What Does Apple Have in Store for the Holiday Season?

We always see (almost entirely incorrect) 'outlines' of keynotes in the runup to any Apple event, now we're getting them before the runup starts. It's a pretty safe be that Apple will be doing something in late September or October, they always try to have new iPod announcements before the holiday season. So go grab your salt shaker, pour out a few grains (actually, you might want to use them all), and take a gander at what Anonymous has told to expect in a "late September event," after the break.

Our take on the list you're about to read: real iPhone file access would be a godsend and it's a natural next step for the platform. iTunes Unlimited Music Subscriptions have been oft-rumored but given how strident Jobs has been about people wanting to own music instead of subscribe to it, we're still doubters. Then again, he did say the same thing about mobile video right before the iPod got video support. Basically, there's nothing there that we really think is a lock.

Here's a better question: what do you think Apple has in store for us this coming holiday season?

The outline from Anonymous:

New iPhone / Mobile Me Enhancements

  • Enable disk use on the iPhone
  • When enabled for disk use, iDisk folder accessible on the iPhone
  • iDisk app on the iPhone
  • Viewable formats can be opened, other formats grayed out
  • Button to sync with MobileMe
  • Photo syncing support via MobileMe
  • October launch

iTunes Unlimited Music Subscription

  • iTunes Unlimited
  • 256 Kbps music; highest quality digital music subscription service ever
  • 50% of U.S. store available for iTunes Unlimited at launch, U.S.-only launch
  • Available through iTunes or retail box a la MobileMe, funds applied through iTunes gift cards cannot be used towards subscription purchase
  • $129.99 stand-alone or $179.99 with MobileMe, current MobileMe subscribers can add iTunes Unlimited for $99.99
  • One-year subscription period
  • Current a la carte options unchanged
  • When signed in to subscription account, “Buy” is “Get”
  • “Download and Play throughout iTunes Unlimited Subscription” or “Buy and Keep”
  • “Buy and Keep” option available for downloaded subscription songs, purchased version replaces subscription version
  • Late October launch with iTunes 7.8

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Dieter Bohn

Dieter Bohn is former editor-in-chief of Smartphone Experts, writing across iMore, Windows Phone Central, Android Central, and more. You can find him on Twitter (and everywhere else) @backlon.

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Reader comments

What Does Apple Have in Store for the Holiday Season?


I don't see the subscription model unless there's also going to be a change in the price of the iPod in question. Other vendors like Nokia are OK with giving the labels a cut on the sale of a handset. No doubt that they'll ask for the same thing from Apple if they go subscription.
Apple could certainly do that with the iPods but the iPhone would be problematic. They've already come out with a huge marketing blitz stating that the phone is $199. To cover the subscription they'd either have to raise prices or cut costs. The latter is the most likely scenario since this generally happens anyway 6-9 months after a product launch.
Maybe a better alternative is the 'Subscription Store' which is voluntary, allow users to keep and add to the music they own (from CD conversions to iTunes downloads), and let's people download what they want, when they want. Maybe they could also trow AT&T a bone so that they can do this OTA rather than just via WiFi. A store format could look familiar to the experience they get from the iTunes Music Store but be tailored to a better subscription experience with categories like currently subscribed to, previously subscribed to, ready for download, ready for removal from device, etc. Or I could be way out there and totally wrong.

They should stop putting new things out until they have fixed everything they have messed up within the past few months.... That's my opinion.

I just returned my Zune to Costco (bought it before they changed their "free returns forever" policy and was grandfathered in). My intent was to buy a new Zune 80 with the cash (newer model than my 30 GB which was having a minor problem and really didn't need to be returned.) HOWEVER,!!!! I will get an iPod if Apple decides to have an unlimited plan. BUT they would need to match Microsoft's policy that up to three players can listen to unlimited music for the cost of the subscription.
I will put off buying another Zune until I hear more (September???) However, there is no way that my 8GB iPhone is going to hold all the music I want so I will be carrying two separate devices (and regretting not getting a 16GB phone).

New iPods with free gift cards would be nice, as a promo at least. Custom Patterned ipods + new features is more likely than any changes to iphone/touch software in Oct.
As for itunes unlimited, $130 for a year sub? @256k? seriously no; bulk discounts yeah. None of this confusing "Buy is Get" nonsense.

bollocks. that would send somebody broke, all the music you want for 120 bucks. wouldnt mind idisk on my iphone, but atm copy and paste / mobileme photo syncing is the most important thing (other than stability) for iphone.
Turn by turn would be nice but i really doubt it.
and im not sure about this october stuff...isnt there that ipod show in sep.?

I hope, Apple will offer a tablet Mac. There is a market for it - and the Macbook Air points in the right direction: A 15"-Touch-Screen-Tablett-Mac !

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