With Macworld ’07 only a few days away and rumor sites incessantly churning out rumor after rumor, the last thing you probably want is a bunch of Mac geeks giving their completely uninformed opinions on what will transpire in the keynote. If that’s the case, we’ll see you on Tuesday when you can get the real deal on what’s going down with by-the-minute live coverage. However, our opinions are so differing that someone will have to be right about something, and so we decided to give you our motley guesses as to what will be adorning the tossed-aside packages in millions of Mac geeks’ homes come Tuesday.
Julian Bennett Holmes
Steve will start the keynote with his usual rundown of news and a few sales and market share figures. As no new iPod will debut at this expo, he’ll give us numbers on those.
He’ll segue into hardware announcements, and then move onto software, with iLife and iWork annoucements first, and then Leopard news.
He’ll start with the iTV, which will be released at Mac Expo. It won’t function as a DVR. In fact, the only thing about the iTV that Steve didn’t mention at the Showtime event will be that videos will now be sold on the iTunes store in high definition, and it will have a new name, of course.
Then he’ll move on to talk about the Apple Laptops. The MacBooks and MacBook Pros will be consolidated into one line, with 13″, 15″, and 17″ models. They’ll look mostly like the current MacBook, with no aluminum in sight, and it will have the MacBook’s keyboard and magnetic latch feature.
We’ll also see a slightly upgraded Mac Mini, which will return to its previous pricing configuration of $499/$599.
Then Steve will announce iWork ’07, which will include Numbers, a new spreadsheet app.
iLife ’07, on the other hand, will have no new apps, and nothing huge except for big changes in iWeb to make it much more capable. Apple is going to position iWeb as a tool not just for absolute beginners. The new iWeb will allow users to edit the actual code if they want.
Then, he’ll start to wrap up, before telling us he’s got “one more thing.”
This “one more thing” will be the announcement that Leopard will come out right away, with “top-secret features” including portable home folders.
Steve will end the Keynote with a performance by some minor artist who’s new to the iTunes store. Just as everyone is about to leave, Steve will tell us that he’s got “another thing.”
This will be the iPhone, of course. The iPhone will ship right away, with Cingular as the carrier. It will come in two models (4GB capacity, in white, and 8GB, in black or white). And it’s called iPhone.
iPhone: The hype machine is on overload, and Apple has done nothing to feed it. I agree with Jon Buys, it’d be really nice, but I won’t believe it till I see it.
iTV: The new name will not include the word TV, I’m thinking Airport Video. It is going to be available same day and I think the price will drop, because I don’t think a $299 device is the right price point.
Leopard: All features will be described and a release date (sometime late winter or early spring) will be announced. It will get a new UI, but it will have as many new problems as it solves..
iPods: No new iPods, but they are going to announce some insane sales numbers.
Macs: Not a lot will happen here, besides a few speed bumps and feature boosts. Maybe a price drop on the Mac Mini.
Other: Steve will say boom 0 times (because he saw the youtube video). He will say boo once, but will stop short of the m. No crazy console or or VOIP iPhone.
iPhone: It’d be cool, and Steve will make a good show of it if its really there, but I’ll believe it when I see it. It’s been nothing but talk for so long I’ve stopped listening. Though, if it comes to pass, I think Steve will take a call on stage right in the middle of his keynote, he’ll be talking away on it, and then someone will notice that its an Apple branded iPhone!
iTV: Announced last year, so we will definite see somthing on this, and like Richard Neal said, its probably going to be the new Airport Extreme, acting as a wireless base station. But really, I’m hoping that we’ll see an upgraded Airport Extreme. Its the one piece of Apple hardware that has not seen an update in a long time, so maybe pre-n or MIMO or something like that? Also, new Airport cards in the new hardware to take advantage of it, though they’ve already been phasing those in.
Leopard: Another definite. Apple’s not going to let Microsoft get the jump on them with Vista. They are going head to head, and its going to be a heck of a fight.
iPods: Will we see the new touch screen iPod? Again, not very likely.
Macs: Speed bumps all around!
How many times Steve says boom: 16, based on my highly scientific predictions (random number out of my head)
iPod – I’m not sure there’ll be an apples – apples comparison between the iPod and Zune… When the iPod launched, mp3 players were relatively new things, not the hot button item they are these days. So compared to the zune’s launch in a hot market, the relativity would be up for attack. (my $.02)
I’m sure we’ll hear about the Zune, but I don’t think there will be comparisons of the numbers.
If they DO announce new ipods – it’s been like 3 months since a new model was announced, WE’RE DUE! – there’d better be an enhanced interface – per my recent post – as one of the new features.
Leopard – It’ll get a Q2 release…The last thing apple needs is to force an early drop and have lots of problems. They’re already ahead of Vista in so many ways, I don’t think they’ll feel the need to completely prove themselves. Think we’ll see some of the ‘top secret’ features alluded to before? Hmmm, wonder if some of those ‘features’ are cover-flow esque apps that Apple’s working a deal on integrating…?
iTV – I think we’ll get a demo of features, and a release date of Q2. $399 for the price. Name? iWatch…. haha, Maybe something like Airport Hub, you know, something that encompasses the collection of the media over the network.
Macs – It’s doubtful we’ll see anything new…Maybe a couple price drops. Possibly with the recent disappearance of stand alone iSights, we’ll see new Cinema Displays with cameras built-in, but nothing drastic.
iPhone – If we don’t see it beforehand (doubtful) then I don’t think we’ll see/hear about it at MacWorld. Honestly, it’s been rumored/hyped for so long, I could care less at this point in time. Wake me when it’s reality.
Boom – Zero Booms. Maybe a Booyah or two when talking about Vista’s lagging behind OS X.
iPods – Expect lots of Zune jabs regarding sales figures. (Zune is #63 on Amazon’s topsellers, behind all sorts of stuff, including last year’s nano, and an Apple iPod USB power adapter)
Leopard – Available on or before Vista ship date. Feature comparisons galore, new features that will make Vista look out of date before it even ships.
Boom count: 13.
No new macs.
iTV given a name and release date – early spring.
iPhone: There’s been too much hype for the iPhone for it not to be announced, I’m sure I speak for the whole Mac community in saying that I’m tired of all these rumors. I’m guessing Apple will either stick to Cingular or rent network time from them, as much as I’d love to have it on Verizon, it’s not going to happen.
iPods: Nothing as spectacular as a touch-screen, widescreen iPod, just a lot of talk about how good the iPod did in the holiday quarter, and definitely some new movie content on the iTunes Store.
iTV: Pretty much the same as what was previously announced, although it’ll have 802.11n built-in for hyper-fast video streaming from any of the recent hardware.
Macs: Nothing new, except for the possibility of a small Mac mini bump or price drop. 10.4.9 will drop, adding support for the 802.11n AirPort cards, which will become standard across the line-up, and available as an upgrade for users of older computers.
Leopard: Macworld is the prefect time for the unveiling of the top secret features, which will include ZFS support, and a release in March-April.
Other: 5 booms, one of which to exemplify the speed in which 802.11n will stream movie content to your iTV. iLife and iWork will receive minor upgrades, with Charts, a spreadsheet app, making iWork finally a real competitor to Office. Cinema Displays will get an integrated iSight and a price drop.