It's that time again:  Your MWSF 2008 predictions?

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    Posted: 08 January 2008 06:04 PM

    What better way to kick off the new year than MWSF speculation?

    Me, I’d like a refreshed iPhone with some speaker tweaks, 16GB of flash memory, and maybe a little better battery life.  I’ve been able to get in some good “testing time” with other iPhones, and those are the only significant complaints I have.  You know what, a semi-ubiquitous nationwide rollout of 3G wireless might take well into 2010, and EDGE is good enough with a decent signal.  And my $0 “dumb phone” from a few years back looks dumber and dumber by the day.  I’d take an iPhone mini too, but I doubt you can get much smaller, at least for the time being.

    As for networking, I’d be first in line for a 802.11n Airport Express.  It’s way overdue.

    Big surprises and bold new devices?  I really can’t think of any.  I’m sure a micro flash-HD notebook would sell a couple hundred thousand or so per quarter.

    Your thoughts?

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    Posted: 08 January 2008 06:31 PM #1

    Well, it sure won’t be Mac Pros and Xserves! :D

    I predict the emphasis will be on a revamped aTV/media Mac, with studio or two on board for content, including video downloads and rentals.

    Midrange towers? The slot is open, but with the rumor mill dead silent, I just don’t sense it getting filled. I hope I’m wrong.

    iPhone success will be prominent in the keynote, but I don’t know if we will see new hardware before summer. Of course, Apple has surprised us before.

    Roz Ho will come out to talk Office.

    Flash-memory mini notebook? That, IMHO, has a high probability. With flash storage now in the 64 Gb range, it’s just a question of time until computers lose a moving part or two.

    Tablet? Feh. I’ll believe it when I see it, and when I see it, it will be unbelievable.

    iPod prices are falling like a rock over at Amazon, but it’s so soon after the fall refresh that it’s hard to imagine anything new on that front.

    Based on past Macworlds, I predict that my predictions are just about worthless. :bugeyed:

         
  • Posted: 08 January 2008 07:17 PM #2

    I would have guessed new Mac Pros until this morning, as they were getting pretty old.

    I don’t put too much stock in the rumor mill, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new small laptop. I have always thought it was a mistake the eliminate the 12” PowerBook since it had a smaller form factor but still had a “real” video card and was positioned as a pro machine. That had a lot of appeal to me. Its absense may have only been temporary as they awaited the right processors and other equipment necessary to make a worthy successor. Small is in today, but Apple has nothing small in the laptop arena. We’ll see, though.

    I’m also doubting the possibility of new iPods since they were all revised so recently.

    I could go either way on an updated iPhone. I wouldn’t count on major changes to it physically. But I could see an increase in storage to 16GB to match the high-end iPod touch. Maybe a preview of what can be done with the upcoming iPhone SDK. And maybe even a firmware update that offers some new features or other improvements.

    Anyone’s guess is as good as mine for the rest of the lineup. iMacs, MacBooks and MacBook Pros have all seen some time pass since their last revision but none of them are painfully aged either.

    If they are to continue the Mac mini it would be nice to see it updated to use the Santa Rosa chipset like everything else has now.

    Finally, I feel like the Apple TV is missing something. I don’t know what, but it just isn’t a compelling product considering the Mac mini is just a couple hundred dollars more but does all the same things and is a full-fledged computer.

         
  • Posted: 09 January 2008 06:34 AM #3

    jpashin, I hope you’re right about mid-range towers as well. The release yesterday of the 8-Core MacPros, pulled the price farther away from the iMacs. I hope Apple has something in mind to fill the gap between the locked-together iMac and the super-expandable MacPro. It goes against their simplicity of product line approach though so I’m not holding my breath.

    Predictions? I think a storage increase for next-gen iPhones is a no-brainer. Maybe a significant upgrade to Aperture? I think a revamped mini is in the offing as well. Oh and one more thing… FLYING CARS! Steve’ll make it happen.

    P.S. oh and for god’s sake an Apple branded solution (iSight anyone?) to make iChat AV useable on a MacPro! C’mon Apple! It works out of the box on every machine but your most expensive?

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  • Posted: 09 January 2008 06:49 AM #4

    -Movie rentals with Hollywood bigwigs on stage. Apple TV tie in.

    -Micro Mac portable.

    -update on Apple selling a bajillion ipods last quarter.

    -something about the iPhone development kit.

    -update on how well Leopard is doing.

    -My favorite for “just one more thing”: Steve Ballmer whipped nude across the stage.  smile

         
  • Posted: 09 January 2008 06:53 AM #5

    [quote author=“Bookman”]

    -My favorite for “just one more thing”: Steve Ballmer whipped nude across the stage.  smile

    My eyes!  My eyes!  My eyes!

         
  • Posted: 09 January 2008 07:16 AM #6

    MW predictions

    -update on iphone sales “we kicked butt, nya, nya!”
    -update on iPod sales “we kicked butt, nya, nya!”
    -update on Leopard “we kicked bu… doing fine thanks!”
    -iPhone SDK “its so easy and here are a few apps available today!”
    -AppleTV “Here’s why we made this thing!  Movie rentals and more studios! HD functionality unlocked! NBC can kiss my…”
    -Macbook Pro “LED backlights across the board!”
    -Macbook “Now with two sizes to choose from: regular or ultra-slim!  It’s like having the wireless keyboard with a screen on top!”
    One more thing…
    Mac mini-“faster, leaner, meaner! With a PCI card slot for expandability!”

    Thanks for coming!

