Analysts Weigh In Ahead of Apple Media Event

With Apple's media event only a week away, research analysts are lining to offer up their predictions of what the company will introduce at the event and over the next few months. 9 to 5 Mac offers a summary of several of the reports hitting the news wires today.

The report points to analyst Ashok Kumar of Northeast Securities, who claims that Apple is preparing to launch its tablet at a price point of $600-$800 with shipment expectations of one million units by March and 400,000-500,000 units per month thereafter. Also rumored is the ability to dock with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, as well as cellular data access, likely through Verizon.

Among the most provocative of predictions comes from Richard Doherty of Envisioneering Group, who takes a longer-term view and sees four products in Apple's pipeline: two different tablet models in the 7-to-9 inch range, a gaming-focused "iPod touch on steroids" with a screen of approximately 5 inches, and a touchscreen iMac as has been recently rumored.

When it comes to the tablet, most sources are continuing to point to an ARM-based chip design from Apple's in-house P.A. Semi team, with Samsung reportedly manufacturing the chip. In particular's ARM's multi-core Cortex A9 is seen as a likely engine for many of Apple's forthcoming devices.

Another report from Shaw Wu of Kaufmann Bros. suggests that the ship date for Apple tablet may slip to June as the company works to address "minor issues" with battery life and durability. Many reports have pointing to a March or April shipping date for the device.

Meanwhile, on the iPhone front, Peter Misek of Canaccord Adams predicts that Apple will announce both iPhone OS 4.0 and that the iPhone will be coming to Verizon in mid-2010. Misek also predicts that an LTE "4G"-capable iPhone will likely not be available until a mid-2011 revision as carriers begin to build out their infrastructure, and that tiered pricing for data plans are likely in the near future.

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