New Apple iPod Touch 4 with FaceTime to Unveil in Apple Media Event : The analysts are weighing in with their expectations for Apple’s September 1 media event, and Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster is expecting a FaceTime-ready iPod touch and possibly even a new MacBook Air. He also expects Apple will update iTunes to take advantage of a new cloud-based music and video service, according to AllThingsD.
The new device also could include more storage capacity. The largest available currently for iPod Touch is 64GB, on the model that sells for $399.
Apple has hosted a media event to refresh the iPod lineup around September for the past few years, and based on the guitar image on the invitations sent to the media, this year’s event will likely focus on iPods and music, too.
Although the iPod dominates the MP3 music player market, sales have tapered off of late. Unit sales slid 7.7% year-over-year, to 9.41 million, in the second quarter, according to Apple. The company is hoping the introduction of a new model will reinvigorate the franchise, which has taken a backseat to buzzworthy products like the iPad and iPhone 4.
“Apple is developing a data center in Maiden, N.C., that we believe could serve as the hub of a cloud-based service for iTunes content streaming to connected devices,” Mr. Munster. “We believe an announcement at the September event is likely, but the service may not begin until late in calendar year 2010. With Apple’s growing family of connected devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, and Macs) it only makes sense that Apple would deliver a cloud based media service to leverage its competitive advantage in the space: devices.”
The company is rumored to be in talks with major networks with an eye to offering TV episode rentals through a service that would be called iTV. Apple’s current settop service, Apple TV, has largely failed to catch on with consumers.