As we had reported yesterday, Apple will be holding a "special event" on September 1 in San Francisco where the company is expected to unveil the next generation iPod Touch and the new iOS-based Apple TV besides possibly revealing plans for their new ¢99 TV show rental service.
With less than a week to go for the event, industry insiders and analysts have been speculating on the various surprises Apple may have in store for us.
According to Shaw Wu from Kaufman Bros., Apple could be making a significant move to an ARM architecture based processor on the new Apple TV set-top box. The current model of Apple TV runs on an Intel x86 chip which Wu says will make way for a custom A4 processor similar to the one available on the iPad and the new iPhone 4.
"Our sources indicate there is some debate within Apple whether to allow this or not, or to have it run only Apple TV-specific apps. We believe the ability to run the same apps makes a lot of sense and believe this feature could be enough to drive significantly more volume for Apple TV. We find the potential to run video game apps on a TV set most intriguing, as it has been proven in the marketplace that there is (a) large market for casual gaming at inexpensive prices."
Shaw Wu's doubts are also shared by industry observers like John Gruber from Daring Fireball who has expressed doubts over a dedicated App Store for Apple TV. Gruber has additionally pointed out that Apple would be keen to position the new iPod Touch as a mobile gaming device with the official debut of Game Center which is part of the new iOS 4.1.
With several exciting announcements on the cards, Apple investors will be keen to see a surge in stock prices. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has advised investors to buy AAPL stocks ahead of the September media event. In his recent note, Munster claims that the annual media event has traditionally helped Apple share prices rise by 12% on an average. He further notes:
"We believe that investors generally anticipate the Sept. event by the beginning of the month, and anticipation builds ahead of the holiday shopping season with Apple's iPod lineup (along with Macs and other products) set for holiday sales. However, keep in mind that historical trends are not necessarily an indicator of future events."
Like many of our readers, we too are eagerly awaiting the media event next Wednesday. One key feature that Apple is expected to unveil is the new front-facing camera on the next generation iPod Touch. While we have already witnessed several leaks in this regard, folks at SmartphoneMedic have now published a video that compares the new iPod Touch with the current model. As you can see from the video embedded below, the upcoming version is likely to be longer and slimmer compared to the third generation model. The LCD and digitizer are however noted to be "a little different" from those found on the iPhone 4.
What is your wishlist for the media event? Let us know in the comments.