Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) bulls can hardly contain themselves. The tech giant’s new product event is slated for tomorrow at 1:00 pm eastern time, and members of the tech press received this colorful invitation (pictured above). So what does it all mean, and how is Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) involved?
While its essentially a foregone that Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) will release the iPad Mini at its event, the blogosphere has heavily speculated that the company might also show us a 13-inch MacBook with Retina Display, and that it could release the newest iteration of its widely popular iTunes service, complete with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) integration.
Back in early October, we discussed the reasons why Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) shut down its social network, aptly titled Ping. While many armchair analysts deemed the hybrid social media/music network a failure, its original purpose was quite genius, and only failed because it did not have connectivity with social networking behemoths like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Within Ping’s [user-created] circles, users could create a fully integrated music sharing environment, where they and their friends could perform a number of tasks including: (1) listen to friends’ playlists or song previews if the tracks weren’t purchased, (2) discover music others are downloading, (3) customized song and album charts based on popularity amongst friends, (4) track and order concert tickets, and of course (5) it was available on iPhone and iPod Touch.
Aside from discovering that Google wasn’t the first tech company to coin the term “circles,” we can also see in Steve Jobs’s original Ping keynote speech that the iconoclast had a vision where social listening could increase the profitability of Apple’s iTunes service. Interestingly, the late Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO shed some light on why his company could not reach a deal with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) regarding Ping, claiming that Zuckerberg and Co. wouldn’t budge on onerous “terms that we [Apple] could not agree to.”
While it remains to be seen exactly what Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) will release tomorrow, it is highly likely that a new iteration of iTunes will include greater connectivity with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter, not just because of the iOS 6’s penchant for both platforms, but because the company no longer has Ping to drive connectivity within the service.
BONUS: For investors looking to make a speculative play, it is rumored that Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is looking to create a Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) rival, as the Wall Street Journal originally reported in September, and is in talks with major music labels to do so. While news surrounding this subject has been sparse – and that’s saying it lightly – it is at least within the realm of possibility that we’ll learn more about this tomorrow. Heck, we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that iTunes 11 was linked to this streaming music service in some way, but let’s leave the rest of the discussion until tomorrow.
Let us know in the comments section if you’re making a play on Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) or Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) due to tomorrow’s product release, or if you’re really brave, bearish on Pandora as a result. Either way, we have less than 24 hours until we learn what Apple’s cryptic “We’ve got a little more to show you” invitation really alludes to.