My Macworld Expo Keynote Predictions

| Ted Landau's User Friendly View

I am about to do something I generally criticize when I see others doing it: Make last minute predictions as to what Apple will announce at next week's Macworld Expo. Typically, my attitude is, why bother? Wait a few more days and we'll all know for sure. There's no need to speculate at this point.

So why am I making an exception this time?

Partly, it's that, between my post-holiday let-down and my pre-Expo preparations, I find myself with nothing else particularly relevant to write about. It also just seemed like a fun thing to do. Not much of an excuse, I admit. But there it is.

Finally, with Steve Jobs not giving the keynote and with rumor sites showing an atypical shortage of firm predictions, some last minute prognostications seemed more relevant than usual. I have no inside knowledge here. My predictions are based solely on what I have read at various Web sites plus my own intuition.

So I'm going a bit out on a limb here -- and hope that it doesn't get sawed off behind me.

Actually, I'm not too worried. If my predictions are dead-on accurate, I will tout my prophetic abilities and launch a successful Psychic Mac Readings Web blog. If I am mainly off-target, I will deny that I ever wrote this column. To help support my denial, I have put a hidden code in the text for this column (unbeknownst to my editors); it will cause all copies of the column, anywhere on the Web, to self-destruct on my command. Oh, and if you've saved a copy of this column offline, don't attempt to open it. Remember what happened to people's memories in Men in Black? 'Nugh said. So I am feeling pretty safe here either way.

With these preliminaries now out of the way, here are my predictions for Phil Schiller's Macworld Expo 2009 Keynote:

After the usual opening PR slides showing how well Apple products are selling, the first announcement will be a new version of iLife. I'm not seeing much about exactly what will be new in iLife '09, although I do at least see significant improvements to iMovie. An upgrade to iWork will be announced next. I don't see a complete shift to converting these to Web-based applications (as suggested here), but some move in that direction appears likely.

Next up will be a sneak peak of Mac OS X 10.6. Phil will mainly show off why Snow Leopard will be worth getting -- despite its lack of new end-user features.

This will segue to the unveiling of new iMacs and Mac Pros. These new models will feature upgraded components designed to take maximum advantage of the new technologies coming in Mac OS X 10.6. The new Macs will also, of course, include the Mini DisplayPort already present in the MacBooks announced in late 2008.

Speaking of the Mini DisplayPort, the next announcement will be an expanded line of new Cinema Displays, adding 20" and 30" models to the already shipping 24" model.

Finally, the big announcement of the keynote: a revamped Mac mini. My crystal ball is a bit fuzzy on details -- but I definitely see increased expandability, such as to replace the hard drive and the optical drive (perhaps with a Blu-Ray drive option).

Will there be a "one more thing?" I am predicting no. However, I have received faint signals indicating a possible upgraded Apple TV.

Will there be any announcements regarding the iPhone or iPods? Nope. These will come later in the year, when Apple's holds one of its now familiar invitation-only media events. Same thing for a Mac tablet/netbook.

Fade out; lights up. The Keynote is over.

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I personally think it’s not beyond Apple for Phil to have Steve come out to demo something or speak to some particular point.  Just because they can.  And because they’d enjoy the juxtaposition after all these years of Steve having Phil come out.  But it’s probably a less than 10% probable kind of thing…

I personally wouldn’t mind seeing a 32 GB iPhone; however, I’m not sure that they’d ship it this close to Christmas lest they annoy everyone who just got one…



I second the idea that Steve Jobs might come out just so show us his One Last Thing…

It would dispel all the health-related rumors and leave Macworld and the world in general with a graceful exit while he’s still on top of the computer world, having outlasted Bill Gates by one year on the keynote circuit…


I’m hoping against hope for non-glossy displays and an upgraded 17” MacBook Pro.  I simply will not buy another display of any kind from Apple if it is glossy.

JC in Ottawa

If this is the only updates, then why even have a Macworld to begin with?  Wastes everybody’s time (except the journalists).

They should a least show a bit of empathy to the economic situation, so I’ll expect the Mac Mini to be attractive as a serious attempt for an entry level Mac


JC said “why even have a Macworld to begin with?”

That’s easy.  Apple does *NOT* have Macworld.

IDG has Macworld.  IDG is in the business of holding conferences.  To steal text from their website:  “IDG is recognized worldwide as a leader in exhibition management, producing more than 750 globally branded conferences and events in 55 countries.”

In addition to Macworld San Francisco, most of us probably remember Macworld Boston / New York.

Many of us likely remember Macworld Paris and Macworld Tokyo.

Some of us might remember Macworld London…

But who in the United States remembers:
  Macworld Hong Kong
  Macworld Korea
  Macworld Mexico
  Macworld New Zealand
  Macworld Spain
  Macworld Sweden
  Macworld Taiwan
I even vaguely recall a Macworld Canada and a Macworld *Dallas*.

In the past, Jobs did keynotes for four of those “big” Macworlds (San Francisco, Boston, Tokyo, Paris).

Location by location Apple has dropped their participation from these shows and each location has mostly eventually gone away.  Amusingly, Apple’s quitting the Paris show (which became an Apple Expo instead of a Macworld) followed a similar script to these year’s tempest.  And Phil was the replacement keynote speaker when Steve couldn’t go in 2004. wink


Anyway, IDG holds Macworld and really abused the brand in their attempts to milk it.  It’s not surprising that Apple has dropped their support of the show, but Apple can’t make the show go away this year given that Macworld isn’t their show…


Bob P.

Apple’s slogan is “Even the small talk will be big.” This implies some small device that’s very powerful—a Mac Mini perhaps, but my prediction is a netbook that is possibly convertible into a tablet—perhaps even with speakerphone capabilities?

Whatever it is, Andy Inhatko seems to be excited about it… I don’t think a new Mac Mini or AppleTV would crank his tractor this much.


Holy leaky press releases, Macman!

I think we can count on a new Mac Mini.  I just saw this press release on PRweb:

New Apple Mac Mini Hardware To Be Supported By Revolutionary SeeFile Web Sharing DAM Software


Looks like most of the predictions didn’t come true: no new iMacs or Mac Pros, only the 17” MacBook. No demo of Snow Leopard, only iLife 09 and iWork 09. I can understand why Steve Jobs didn’t bother giving the keynote. I would guess that Apple will announce new products one at a time, when they’re ready.

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