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The iPod and the "product transition"

Perhaps the most interesting and mysterious two words heard yesterday during Apple's big conference call were "product transition." The biggest surprise of the call was that Apple was setting its profit guidance much lower than expected, and the two big causes they gave for doing that were "higher commodity costs" (because they believe they got a good deal on iPhone components this quarter) and these mysterious "product transitions." So what's the deal there?

Almost unanimously, the analysts are predicting a product shakeup, specifically in the iPod family. Ars says multitouch is coming, Forbes suggests that Apple tipped its hand to upcoming product changes, and Apple Insider has Ben Reitzes, who was the first analyst to question the low guidance, suggesting that an iMac redesign or "ultra-portable" may be in the works.

But the majority of analysts say it's the iPod that Apple will focus on. The iPod has been waiting in the wings, watching the iPhone and OS X get all kinds of pretty updates, and call it what you want-- the halo effect or trickle down-- the iPod is ready for a refresh. ThinkSecret comes right out and says it: we'll see a 6G iPod as early as the first half of August.

Whatever this "product transition" might be, odds are we'll hear about it sooner than later. Apple's execs made it clear that by the time they did another call in October, everything would be made much clearer.

Perhaps the most interesting and mysterious two words heard yesterday during Apple's big conference call were "product transition." The...