Piper Jaffray’s Apple analyst Gene Munster (AAPL) has floated his predictions for January’s Macworld trade show in San Francisco, where Steve Jobs usually unveils many of his biggest products.
Smallest MacBook ever? Munster expects a thin, light MacBook-like creature with an 11- to 13-inch screen, priced between $1,100 and $2,000. This isn’t the 8- to 11-inch screen, micro-laptop some Apple fans have hoped for, but it would be a nice addition to Apple’s popular notebook lineup. A trimmer laptop could use Samsung’s new 64-gigabyte flash drive, the smallest hard drive you’d want in an OS X laptop. Munster also thinks the new Mac could include some sort of iPhone-like multi-touch features.
No 3G iPhone? Munster says Macworld is too early for Jobs to introduce an iPhone that connects to AT&T’s faster “3G” wireless data network. He expects that phone to arrive in May or June, but says Apple could announce a bigger (16-gig) iPhone in January to keep up interest. Apple’s pokey wireless connection on AT&T’s “EDGE” network is its biggest shortcoming.
iTunes movie rentals? Munster expects new content partnerships with one or more movie studios, potentially including iTunes movie rentals. He says there’s a 50-50 chance that Jobs will announce the new service at Macworld and a 90% chance by mid-2008.
No Mac tablet — yet. Apple has a leg up on its rivals with multi-touch screens. But Munster says it’s too soon to expect a tiny tablet computer at Macworld.
New games for iPhone, iPod touch? Instead of moving its tiny iPod games over to its larger-screened iPod touch and iPhone, Munster thinks Apple is developing a “new class of games” to take advantage of the iPhone screen features.
Buy AAPL now, sell before Macworld? Pre-keynote speculation has driven up Apple stock an average of 5% over the last three years from Dec. 17 to the first day of the Macworld show, Munster says. After the show, it’s a different story: in the last two years, shares dropped an average 11.5% in the month after Macworld. (Next year’s show runs from January 15-17.)
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