C|Net Posts Macworld Predictions For Tablet Or iPod 2

CNET News.comis Joe Wilcox reports that Apple may be ready to introduce a new digital hub device tomorrow at MACWORLD in San Francisco. According to Mr. Wilcox, the device will make Appleis digital hub more appealing than Microsoftis recent attempts with Windows XP Media Center Edition. From the article:

What the product does exactly, however, remains shrouded in mystery. Some sources and analysts believe that it will be similar to the tablet computers released by Acer and others late last year. These are full-fledged portable computers complete with handwriting recognition and handwriting input.

Others, however, say it will be a device geared toward playing or capturing video. By incorporating both 802.11g and Bluetooth wireless capabilities, the device could connect to both upcoming Apple PCs (Apple has said it will support the 802.11g wireless networking standard) and the latest digital cameras and video recorders. A standard TV jack would allow the device to be hooked up to TVs as well and function as a DVR or as a bridge to let the TV act like a DVR.

Mr. Wilcox continues by examining an alternative to a tablet announcement: a new iPod.

But some analysts donit believe the new product will be a tablet, but a successor to Appleis iPod music player. The new device would have video capabilities and possibly a touch screen and wireless capabilities. As such, the device would be similar to the portable video player unfurled by Intel last year. Sonicblue is currently marketing the Intel-designed device.

"I think any rumors about a tablet computer are a smokescreen for iPod II," said Richard Doherty, president of research firm Envisioneering Group.

He concludes with the prediction that there will be no updates to Appleis existing line of computers, but rather paid updates to iMovie, iDVD, and iPhoto. More information on Mr. Wilcoxis predictions and quotes from analysts can be found in the full News.com article.