Microsoft is unleashing Zune on an awaiting public November 14th. While chunkier and uglier than the iPod, it has a bigger screen and WiFi to allow music/picture/video transfers between Zunes. Thus far, critical reviews are mixed. I've read some articles saying it's another botched attempt of yet another company to dethrone the iPod. I've also heard rumblings that the social aspect of the WiFi and the fact that the iPod has remained relatively stagnant for the past year (with the exception of the Shuffle, which isn't out yet) could signal the beginning of its demise.
Regardless, the media attention and buzz about the Zune is considerable and rumblings about Apple indicate they won't get their 6G iPod out until Macworld in January, missing the critical Christmas shopping season.
Or will they?
I may be dreaming (and, in fact, probably am), but I think Apple's smarter and more capable than that. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple holds a "special event" on, say, November 13th, the day before Zune is released.
The event would, of course, announce the 6G iPod which would take all the wind out of Microsoft's sails the day before they launch a product they're already going to lose money on thanks to Apple cutting the price of the iPod by fifty bucks. Not only would that be a smart move strategically, its the cocky, egotistical kind of thing Apple would do (which I absolutely love them for).
It would also be an opportunity for them to give another plug for their movie downloads as well as upgrade their laptops which, rumor has it, they'll do before Christmas. OK, Apple. Do it!