Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Analyst expects widescreen iPod; Current 60GB iPod 'at risk'

iLounge picks up a recent research note from Shaw Wu at American Technology Research that states "Apple could be phasing out its current high-end iPod to make room for a new widescreen video iPod."

Wu believed that "a new widescreen video iPod with Bluetooth headphones could be introduced during Apple’s third quarter." Wu said, "The most interesting development here is that Apple has notified its distributors that its high-end $399 60GB iPod is ‘at risk’ until the end of April, meaning it could be discontinued and/or replaced around that time frame. As we have mentioned before, our checks indicate that Apple has been working on a widescreen iPod (we believe now likely with Bluetooth headphone capability). Timing is not certain to us but we believe this product could be ready as early as the June quarter.”

On the iPod nano front, Wu also noted that the nano "appears to be experiencing the greatest seasonal decline within the iPod family," with the exception being “decent sales” of the new 1GB model. Wu added, "We believe Apple may need to increase storage capacities and/or cut prices to re-generate interest. Declining prices in NAND flash and additional capacity coming on board should help Apple facilitate these moves."