Awaiting Apple’s “Fun New Products”

Apple Computer confirmed on Tuesday that it plans to introduce some “fun new products” next week, but declined to say more about what those products might be. In an e-mail sent to journalists, the company merely said the invited scribes should come to Apple’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters next Tuesday to learn more.

Come see some fun, new products from Apple,” the company said in its invitation. Unlike past invitations, which hinted at which product Apple was targeting, the current invitation includes just a picture of a calendar with only the date Feb. 28 on it.

Sam Bhavnani, an analyst at market researcher Current Analysis, said he thinks Apple may introduce a 17-inch MacBook Pro as well as a redesigned iBook with a 13-inch widescreen display.

The reason to expect an iBook announcement is so that Apple is able to have sufficient quantities shipping in time for back to school,” Bhavnani said in an e-mail interview. “The fact that Apple started shipping Intel products ahead of schedule means it is serious about winning ‘switchers,’ and key to getting Windows customers will be to have systems that cost significantly less than $2,000.

Bhavnani said that an ideal iBook would arrive in time for the education buying season, cost $999, and include Intel’s Core Duo chip.