As Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares crossed the $200 mark Wednesday for the first time ever, the rumor mill is cranking out plenty of grist for CEO Steve Jobs’s keynote at the Macworld convention in San Francisco, which runs January 14 through 18.
This morning’s batch includes a post on Seeking Alpha by one David Sieger offering what the author believes are “details of Apple’s mysterious new portable device,” which would presumably use touch-screen technology similar to the iPhone and iPod touch, albeit in a larger device that would be closer to a fully-fledged Mac. Sieger says Apple could introduce an “ultra-mobile PC,” something larger than the iPhone, but smaller than a tablet computer, that, like the iPhone, has no physical keyboard, just a screen, perhaps 5.2″ on the diagonal.
The ultra-mobile PC theme starts to metastasize over at Forbes.com in an article that picks up on a piece from Friday by AppleInsider, which asserts that Apple will extend its partnership with Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) next year to use the latter’s chips for a variety of mobile devices. Opines Forbes: Forbes: “[Intel CEO Paul] Otellini could show up in San Francisco to toss Jobs a chip intended for inclusion in a variety of Apple mobile devices, including tablets, ultra-mobile computers and advanced versions of the iPhone.”
And some sites including MacDailyNews are still circulating a Financial Times story from Sunday quoting the incoming chief executive Matthew Key of British cellular operator O2, which is selling the iPhone in England, who was on a trip through Silicon Valley last week to chat with Jobs. According to Key, iPhone owners are using wireless data more than the average O2 customer, sending and receiving 25 megabytes per month. FT quotes Key as saying “The big question for us is, ‘What does the future look like in terms of product roll-out?” meaning, when will a third-generation cellular version of the iPhone with higher bandwidth be available. The story quotes Key as saying that O2 will have sold 200,000 iPhones in the UK from the November introduction of the device till early January; a market research firm, Gartner, is quoted as saying sales could actually be twice as high.