Apple (AAPL) is livestreaming its new product launch starting at 10 a.m. PST, sharing its latest news in real-time with its most loyal customers. The Apple livecast will be available to those who have Apple TV, Macintosh computers running OS X 10.6 or later, iPads running iOS 4.2 or above, or iPhones running iOS 6. And of course they’ll need to be using the Safari web browser.
Ustream also says it’s ready to livecast the event to those who do not have the right Apple hardware, but it’s unclear whether the site will actually be sharing live video of the event once it starts.
As usual, the Apple Store closed down this morning ahead of the product launch, widely expected to be the unveiling of a 7-inch iPad Mini. And the store is not the only thing that’s down; the Cupertino company’s stock price also fell ahead of the announcement, down more than 1% this morning along with the rest of the tech-heavy NASDAQ composite.
Apple stock peaked at $705 last month and is now trading around $625 so investors will probably be watching today’s news as closely as gadget hounds will. A smaller tablet does not necessarily have the home run potential of a new iPhone or even a new full-size iPad. None of other 7-inch tablets on the market (the Amazon Kindles, the Barnes and Noble Nook, and Google’s Nexus 7) have yet reached the 10 million mark in sales, according to research from Forrester. (Apple has already sold 84 million iPads.)
Some researchers think that even though smaller tablets have a smaller market share so far, Apple is worried. A new report from IHS iSuppli predicts that Apple will unveil a 7-inch tablet that will “turbocharge” the market and that Apple will dominate this space as it has the rest of the tablet market.
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