Although I previously reported that Apple is not giving a keynote address at Apple-Expo in Paris in two weeks, Mac4Ever and HardMac are reporting that Apple is holding a press event on 12 September in San Francisco, the same date as the kickoff of Apple-Expo. The sites also indicate that the press event is being relayed to Apple's European headquarters in London.
In addition to the un-keynote there's another good indication that new Apple products are in the pipeline: inventory. When product delivery times start to drift out past a few weeks (with the exception of immediately after a hot new product in announced, of course) you can be pretty sure that either one of two things are happening: 1) there's a part shortage or some other manufacturing hold up, or 2) Apple is clearing out inventory to make way for a new product.
Some Apple products are pretty heavily constrained right now, including the MacBook and the iSight. Does that mean that new products are imminent? Not necessarily, but it could. Due to Apple's secrecy, the rumor mill is always speculating about when new products will be announced, and now that there's an official press event during Apple-Expo we can turn our attention to what Apple may or may not announce.
Apple's online store now has an estimated ship date of October for external iSight cameras. According to Macworld UK Apple removed the iSight from European markets this summer because it "failed to meet new European environmental standards in the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2005 (RoHS)."
Even though the Apple store is quoting 5-7 days for standard MacBook configurations, some customers are reporting that the supply of MacBooks in many Apple retail stores is dwindling. I attribute this to brisk back-to-school sales. The MacBook may be a candidate for the new Core 2 Duo chip but I think that it's more likely to end up in the...
When Intel launched the Core 2 Duo chip for notebooks several PC notebook OEMs including Dell, Toshiba, Samsung and Alienware began offering it almost immediately while Apple remained suspiciously quiet. DigiTimes previously noted that the upgraded MacBook Pro would be available in September, but I'm sticking to my estimate of the October/November time frame.
The Mac mini Core Solo 1.5GHz configuration has also apparently received a silent upgrade to a 1.66GHz Core Duo chip with speed bumps in hard drive and optical drive as well.
Business Week's Arik Hesseldahl and Ron Grove are reporting that Apple is planning to offer movie downloads from the iTunes music store with prices of US$15 for new releases and US$10 for back catalog titles.
Then there's the 8GB iPod nano. Even the old full-screen "true" video iPod rumor is even getting dredged out again for Apple-Expo.
Don't you just love the two weeks leading up to an Apple press event?