In a note to investors Tuesday, Piper Jaffray Senior Research Analyst Gene Munster speculates that Steve Jobs will take the stage at Apple's iPod event next week and announce a new lineup with built-in cameras. Rumors of camera-equipped iPods have persisted for months, with leaked photos of numerous third-party cases suggesting the speculation will prove accurate.
However, given that the new iPods are part of an ever shrinking segment of Apple's lineup, Munster believes that investors on Wall Street will not be wowed by Apple's announcements, Jobs or no Jobs.
"We believe investors will view the new products as a non-event, as iPod growth slows and the segment becomes less of an investable theme," Munster said. "However, we also believe Steve Jobs will be present at the event, a first since his health-related leave of absence, which would likely be a slight positive for shares of AAPL and the first public confirmation of Jobs' health since his return to the company."
Munster also reiterates that he does not believe Apple's long-rumored tablet will make an appearance on Sept. 9. AppleInsider's own sources have insisted the 10-inch, touchscreen device will make its debut in early 2010.
"While we continue to believe that Apple is currently developing a new operating system and enclosure for a tablet," Munster said, "we do not believe it is ready to go to market yet. Apple will likely release the tablet in early (calendar year) 2010."
In a separate note published Monday, Munster also predicted that Apple will eventually announce a new Apple TV tied to an iTunes subscription model. Given the negotiations that must take place in order to allow customers to subscribe to TV shows, he does not expect that product to debut at the Sept. 9 event.
However, he does believe that the company will debut a new version of iTunes with social networking features, as well as changes to the iTunes Store. He speculates that new offerings could include more options on more devices for TV and movie viewers, and "new music features with richer album artwork." Last month, rumors of an iTunes 9 upgrade began to circle, with reports suggesting the music player could integrate with Web sites such as Facebook and Last.fm.