Despite a previous report that suggested Apple was preparing to host a television-related event in March being shot down within hours, an analyst has said that it is still likely that Apple will host a product launch event before the end of April.
Last week, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said that his "channel checks" had found that Apple is planning to hold a developer event next month to launch an Apple-TV related new feature. The rumour was almost immediately quashed by The Loop's Jim Dalrymple, who refuted Misek's claim with a simple "Nope."
But Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster has said that he still expects Apple to hold a product launch event in March or April.
"We believe that looking at the history of time between Apple product launch events suggests that the company will introduce something new in March or April," the analyst told clients on Friday. "Over the past two years, the Spring event has been iPad updates." SEE: New iPad 5 release date, rumours and leaked images
Apple released its fourth-generation iPad in October, with minor updates including the introduction of the Lightning connector to the full-size iPad and performance boosts. Therefore, Munster expects that the upcoming event could see a major update for the full-size iPad that will bring design aspects of the iPad mini to the larger model.
"We believe Apple could update the full-sized iPad to a body style similar to the iPad mini," said Munster. "Additionally, we believe that the iPad mini could get a Retina display, although that may happen later in the year given the supply constraints Apple faced on the iPad mini in the December quarter."
In order to determine a forecast for the next Apple event, Munster examined Apple's launch event history. He notes that Apple has held 11 major product launch events since the launch of the iPhone 3GS in June 2009.
"The average time between the events has been 123 days, about four months," said Munster. "The longest amount of time between events since the 3GS launch in 2009 was 216 days (about seven months), which was the gap between the iPad 2 launch in March 2011 and the iPhone 4S launch in October 2011."
Apple's last event was held on 23 October 2012, when the iPad mini and iPad 4 were launched. If Apple were to hold the next event according to its average, it would occur in February, and if there is a seven month break, the event would be held in May.
"We believe the most likely scenario is an event between the two, i.e, March or April," Munster wrote.
As for the Apple TV, Munster expects that Apple will update its set-top box with better software and an App Store ahead of a television set launch.
"We would expect to see an Apple TV update in the next six months if Apple plans to launch a television by the end of the year, which we still expect. We believe the update Apple TV software could 'prime the pump' for the ultimate television," he said.
[Via Apple Insider]