Clues Hint Toward These Apple Product Refreshes

macbook pro retinaAs the anticipation builds for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) upcoming media event, some industry watchers have examined the product inventory levels at various Apple retailers and resellers for clues about what the Cupertino-based company may have up its sleeve. Apple Insider recently provided a summary of inventory levels on several key products from Apple’s indirect channels.

As noted by Apple Insider, the indirect channel data only covers inventory levels for Apple retailers and resellers and not the stock levels for the Apple Stores or Online Apple Store. However, a reduction in product stock for resellers typically indicates a hardware production cutback from Apple, which in turn can be a sign that the company is preparing to launch a new iteration of a product.

According to Apple Insider, there is no indirect channel inventory for the 13-inch and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros. This is a strong indication that Apple will refresh its MacBook Pro product line at Tuesday’s event. This is also in line with predictions made by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who believes that Apple will unveil a MacBook Pro powered by Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) latest Haswell processor at Tuesday’s event.

Low inventory levels for the fourth-generation iPad also suggest that Apple is planning to refresh its 9.7-inch tablet device. On the other hand, the indirect channel inventory check revealed surprisingly high inventory levels for the 16GB and 32GB Wi-Fi versions of Apple’s iPad mini.

However, the unusually high iPad mini inventory level doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple won’t be unveiling a refreshed device at its upcoming media event. Apple Insider noted that Apple may have simply shifted its entire remaining iPad mini stock from its own channel in order to make room for the iPad mini 2. Apple Insider also speculated that this may be a sign that Apple will retain some non-Retina iPad mini models as a lower-cost option to the upcoming Retina model.

Finally, the radically-redesigned Mac Pro will also likely make an appearance at Tuesday’s event, since the inventory data revealed that the current Mac Pro is completely out of stock. This also aligns with the teaser trailer that Apple has been showing in movie theaters that concludes with a “Fall 2013” tag line.

Here’s how Apple closed out the trading week on Friday.


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