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If It's Not iPhones, What's Apple's Extra Air Freight For?

While reporting its most profitable quarter ever yesterday, Apple's execs let slip a few nuggets of information about past and future products. The most intriguing is related to upcoming extra freight flights...but for what?

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Speaking at the earnings call in answer to an analyst question, Apple's COO Tim Cook let slip a slightly unexpected fact about an upcoming "abnormal" boost in air freight bookings. Such a boost is usually expected in the run up to the holiday season, as companies try to get their ducks in line in time for the sales rush, but Cook acknowledged "this increase is larger than usual. I'm sorry I can't be specific on the product but it's an abnormal sequential increase." As if that wasn't intriguing enough, he also added "the air freight is not related to the iPhone."

Hmmm. What on earth could this be for? It's definitely something new, especially when you reflect on Jobs' language in the release accompanying the official statistics: "a very strong lineup for the holiday season and some really great new products in the pipeline for 2010." It's not the iPhone. It's also not a new iPod—among yesterday's upbeat stats that's the product that underperformed—sales slipped 8% compared to last year's figure, despite the introduction of the new camera-toting iPod Nano. It's not likely to be a barrage of new iMacs or MacBooks, since even though these machines are selling better than ever before, the start of the academic year is over and everyone's bought their updated computer already. The hotly-rumored slenderized iMac redesign is likely to push a significant number of new units over the next several months if it surfaces today, but surely not enough to cause an "abnormal" air freight expense.

So that leaves...The new multitouch wireless Magic Mouse (a long-awaited Mighty Mouse replacement)? Nope. The strange desktop multitouch trackpad peripheral John Gruber teased us about yesterday? Nope.

Dare we let ourselves think about beginning to speculate on the merest possibility that this is the fabled iTablet?

[Apple via 9to5Mac]

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