         
  • Posted: 09 January 2008 07:17 AM #7

    Some recent predictions seem to de-bunked now

    In December 2007 some economic/business news site was expecting new Mac Pro tower enclosure designs at MacWorld or sometime this quarter. I guess the Mac Pro refresh makes that unlikely. I wanted to see a new fresh enclosure design for the towers.

    Maybe Apple will release a tower/cpu that fills the price point space between the Mac Pro and the Mac Mini.

    Maybe the iMac will go to four processing cores.

    Rob

         
  • Posted: 09 January 2008 07:44 AM #8

    I’m hoping for a MacBook touch

    Imagine a iPod touch enlarged to 7 by 10 (the size of a book) but not much thicker. Such a device would be the perfect e-book reader. Keep all the iPod touch features and capability and add support for a wireless keyboard for serious typing and you have a thin MacBook that can be carried and read like a book or set up on a desk like a laptop. By simply enlarging the screen of the iPod touch to book size, Apple will have a dominant e-book reader that can do for reading what the original iPod did for listening. I’ve enlarged on the business case for this type of device at:   

         
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    Posted: 09 January 2008 08:06 AM #9

    It’s amazing to me that Apple doesn’t necessarily bother with using Macworld to announce new/upgraded computers anymore. They’re pushing harder into consumer electronics & entertainment/media harder than they ever have, so it’s a real grab bag this year: Take whatever rumors you’ve heard, throw a dart at the board and make your own guess.

    For my two cents:

    1. A recap of last year’s phenomenal successes. IPhone sales, record breaking adoption of Leopard, continued iTunes/iPod market domination, and market share gains fort the Mac.

    2. ITunes movie rentals & a number of studio partners, and (logically) an Apple TV 2.0 tie-in. Blockbuster & Netflix’ market value dropped several points when rumors of iTunes rentals surfaced; if Apple TV would include DVR capability it could very likely destroy TiVo.

    3. Developer’s kit for iPhone apps.

    4. All-new ultra slim subnotebook. No CD drive, flash memory storage, no more than 1/2” thick. May possibly include a larger “multi-touch” track pad, or even eliminate the keyboard altogether.

         
  • Posted: 09 January 2008 09:17 AM #10

    No mini-tower

    Folks, give up on the mini-tower.  It simply isn’t going to happen.

    The age of the user-serviced desktop computer is over.  That said, the Mac Pros are designed for a few specific groups of users.  One group is content creationists; video production, web production, pre-press printing and publishing, etc.  Another is people who do computationally intensive work such as protein sequence modeling, statistical analysis and prediction, neurophysiology data analysis and modeling, etc.

    Even for these people, how many are really going to ever do anything more than pop in an extra drive, or a video card, or a couple sticks of memory?  Aren’t the people in these kinds of situations just going to have their IT people deal with it?  The users of these kinds of systems don’t really pop them open and get into them anymore, unless you’re self employed, or work somewhere with no dedicated IT staff.  Besides, Mac Pros no longer have upgradable processors, so that once glorious market is now dead.  When was the last time PowerLogix or some other company made a processor upgrade for a Mac Pro?  To my knowledge, never. 

    We are moving more and more to a system where portability is the mode of existence; media devices, phones, laptops, etc.  These things are slowly and steadily converging more and more.  For media devices that aren’t portable, the products we see for this type of use will be the same type of thing; a pre-made box that isn’t user serviceable, and when the user has outgrown it, it gets replaced and recycled, not upgraded with a new video card or processor.

    Get over it people, the age of the “mini-tower” is dead, and for those who need the raw horsepower, the full size tower is now becoming a niche item.

         
  • Posted: 09 January 2008 09:28 AM #11

    Forgot to mention…

    I’ll be happy if all they have this year is updated Mac Book Pros.  I have a 12” PB that I got for my doctorate graduation present, and I’ve outgrown it.  I need more processor speed, memory, and screen space.  So even if they do come out with a mini notebook, I’ll be ordering a 15” MBP on the 16th. )

         
  • Posted: 09 January 2008 09:31 AM #12

    Well it would be nice to see a good refreshed Cinema display!!! It’s been over 3 years now and it’s time for an update!!!! Oh I predict a glass display with “touch” function (A la iPhone/Touch) that will be supported with OS X 10.6. A built in iSight just like the iMac. That’s about it for now.

         
  • Posted: 09 January 2008 10:02 AM #13

    Apple has all the ingredients for simple storage solution - Time Machine, Airport express/extreme with USB hub, Xserve experience, Mac Mini, Apple TV.
    I am expecting all these pieces to be tied together into a typically Apple solution.

    iMac speedbump to new Santa Rosa chipset. Perhaps tied in with the ultralight MacBook sliding into the iMac concept…. cool idea.

    Also looking for an Aperture upgrade. Mail can’t send pics to A, just iPhoto. Links to A from other programs inconsistent, some do, some don’t. Aperture needs to step it up a notch.

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    Dave Sq.

         
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    Posted: 09 January 2008 10:54 AM #14

    Subnotebook is likely to be debuted.  I hope so just to shut all the people up who just go on and on about it.  I’d like to see an 802.11n Airport Express.  I’m also ready for iPod HiFi 2.0 with video and USB connectivity. A Santa Rosa Mini would be great and to go with it new HD cinema displays with LED backlighting and built in iSight.

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  • Posted: 09 January 2008 01:11 PM #15

    I’m hoping that when we think the Jobsnote is done and dusted and there seems to be no more to offer, that he pop’s up and utters “...but were not done yet”

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    Sam.