October 19, 2006

Amid Speculation, Apple Continues to Execute

Yesterday's record quarter for Apple came at a time when many analysts, media and fans are eager to see the company debut the next "big thing" to rival the iPod. With the device reaching it's five-year anniversary this month, Apple has morphed from niche computer maker to a serious brand leader for consumer devices, as well as top-notch computers and software. Now, everyone is guessing as to what is coming next from Cupertino.

It has been a long-held tradition among Macintosh supporters to try and get an early scoop on the next Apple rumor. Sometimes, they get it exactly right, as AppleInsider did with the G4 Cube years ago, or they get it wrong - as SpyMac did with the infamous iWalk. But as the iPod has transformed the company, you see more mainstream publications piling on, and analysts speculating when a new product will debut to impact revenue.

In the last two years, the most common demands are for Apple to debut a cellular phone and service, dubbed "iPhone", an Apple media center for the living room, and an iTunes movie download service, with a "true" video iPod. In the last few months the iTunes movie download service has been introduced, and iTV was previewed, though you can't buy one just yet. That leaves the iPhone and true video iPod to come.

Earlier this week, a site called TrustedReview said they had "a conversation with an extremely well informed exec" who spilled the beans on timing for the new touchscreen iPod. As if executives have opted not to honor NDAs and cross Steve Jobs. Not a good plan, especially now that we know companies like HP are all too happy to check your cell phone records in an attempt to plug leaks. Yet, the site says December is when we'll see the new iPod, explaining, partially, why Jobs to date has been so dismissive of Microsoft's Zune music player, as he was in Newsweek, recently. Meanwhile, also this week, Forbes says the new iPhone would debut in January. When Forbes starts rumors, you know something is up.

But while everybody is salivating over what's next, Apple is simply getting it done. The company is putting serious pressure on its rivals at Microsoft and Dell, and taking market share. Just imagine the hubbub when all these unannounced products actually do come to life...

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