Rumor Mill: New iPods, Power-series.


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.



One point that TOTALLY slipped my mind when I was writing this post was the fact that Apple is trying to keep their sales from stagnating because of consumer anticipation for the Intel Macs. Personally, I would rather have a dual proc. dual core PPC PowerMac than a first gen. PowerMacintel, but that’s just me. Anyway, the point is, that there has been no excitement about the Power lines for a good long while, and with a good six months before the Intel macs ship, Apple has to make sure that they have cash on hand.


why don´t make a new iPod model?
“iPod dance” – A nonstop music solution with a perpetual battery

Consumers are complaining about the battery on Apple’s new iPod Nano. The cost of bad publicity can be astronomical when it makes headlines in Business Week and BBC. Here is ONE simple idea how Apple can change bad headlines to good – by dancing!

Frank Bruno

That’s a good point, though I think the main reasons to move the product announcements away from MW are (1) to prevent demand from drying up in the weeks before, and (2) so that Steve doesn’t feel obligated to pull a rabbit out of his hat at precise 6-month intervals.

And it begs the question: Why PowerMacs? If they’re going to get a speed bump (or even dual-core support), isn’t that the kind of thing that can just be handled via a press release? Why a special event? If the idea of the “special event” is to increase awareness among Joe Consumer, I fail to see why a PowerMac G5 would be on the agenda. Apple doesn’t sell many G5 towers, and the ones it does don’t usually go to Joe, since he can buy 6 Mac minis for the price of one high-end G5 tower, and probably wouldn’t notice the speed difference.

I hate to be wrong about these things, but when’s the last time Apple had a special event to announce a (relatively minor) speed bump?

I’m not saying we’re definitely gonna get an iTVS out of the thing. I think TS has a great point about the need for more tech infrastructure (easy way to get existing DVDs onto the computer, etc.). But I gotta think that there’s going to be something “special” to announce at this special event.

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