Apple ( AAPL) is taking sides in the hotly contested high-definition video format war by snubbing HD-DVD in favor of Sony's ( SNE) Blu-ray, according to one analyst. "Our sources indicate that Apple will outline its high-definition video strategy with the support of Blu-ray as opposed to HD-DVD," American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu wrote in a preview of the upcoming MacWorld conference Jan. 15. Wu calls the move a big win for Sony's video business and notes that Disney ( DIS) supports Blu-ray, while Microsoft ( MSFT) is firmly camped in Toshiba's competing HD-DVD format. But it's likely that Apple will want to avoid the format battle and at some point use a combination Blu-ray/HD-DVD drive in future computers, wrote Wu.
Jay-Z Hooking Up With Apple?
Apple also is expected to unveil new laptops at the big show. The company is said to have been working on a sleek subnotebook potentially named MacBook Slim, which will probably have flash memory instead of a standard hard drive to reduce size and power consumption. At some point soon, Apple also will introduce a revamped notebook lineup, specifically a metal-clad revision to the current MacBook line. Earlier this week, gadget blogger BoyGenius reported that rap executive Jay-Z, who recently left the Def Jam label, will team with Apple to attract artists to iTunes' direct distribution model. Apple shares were up 57 cents to $195.41 Thursday.