ThinkSecret is reporting that the Apple special event scheduled for October 12th will not bring video iPods, contrary to what has been widely reported. The site suggests that Apple will instead release an updated line of iPods, slightly smaller, with capacities up to 80GB. Other possible enhancements to the light might include updated software similar to that of the nano, as well as colors other than the standard white. In addition to iPods, updated versions of the PowerMac and PowerBook line are rumored to be in store for next week. 15 and 17 inch PowerBooks will supposedly gain higher resolutions, as well as PowerPC 7448 processors which will bring marginal performance increases. The PowerMac line will possibly gain dual-core processors. Both lines will be upgraded to DDR2 RAM.
Whew! That was fun, but we have to ask ourselves, why now? Historically, Apple has confined (most) new product announcements to MacWorld expo Steve-notes, but have recently been neglecting these events. A mere month ago, Apple cancelled a scheduled Steve-note at Apple Expo Paris, and the company has been absent from MacWorld Boston for the two previous conferences.
Why the sudden shift to a special event for each new release? I believe that the change has a great deal to do with Apple’s increased focus on main-stream users, and lessened concentration on the pro user. It would be a safe bet to say that 99% of people who closely follow the goings-on of Macworld expo’s are hard-core Mac users. Apple knows this, and in the past, has catered to this audience. However, with the companies recent switch to a more general consumer based product line, Apple is seeking more broad-based exposure from main-stream media outlets, not just Mac news sites. By holding special invitation-only events, Apple can ensure that they are constantly in the public eye. Us Mac zealots will follow Apple news whenever it arrives, so Apple has no need to worry about loss of its cult following.