It begins this time every year. No, not the holidays. The rumors. Specifically, the rumors about what Apple will do at January’s Macworld.
The rumor bus is leaving the station. Let’s take a look at the potential passengers. ‘06 promises more excitement than ever. Or, does it?
Apple always makes a big splash at Macworld, though the next version may be different than expected. Why?
Our favorite Mac maker has done an excellent job of ramping up new products long before the hype festival of Macworld ‘06.
Look at all the recent updates throughout the Apple product line, Mac and iPod.
In just the past few months, we’ve seen a revamping of the iPod. Gone is the iPod mini, replaced by the even cooler, more chic, iPod nano.
My favorite, the previously brick-like iPod with photo capability is gone, too. The plain old iPod still has a 30 gig or 60 gig hard drive, but it’s smaller, more attractive, and has a much larger color screen.
Better yet, the new iPod plays videos. Your videos, music videos, video from TV shows, video porn, and, if you don’t mind waiting a week for the conversion of DVD to iPod video format, movies.
What could Apple announce at Macworld that would have anything to do with the iPod? Not much is left to the imagination.
How about the Mac. Ah ha! Here’s some potential for rumor bus riders.
The PowerMacs just recently got upgraded to drool level, with single chip, dual-core IBM PPC CPUs, and a dual dual-core PowerMac that’s all the rage.
Anything new coming at Macworld for the PowerMac line? Probably not.
How about the iMac? Actually, the problem is the same for the iMac line as it just got upgraded, too.
The new iMac G5 is faster, leaner, cooler, more chic, and sports a remote control, a built-in iSight camera and audio, and iMac-only software.
No, don’t look for any great changes to the iMac line at Macworld ‘06.
OK, how about everyone’s favorite? You know, the PowerBooks. Sorry, Charlie. We need tuna that tastes good, not tuna with good taste.
Even most of the PowerBook line has been updated; faster processors, more goodies, better screen with higher resolution.
For hardware, the wad is almost shot. Almost. There’s still two Apple Mac hardware items that are a bit long in the tooth. This is where the speculation begins.
The Mac mini (still less than a year old and just coming off a very quiet, behind-the-scenes update) and the iBook line.
Let the rumor bus take off, headin’ down the Atlanta highway, lookin’ for the Rumors Love Shack.
Early rumors put money on an Intel-based Mac mini to be introduced at Macworld ‘06. That rumor has been pushed off the bus in favor of the latest from ThinkSecret.
What’s coming at Macworld is the first Mac with an Intel chip inside, and this one will be the iBook. Better yet, the new Intel-based iBook will be faster, thinner, cooler, and about $200 cheaper.
See what fun it is to ride on the rumor bus?
Mac rumor sites are pointing to Intel’s new ‘Yonah’ chip as likely to be embedded in the iBook, instead of the Intel Pentium M.
This first version of an Intel-based Mac is designed to work out the kinks of Mac OS X Tiger for Intel, and show off Apple’s iLife applications running as universal binaries (tech talk for ‘runs on Intel chips and PowerPC chips) on the new iBook.
Oh, I almost forgot. iLife ‘06. Apple’s iLife is getting long in the tooth, too, with the only major upgrade the past year coming in iTunes which leaped from 4.x to 6.x in one swell foop.
Will January’s Macworld see updates to iLife in an ‘06 version? What we can see of what’s on the rumor bus is an affirmative. But what?
Look for upgrades/updates for iPhoto, iDVD, GarageBand, and iMove, and a tweak or two in iTunes. Anything else?
Some rumor folks insist we’ll see a new application molded into iLife but speculation is thinner than Claista Flockhart. Asteroid anyone?
OK, so where’s the big surprise for Macworld? Where’s the ‘one more thing’ moment for the rest of us? What rabbit will Steve pull out of his jean’s pocket this time (I finally saw the video of the iPod nano introduction but couldn’t see any scratches on the one Steve pulled out of his pocket)?
Will we get a preview of Mac OS X Leopard? I don’t think so? Will Intel chips show up in any other Macs at Macworld? I don’t think so. If Apple makes too much noise, and the Intel-based Macs are too fast and too cool, customers will stop buying current Macs and just wait awhile. I would.
No, there’s got to be something else. Something spectcular. Something bigger. Something better. Something soooo way cool nobody but Steve Jobs knows what it is. What is it? What’s your guess?
Jack D. Miller
Tera, you’re probably right (thanks to ThinkSecret) about an Intel-based iMac and the other software upgrades. No crystal ball is needed. As to something spectacular? I don’t think we’ll see it this year.
Barbara Marie Hambi
Apple’s been working in recent years to get the hype down surrounding Macworld, so I’m not expecting more than what you pointed out. No ‘one more thing’ this time around. Enhancements everywhere, but no bombshell.
Carol Mary Miller
I want more music videos from the iTunes Music Store. I wouldn’t buy the first Mac with an Intel chip anyway. I’m sure they’ll be hot sellers, though.
All the basics above are plausible because Apple needs to save some ammunition for later in the year. Can you imagine the turmoil of introducing an Intel chip iBook that’s faster than a PowerBook, cheaper than a PowerBook, thinner than a PowerBook, oh, and it runs Windows, too? I don’t see that happening.