RealTime IT News

It's Apple's Call at Macworld

In the Star Trek shows, the spaceship's shields always seem to be under attack and buckling, but they never break. The same might be said of Apple CEO Steve Jobs' famous reality distortion field.

With the Macworld Expo gearing up, traditionally the scene of major Apple product roll outs, Jobs finds himself part of the buzz this time, thanks to the options backdating scandal that's bedeviled Apple and hundreds of tech firms. So far, he's holding up under the heat shields.

After a recent internal company investigation acknowledged Jobs was aware of favorable, back-dated grants to executives, the Apple board gave Jobs its support and a pass as to any wrongdoing.

The Securities & Exchange Commission, which is still investigating Apple, might not be as forgiving, but so far Apple hasn't been hit with any of the sanctions and fines imposed on other companies. Apple's stock is up and the company is gearing up for its Macworld Expo product intro and previews. There are plenty of rumors as to what Apple will be up to next week at Macworld, but the company, par for the course, is saying nothing in advance.

The latest rumor, generated by analyst Steve Arnold, is that Jobs will announce some kind of deal with Google, whose CEO Eric Schmidt sits on Apple's board.

Arnold, who heads Arnold-IT based in Kentucky, said he doesn't have any inside knowledge of an Apple/Google alliance, he's just connecting the dots.

He notes Google now owns YouTube and has the expertise and technology resources to move huge amounts of video files, a good match for Apple's ambitions with iTunes for both music and video delivery.

"Google is architected as a server company best suited for global delivery of bits anywhere in the world," said Arnold. "It could be one helluva combination; a new type of global, multimedia content network, worth hundreds of billions of dollars," Arnold told internetnews.com. He also notes Job's role as an executive and major stockholder at Disney could play a role in any Apple/Google alliance.

The hottest and most consistent rumor is that Apple will introduce its first cell phone, a significant move for the pioneering personal computer company.

But What Would They Call It?