Tuesday, September 01, 2009, 05:40 am PT (08:40 am ET)
Another take: Steve Jobs appearance not expected Sept. 9Wall Street analysts are divided on whether Apple co-founder Steve Jobs will appear at next week's iPod-centric event, as another firm has said his presence would be a "welcome surprise," but is not anticipated.
Analyst Shaw Wu with Kaufman Bros. released a note to investors Tuesday morning in which he predicted that Jobs will not personally unveil new iPods. That's a different take than the one sent out only hours before by Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray, who said he believes that a keynote from Jobs would be the biggest news of Sept. 9. Wu, however, believes the keynote will be delivered by Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.
"It is not clear that Steve Jobs will be present," Wu said, "but most would welcome his appearance as a positive surprise."
Wu and Munster agree on most everything else, though. New iPods are a given this point, and are expected to be equipped with cameras. Wu also believes that a new version of iTunes with social media capabilities will be unveiled.
The analyst also does not expect an appearance of Apple's upcoming tablet device, expected to arrive in early 2010. Following up on a report from last month that Apple was exploring touchscreen devices of 4 inches to 12 inches in size, Wu said any tablet and/or sub-notebook devices won't be announced until next year.
Wu does predict that the iPod refresh will include more storage for devices with lower price points. He has maintained his "outperform" rating for AAPL stock, with a price target of $184.
"It will be interesting what storage capacities and price points Apple decides to set for these new iPods," he said. "Most recently, Microsoft announced a new Zune HD with 16GB of storage for $220 compared to Apple's current 8GB iPod touch for $229."
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