Apple’s October 12th Announcement

ThinkSecret, AppleInsider, and AppleInsider again, and finally macosXrumors , are all reporting that Apple has something really big coming up next week.

All are claiming that Apple will make a big product announcement at an invitation-only event on October 12th, 2005 in San Jose. Apple has sent out invitations with a red curtain motif with the words “One more thing…” When that phrase is uttered by Steve Jobs, he usually brings out something very unique and either very evolutionary or revolutionary. Apple does not hold these events to announce improvements in CPU speed or a few new features.

Some of the above-mentioned sites claim this is for PowerMac and PowerBook announcements. Others are claiming the fabled Video iPod will finally be revealed to the world.

Updated: 12 Oct, 9am EST – signs are pointing to a video iPod.

My wild guess that is/was 100% wrong, but hey we can dream: a combination tablet/notebook with a screen in the 9-inch or 10-inch range, based on the Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) Pentium Ms from Intel.

I dont’ see a 12-inch widescreen iBook or PowerBook – the time for that upgrade was in January, when the 12″ PowerBooks were last updated, and long after widescreens in the 12-inch range had started appearing on Intel-based laptops. I believe they are saving it for the launch of the Intel-based Macs. As in the past, with very few exceptions (iBook G3 -> G4 notwithstanding), anytime they made major changes in processors, these were accompanied by a new design. Coming out with a new design now, even if it’s just a widescreen, this late in the march towards Intel, would be a waste of resources.

Video iPod or vPod as some have dubbed it.
I agree with ThinkSecret on this – they aren’t going to do anything to detract from the iPod nano. It has too much buzz, it came at a great time, it’s positioned well for the holidays price wise. It’s had a great launch and the media is in love with it. Other than “industry analysts”, most people (that I know) aren’t really walking around saying “I wish I had a video iPod”. Other than Pixar, they don’t have the studios lined up and ready to go (and I doubt Sony would allow their movie studios to sell through any kind of iMovie store considering they are pushing movies on the PSP), and a large portion of the US just does not have the capability to download movies.

That said, any Video iPod will probably have full PDA capabilities. Apple has been working towards this (I say this even after Jobs killed the Newton), with their software (Inkwell and iSync), with the PDA capabilities that have been added to the iPod lineup already, and any kind of Video iPod will probably see the screen taking up the major portion of the iPod, which would mean a new interface, and which would probably mean a touch-screen, and if you already have a touch-screen, you are 95% of the way there.

The problem is this – look at the Palm LifeDrive – $500 for a device with a large screen and a 4GB harddrive. You can’t have a large touchscreen in that form factor, and a large harddrive without the cost pushing you upto almost the cost of a refurbished iBook (I know, I know, different markets). The LifeDrive doesn’t even have a 640×480 screen like the Dell Axim x50v or x51v. Throwing a harddrive in there as well will kill your battery life, if your watching movies.