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8/31/2010
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Apple TV, iPod Updates On Tap

Apple is set to take the wraps of the newest entries in its lineup of consumer-friendly tech gadgets.

Apple will hold a press conference Wednesday, at which it's expected to show off the latest additions to its iPod franchise and possibly introduce a revamped version of its television settop box.

The event is set for September 1 at the Yerba Buena Center for The Arts, in San Francisco. It's the same venue Apple used to introduce the iPad earlier this year. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is expected to take the stage.

Though Apple is mum on details about the new products, analysts believe the new iPod touch will feature dual cameras—one rear facing and one that's forward facing. A front-facing camera would allow users to use Apple's FaceTime video conferencing app on the iPod touch.

The new device also could include more flash storage capacity. The most available currently for iPod touch is 64GB, on the model that sells for $399.

As for iPod nano, numerous reports indicate Apple is planning to scale down the device to about the size of the current iPod shuffle, while adding touch-screen capabilities akin to iPod touch.

Some Asian suppliers have reportedly already begun offering accessories that meet the new, smaller specifications.

Although the iPod dominates the MP3 music player market, sales have tapered off of late. Unit sales slid 7.7% year-over-year, to 9.41 million, in the second quarter, according to Apple. The company is hoping the introduction of a new model will reinvigorate the franchise, which has taken a backseat lately to popular products like the iPad and iPhone 4.

Some analysts also speculate that Apple will also introduce a beefed up television console.

The company is rumored to be in talks with major networks with an eye to offering TV episode rentals through a service that could be called iTV. Apple's current settop service, Apple TV, has largely failed to catch on with consumers.

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