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New Video iPod on Apple's 30th Anniversary (April 1)?

MacObserver points to a PortalPlayer analyst report issued by Craig Berger and James Schneider of Wedbush Morgan.

The report predicts a decline in shipments in the 2nd Quarter for PortalPlayer -- producer of key components in the Apple iPod. However, looking forward, the analysts describe a sharp ramp up in demand based on "independent confirmation from a reliable industry source" that Apple is likely to launch the rumored Video iPod "as early as its 30th anniversary on April 1".

The upcoming device is described as sporting a larger size LCD, bigger battery, higher storage and a $400-$500 price point. The new iPod would represent a higher end video targeted unit, while Apple is expected to retain the current 5G iPod for customers interested primarily in music playback.

Rumors of a "true" video iPod have been circulating for months. Previous analysts expected an "actual" video iPod in the first half of 2006 alongside major content deals. These rumors were further corroborated in February with word that a new iPod with a touch-screen instead of the current click wheel. The most recent rumors describe a 4 inch screen touchscreen iPod to be launched alongside an iTunes Movie service.

Rumors of a touchscreen iPod has spawned many mockups and images claiming to be the rumored Video iPod. None of the images are believed to be real at this time.

Of note, April 1, 2006 falls on a Saturday -- which would be an unusual day for Apple to release a product.