Apple’s September 1 Event: A Preview

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Apple is scheduled to host its annual iPod based event on September 1, 2010. There are lots of speculations and rumours doing the rounds as usual. Apple always keeps the market and media guessing about its product announcements and hence lots of rumours and speculations come associated with it.

Let us have a preview of the upcoming event and analyse what Apple may have to offer keeping the entire buzz over the internet into mind.

A new line of iPods

It is widely being reported that Apple is going to unveil a whole new range of iPods including refurbished iPod Nano, iPod Touch and iPod Shuffle. While the iPod Touch is rumoured to get front facing camera, the Nano can further sink in size and may lose the click wheel.

Some new iPod cases from manufacturers are already being sold on sites like alibaba.com which suggests that iPod Nano will have a touch screen in front and some physical buttons on side or back. Some two months back a tech site revealed some small hardware with digitiser for screen which was said to be a part of iPod and the cases appearing are confirming it.

iPod Touch will, in all probability, get a front facing camera. Steve Jobs had earlier announced at WWDC 2010 that Apple will be shipping “tens of millions of FaceTime devices” by the end of this year. Obviously they have sold some 3 million units of iPhone 4s for which tens of millions by the end of the year is unimaginable and unreasonable proposition. This statement alone points that iPod Touch will have FaceTime (Apple’s video calling functionality over Wi-Fi) through its front facing camera.

By the way, Apple has also made it possible to place FaceTime call to an email contact over Wi-Fi. So this is another argument to support the fact that iPod Touch, which has almost all the functionality of iPhone other than phone, will get a front facing camera.

iPod Touch is also speculated to get the latest Retina Display that is on the iPhone 4. Retina display offers the best resolution on any mobile device by any manufacturer till date as they were able to put 326 pixels per inch on a 3.5 inch screen making the pixels undetectable to human eyes. This display gives the feel of a neatly printed textbook with fine images on the device.

iPod Classic may remain unchanged or may be Apple stops its production as well. There have been no software updates for the device in the recent years. iPod shuffle may further shrink or get some new innovative functionality, we never know!

iTunes going to clouds?

After apple acquired Lala, it became a simple guess that sooner or later Apple will be moving its iTunes services to clouds. Apple has also raised a server farm which is touted to be dedicated for cloud based services only.

Moving the iTunes to clouds or making it an online service will enable users to listen and download the music/media on the go from iTunes, pause their song over the air and resume on another device from where they left… This all will be a great thing when one is able to get all the devices like iPod, iPhone and iPad synced wirelessly.

Contents like songs, apps and iBooks would be downloaded and utilised over the air. Music downloading without the cumbersome process of sitting on the computer, choosing, buying, confirming, and being taken away from iTunes to a different place etc. will be done away with. All its competitors like Amazon.com, Rhapsody, and eMusic give their users online buying options which are a clear advantage over iTunes.

Anyway, the clouds are the technology for the future and Apple must be working on it to take care of it. The invitation cards for the event and the big poster at the venue carries a guitar with an Apple logo, so it’s going to be a music focussed event, as it appears!

Apple TV

Apple TV is the device which Apple really never took too seriously to market. Internet is all abuzz with rumours of Apple TV getting revamped. And as usual nobody is sure of what Apple is going to do regarding it. It is believed that Apple TV will get sleeker, cheaper and may get iOS features where one can buy related apps, stream media directly over Wi-Fi and store content as well.

The existing Apple TV comes with mechanical hard drive of 160 GB capacity but rumour mill says it will get scaled down to 16 GB flash drive. Current model runs on a scaled down version of Mac OS but with revolutionary iOS, it is not unreasonable to believe that iOS is integrated into it.

iOS can be one thing which can finally make Apple TV a revolutionary product where people can see their favourite YouTube videos, on demand movies, soaps, download iOS based games and play with remote and may be even become able to have iTunes library! So that will make it a great device to own at a reasonable price.

Updated iPad

Apart from the rumours of a new hardware altogether with a 7 inch screen and a camera Apple might bring about something interesting as announcements regarding its ‘magical’ iPad. An update to iOS 4 for the iPad is pending for the fall. With no beta in sight, Steve Jobs may announce the actual date of the software update along with functionality for FaceTime video calling.

Though FaceTime calling seems a far-fetched guess yet at least FaceTime reception can be one of the possibilities. Apple allows cameras to be attached to iPads using camera adapter kits, so it might be a possibility that Mr Jobs announces FaceTime for iPad as well (remember ‘tens of millions of FaceTime devices’).

And One More Thing

The event will start on Wednesday at 10 a.m. PDT at Yerba Buena Theater in San Francisco. I will be bringing live updates of the key announcements, so stay tuned.

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