SAN FRANCISCO – A new video-enabled iPod (search) is expected to be unveiled by Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) during a press conference next week — though the maverick company is masterful at foiling such predictions.
Apple e-mailed invitations that included the words "One more thing..." printed over a background photo that appears to depict theater curtains. The company, which has pocketed a fortune from the sales of its iPod digital music player, said nothing else in the e-mail, other than to say the press event would take place in San Jose on Oct. 12.
"From our checks with industry and channel sources, we believe Apple will release a first-generation video-capable iPod," American Technology Research said in a report Wednesday.
Bank of America analysts also are looking for Apple to launch a new video-playing iPod, saying it would help support iPod's prices and "cause investors and consumers to think about Apple's growing position in the digital home."
And the cottage industry of bloggers devoted to all things Apple seems convinced that a video iPod is on its way.
A spokesman for the company declined to comment.
A slew of companies are trying to entice the public to watch video on their mobile devices but so far adoption has been slow. Although Apple has introduced iPods that can show photos, CEO Steve Jobs (search) has often dismissed the idea of a video iPod, saying consumers would be reluctant to watch movies on the go.
But analysts say it would be vintage Jobs to slam a product just before releasing it.
"All the signs point to a video iPod," said Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies. "But you've got to remember, the thing with Apple is, our guesses are almost always wrong."
Apple shares fell 97 cents to close at $52.78 Wednesday on the Nasdaq Stock Market.