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MacWorld 2008: Before and After. . . .
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hackersmovie
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:08 pm    Post subject: MacWorld 2008: Before and After. . . . Reply with quote

Post rumors and thoughts you may have about MacWorld 2008. Then we can update after MacWorld and see how it all panned out. . .

I would like to think that Gizmodo has hit the nail on the head here but, we shall see. . .


Gizmodo wrote:
• Without naming any specifics, our unofficial conversations with people inside Apple points out at a 2008 full of new products. Not new versions, but actual new products. According to them, as their consumer segment gets stronger by the day, the company can take risks that before were unthinkable.

• The same sources says that, although Apple is going to keep spacing these releases through time, the overload of information for this keynote requires their marketing agenda to be extremely focused, even more than during previous events. Getting the Mac Pro and Xserve lines at the keynote was only going to add clutter, so a decision was made to present them earlier, also knowing that the pro segment is well informed and taken care of by Apple specialists through the world.

• Last keynote served to launch one of the biggest consumer-oriented bets in Apple history: the iPhone.

• Other sources inside Apple confirmed us that, after the introduction of the Intel architecture, the company's strategy was not to update the external design of their hardware for the time being. The idea was to complete the migration, keeping it as invisible as possible. So instead of introducing new designs as an element of disruption, they kept the looks steady to transmit the idea of continuity and stability to an existing user base wary of yet another major architectural change in the platform. Once the transition was solid, the company was going to start changing the looks of each of the product lines, one by one, starting with one of their core products: the iMac.

• Apple is closing deals with studios on movie rentals and pre-ripped iPod/Apple TV movies included on disc.

• This is the year when Apple goes completely green.

• Although this receives no publicity whatsoever and is often overlooked by the press, there's a way to know what kind of products may appear at keynotes: while Apple doesn't communicate what new products are going to be announced to their own marketing and sales forces through the US and the world, the mothership communicates what kind of clients may be interested in the products to both the sales and PR teams, especially overseas. That way, they can plan and invite the adequate clients and media outlets to these events.

What we can reasonably expect
That said and looking at the current product cycles, here's what we can expect almost for certain:

• Apple TV. While the Apple TV never lived to the company's hopes and later was downplayed as a hobby (more like a "let's test the waters and keep a feet in this market," as our sources point out), the fact is that movies and TV series are one of the cornerstones of iTunes' expansion plans.

Apple knows that a solid presence in the living room is a must to make this happen. This is why we will probably see a new Apple TV, worthy of being called the iPod of the living room. Perhaps not in its current form, but yes, an AV product.

• Apple Cinema Displays. Long overdued and surpassed by the competition at this point, the Apple Cinema Displays could be renewed in this Macworld. However, with new Mac Pro systems without any aesthetic change, don't expect a revolutionary change in terms of design. Most probably, it will be an evolution that will match the current professional desktop and in line with the looks of the latest iMac.

However, knowing Apple's obsession with green, their 2008 deadline and, why not, Steve's pal and board member Nobel friend, we think there's a very high probability of seeing state-of-the-art technology in the new displays, with LED backlighting.

• iPhone. It is going to be one year after the announcement of the iPhone. We logically expect time to be devoted to the product, perhaps with announcements to highlight the incoming public release of the iPhone third-party software SDKs. Expect no 3G yet, however: our sources inside Telefonica, the Spanish telecommunications giant, point out that 3G will come later in the year, coinciding with the spanish launch of the iPhone. The AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson pointed out that it will be out in 2008, but didn't say exactly when.

• MacBook Pro. Realistically, the MacBook Pro will probably be the Real Big Bang for next Tuesday morning. With the Intel transition over, and following the iMac revamp, the MacBook Pro has a very high probability of receiving a major facelift. One that will mirror the dramatic changes of the previous grand redesign of an Apple portable—which coincidentally matched a big architectural change—the PowerBook G4 Titanium.

While there are rumors about an specialized ultra-slim MacBook, some are pointing out at the lack of optical drive, the most logical step for Apple is to make all of its portable product line as thin, light and complete as they can. Instead of making a niche product, their best interest is to make all their laptops, which are their most popular computers, more attractive than those of the competition.

To do this, technologies like LED backlighting, solid state drives (in line with the flash drive memory news that have been reaching the public through 2007, positioning Apple as one of the biggest clients of various flash memory companies), new processors and tighter reduction of components will most probably make their way through all the product line.

One more thing
While the above could be perfectly real, there's always the dream factor, the "one more thing." A totally new product that will take everyone by surprise. Looking at the rumors, and as we discussed in the past, it may be some kind of magic tablet, so well made, cheap and practical that could overcome all the current limitations of the Tablet PC platform. It could also be an ACME Food Synthesizer or anything we can dream about.

Looking at the patents, the little news about component purchases and the rumors, these can be the possibilities:

• MacBook Ultra-slim. We have seen recently unearthed dock patents that may be connected to a MacBook Ultra-Slim, but like other Apple research work, it may never reach the market or do it at a much-later date. However, we are more inclined to expect a major thickness and weight reduction of all the MacBook and MacBook Pro product line (like happened with the PowerBook G4 Titanium) than a specialized sub-notebook with separate docking station. If that happened, the difference in size and weight need to be huge enough to justify a different product line. Looking at the market size, it may not be justifiable.

