Silicon Alley Insider has a post today quoting Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster on Apple (AAPL):
- No new iPhone unveiled at WWDC (but iPhones [plural] to be unveiled soon thereafter)
- No surprise Steve appearance at WWDC
- Multiple iPhone models (high end and a lower cost model)
- Official iPhone in China as soon as the end of summer ’09
- Steve Jobs may return to Apple in a Chairman’s role with Tim Cook as CEO
iPhonAsia comment: Most Apple watchers are expecting a new iPhone unveiling at the June 8 WWDC Keynote. Munster may raise a few eyebrows with his prediction that Apple will hold off on the new iPhone(s) “show and tell” for a few more weeks. But this should not be too much of a surprise as Apple has made it clear that they are moving away from important product unveilings at major conferences (e.g. MacWorld & WWDC) in favor of more focused “special events.” These events are more secure (no rehearsal peek-a-boos from outsiders and media) and choreographed and can be held at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters or at the Mascone Conference Center.
Gene Munster quotes from today’s Piper Jaffray research note:
WWDC Keynote Will Be Delivered By Phil Schiller; Jobs Likely Absent. Earlier today (5/13) Apple announced that Phil Schiller, not Steve Jobs, will deliver the keynote for the WWDC event on 6/8. This is consistent with our expectations as well as Apple’s indications that Steve Jobs is still planning on returning to the company “at the end of June” (emphasis added). In order for Jobs to deliver the keynote on 6/8, he would likely begin preparations well before his intended return date.
What We Expect To See (And Not See) At WWDC; No New iPhones. As indicated in today’s press release, we believe Apple will focus on the new version of Mac OS X, Snow Leopard at WWDC. While some investors may be expecting Apple to launch redesigned iPhones at WWDC, we do not anticipate the launch in early June. Rather, we expect Apple to host a special event in late June or early July to launch a family of iPhones.
We continue to expect multiple models, possibly a high-end iPhone with improved specs from the current version and a low-end version with lower capacity and fewer features along with a reduced pricing plan. Such a model could also be used in Apple’s launch of the iPhone into China as soon as the end of summer ’09.
Our Take On Steve Jobs’ Return To Apple. Apple continues to expect the return of Steve Jobs by the end of June (likely implying after WWDC). Until then, it appears that day-to-day operations at Apple are running smoothly. We believe Jobs may return to Apple with a reduced role, possibly as chairman, with COO Tim Cook assuming the CEO position. Regardless, we think the transition of leadership during and after Jobs’ leave of absence will not negatively impact Apple’s business.