Apple Teases Us in Earnings Call

Is Apple planning to draw a card from its deck of rumored products today? Maybe, if you believe certain bloggers. But it's really anybody's guess as to what we'll see from Cupertino.

In an earnings call to analysts on Monday, Apple hinted of an unspecified product that would drive up its freight costs in the upcoming quarter. Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, said the air freight costs are "not related to the iPhone" and come from moving products into retail for the holiday season.

Then, Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer added to the mystery, saying that freight costs usually go up this quarter, but "this increase is larger than usual. I'm sorry I can't be specific on the product but it's an abnormal sequential increase."

I like when companies throw out little teases like this in their earnings calls, because they lend credence to the rumor mill. But Apple's rumors are so plentiful, there's still no telling what the company is going to do.

That leads us to an amusing battle of the geeks, between Dan "Fake Steve Jobs" Lyons and Daring Fireball's John Gruber. Lyons, writing as Fake Steve, says big news is coming today, and "Gruber doesn't know about it." This prompted Gruber to say that he is indeed aware of possible redesigned plastic MacBooks, new iMacs, updated Mac Minis, a multi-touch mouse and a multi-touch trackpad gadget.

Oh, and Gruber doesn't even mention the tablet or an iPod Touch with camera.

The trade-off between Gruber and Lyons might not even be related to the earnings call riddle. Apple could release something today, but could still need the extra freight to ship an even bigger product that's on the way tomorrow, or the day after, or a month later It's all a big mystery, and we're suckers for it.

[Earnings transcript via Seeking Alpha]

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