September 12 will be the launch date for the iPhone 5, according to Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, with a retail rollout later in September. iPhone loyalists have been waiting eagerly for the next iteration of Apple’s iconic device, which is widely expected to include LTE connectivity. Sales of the popular smartphone came in below analysts’ expectations last quarter, as many potential customers delayed purchases in anticipation of the new model.
Other Apple (AAPL) products expected this year include a smaller iPad and a new Apple TV. The current Apple TV is a $99 box that streams content to users’ TV sets, but analysts expect the company to launch its own TV set sometime this year. Today, Apple quietly added Hulu Plus to Apple TV, meaning that those who own the set-top box now see an icon for the online pay-TV service on their home screens. They can’t watch the Olympics on Hulu Plus, but they can stream hundreds of shows from broadcast and cable networks. Apple TV already offers Netflix, Youtube, live business news, and professional baseball, basketball and hockey. Users can pay for Netflix and Hulu Plus using iTunes. Hulu is a partnership formed by Disney, Comcast and News Corp.
Reports that Apple is working on its own iTV set have circulated ever since the publication of Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, which said that Jobs wanted to create an Apple TV. Earlier this year China Daily reported that Asian manufacturer Foxconn is developing an iTV that will include FaceTime video calling and Siri, the voice-activated search engine.
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