• MacBook Touch (Apple Tablet Mac.) Then there is the fabled Apple Tablet, recently revitalized by the Tablet PC's camp renewed activity and the roaring iPhone success. This MacBook Touch is a recurring rumor, but again, it's difficult to believe Apple is chasing this Holy Grail when there is not a clear market for it. We have no doubt that Apple has this kind of hardware working, especially after the experience of the iPhone. But also like the iPhone, which was originally a PDA before it was eliminated in favor of the iPod, the mass market that Apple is seeking may not be ready for it.

And then again, maybe Bill Gates knows something nobody knows when he points out a possibly imminent Apple version of their Tablet PC. With his connections, I won't be surprised. But on the other side, he may just be another looking for a validation of his Tablet PC passion by his biggest nemesis.

• Apple Cinema Displays. Out of gut feeling, I bet Brian $20 that there may be a larger Apple Cinema product for the living room.

However, beyond all these facts, analysis and predictions, at the end of the day the only thing we are sure about is that the announcements will be dense and big. Now, the only thing to discover is if the surprise factor will be as big as the density of the information that will be delivered in the keynote.

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hackersmovie
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it just me, or does this picture of an iPhone display at the Moscone Center look different? NOTICE: there's a blue screen above the caller info. and what looks like QT files on a "desktop"? Hmm....am I seeing things!??!?



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those QT files are probably to show demo movies on the screen for the iPhone display. I wouldn't look much into it beyond that.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Texark wrote:
Those QT files are probably to show demo movies on the screen for the iPhone display. I wouldn't look much into it beyond that.



ummm.... this is one of those, like, 3 ft tall ones, hanging from wire, not a real iPhone. . .


And only one post in this thread? Shocked I must be the only one that's interested in MacWorld this year. . .
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hackersmovie wrote:
And only one post in this thread? Shocked I must be the only one that's interested in MacWorld this year. . .

Oh, c'mon then HackersMovie! I'll join in! Wink

How's this for a prediction? Death of the Mac Mini.... to be replaced by an Apple Tablet computer! Check out a full list of portability-related predictions by some goofball: http://mikecane2008.wordpress.com/2008/01/10/macworld-2008-all-about-portability/
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Don't kill the Mac Mini! I just spent five minutes making it 3-D in my new signature!
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devo
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac mini to be replaced by a tablet? That's an odd prediction. Rolling Eyes

I'm already growing tired of the Macworld predictions. Most are way out in left field. I think it's pretty clear what is going to happen this year. So here are my final predictions. Laughing

12" MacBook Pro (could be called the MacBook Air)
Movie rentals
New Apple TV
New ACDs with iSight
iMac and Mac mini bumps
16GB iPhone (I will buy this)
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

devo wrote:
Mac mini to be replaced by a tablet? That's an odd prediction. Rolling Eyes

Hey, I didn't come up with it! Mr. Goofball did! Check out his link... Wink Smile

Your predictions are quiet conservative, Devo. You're thinking 'evolution' rather than 'revolution', am I right?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:
Your predictions are quiet conservative, Devo. You're thinking 'evolution' rather than 'revolution', am I right?


If you go back and look at previous Macworlds, they only announce a couple of completely new things. I just think the focus will be on the new 12" MacBook Pro, rentals and the new Apple TV (which ties into the rentals). That will be the "revolution". The rest will be an "evolution".
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone think they will come out with a new mid-range headless Mac or maybe like a Mac mini Pro this week?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

devo wrote:
Movie rentals
New Apple TV
16GB iPhone (I will buy this)


The rentals, while I see the reasoning, would suck. For me anyway, I wouldn't touch em'

New Apple TV. . . I'd buy one that day!

16GB iPhone. . . I'd buy one that day too! (That's what I've been waiting for, 8GB just isn't quite enough, for me.)

I would have to agree with Devo for the most part. The only think to differ this year from last year would be, I do think there will be more products/"revolutions" than last year. Remember last year the buzz of the iPhone was deafening long before MacWorld and by the time MacWorld rolled around, to talk about anything else would have been pointless. So, this year, Stevie has a more even playing field with which to work.

T-minus 2 days and counting. . . . .
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone know of a website or page that lists all of the past announcements?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelSpinners wrote:
Does anyone know of a website or page that lists all of the past announcements?

It's brief, but the Wikipedia article has some info on past Macworld Expos.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ClunkClunk wrote:
WheelSpinners wrote:
Does anyone know of a website or page that lists all of the past announcements?

It's brief, but the Wikipedia article has some info on past Macworld Expos.


I was about to say let's not hope for another Macworld 2001 based on the Wiki entry, but then I looked into it more. It looks like 2001 was actually a pretty good year.

http://www.stefanoparis.com/apple/macworld2001/macworld2001.html
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Macworld history

Macworld 2000: G4 Cube
Macworld 2001: Titanium PowerBook
Macworld 2002: Flat panel iMac G4, 14" iBook
Macworld 2003: 12" and 17" PowerBooks
Macworld 2004: Xserve G5 and iPod mini
Macworld 2005: Mac mini and iPod shuffle
Macworld 2006: Intel iMac and 15" MacBook Pro
Macworld 2007: iPhone and Apple TV
Macworld 2008: MacBook Air Wink
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