likely, is a new
"Newton". But they sold their rights to that a long time ago. But a
Newton like device with all the capabilities of a cell phone, AND a
mini, with no moving parts would be a dream. But like I said most
un-likely.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Doubtful.
The usefulness of "palm pilots" is gone. They are being replaced by iPods and Blackberries. I highly doubt it. I'm about 99% sure it's the iPod enabled phone, which looks like a piece of junk (unless they're releasing mroe than just the model they've shown in pictures around the net.
Posted by (461 comments )
Link Flag
Also!
Three words: color for everyone.
Posted by David Dudley (446 comments )
Link Flag
Home on iPod
I agree with others that an iTunes enabled cellphone is very likely but I have another candidate for the major part of the announcement: home on the iPod. That is the ability to have all your home directories on the iPod and be able to plug into any Mac and have your documents securely available. I imagine to have it truly secure it would have the OS resident on the iPod and boot from that.

Because of the load this would put on a tiny, less than robust hard drive this might be a feature only of flash based iPods. That might help to account for all the stories of Apple buying up massive quantities of flash memory.

Part of the inspiration for this idea is the Cringely article which included the suggestion that at some time in the future you might be able to boot OS X from the iPod on an Intel based box from manufacturers besides Apple. Invasion of the pod people indeed.
Posted by Steve Bryan (92 comments )
Link Flag
Maybe
An iTunes phone that:

A. Allows you to download while away from your computer
B. Can UPLOAD into your music library
C. Will play via bluetooth
Posted by (174 comments )
Link Flag
omg leak!!!
my friend says his cousin's roommate knows someone on the inside. it turns out apples new product is going to be the iPod Jumbo! always coming up with innovative ideas, apple has decided to take the iPod, which they have previously shrunk to make the iPod mini, and now are going cover the full spectrum with the iPod Jumbo! imagine, walking down the street carrying your music collection in a big white device the size of a briefcase. soon you will see everyone with an iPod Jumbo held on their shoulders like a hooligan with a boombox. the navigation wheel has been enlarged to the size of a basketball. they currently have stickers being made to make it look like a basketball. other stickers will be made as soon as they figure out what else is that big. maybe a watermelon? who knows. i'm definitely excited for the new iPod Jumbo!

unfortunately it is only available in a 5GB version, but a 20GB 'carry-on luggage' edition complete with extending handle and rollers is on the way
Posted by Sam Papelbon (242 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sexy
Do you know if these will come in colors, or have color screens? Also, will it be firewire or USB 2.0 compatible, or both?

:D
Posted by (461 comments )
Link Flag
Everyone assuming this is music oriented.
Why is everyone assuming this is music oriented? The invite floating around on the internet certainly doesn't make mention of music. I'm thinking they held off on releasing the phone to make us think this event is for the iPhone. In reality, I am willing to bed this is something TOTALLY different.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
because that's what Apple
is. Apple = iPod. So its products are only going to be variations on that model. Biggest announcements from it so far: iPod type a, iPod type b, Mac Mini (with no released sales info, wonder why), iPod type c, Shuffle type a, Shuffle type b. There's a pattern, isn't there?
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
Link Flag
Everyone assuming this is music oriented.
Why is everyone assuming this is music oriented? The invite floating around on the internet certainly doesn't make mention of music. I'm thinking they held off on releasing the phone to make us think this event is for the iPhone. In reality, I am willing to bet this is something TOTALLY different.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.