Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster is known for being bullish on Apple. But, in a report issued today, he sees tomorrow's event - where announcements about upgrades to the iPod line are expected - as really more of a non-event. And he predicts that shares will dip slightly, as they historically have done following such media events. From his note:
We expect Steve Jobs to introduce a new iPod lineup with a new iPod touch, new nanos, and a new classic, with cameras in the new models. We expect the stock to trade off on a lack of surprising announcements, representing a buying opportunity. In our sample of 12 recent Apple events, the stock has traded -1% on the day of an event.
Here's the twist: there are rumors floating around that Apple has run into some technical issues with the cameras that are, of course, still rumored to be included in new iPods. Can that have a greater impact on Apple shares tomorrow?
I can't imagine that Apple would completely scrap the announcement of an camera iPod. Instead, the more likely scenarios would be a delay of availability. Sure, Apple prides itself in making products available as they're announced - one of the giveaways being the "We'll be back soon" Web page on Apple's online store during the event. But it's not unprecedented for Apple to make products available at a later date, just like they recently did with Snow Leopard.
Still, Muster is probably right that the event and announcements will be ho-hum, lacking something big and splashy to drive shares. But don't think for a minute that it won't be enough to drive traffic into Apple stores this holiday season - especially if we see can some news around pricing tomorrow, too.
I'll be attending and live blogging from tomorrow's event.