Apple May Reveal iPods With More Features
By BEN CHARNY
August 30, 2007; Page D4
SAN FRANCISCO -- Apple Inc. is expected next week to introduce new versions of its digital music players that have more features, but cost the same. The new gear, say analysts, typifies how the Cupertino, Calif., company is focusing on its core businesses after expanding into the cellphone industry earlier this year with its iPhone.
Last month, Apple unveiled a similar update of its iMac desktop computers, in which it added more features and in some cases dropped the prices.
Apple, in an emailed invitation, would only reveal that it has scheduled the media event for Wednesday in San Francisco.
According to Goldman Sachs analyst David Bailey -- and several Apple fan sites -- the new iPods would be the first to be based on a version of Apple's homegrown computer operating system. They will be about an inch shorter and will be capable of storing more digital media, according to Apple fan sites.
There is also speculation that the new media players will feature some elements, such as a touchscreen, that Apple first introduced in its iPhone.
Separately, Apple appears to be exploring new opportunities to more deeply integrate its products with the entertainment systems inside vehicles. Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs met recently with Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn, according to Hans-Gerd Bode, a spokesman for the German auto maker. German financial magazine Capital reported the two executives discussed a possible "iCar" project that would feature products by Apple, whose iPod music player already has some integration with car stereo systems.
Mr. Bode said "there's nothing going on in the direction of having cooperation" with Apple. An Apple spokeswoman declined comment.