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Heath McKnight January 3rd, 2006 09:24 PM

Predictions for MacWorld Expo 2006

Some are ridiculous, others sound spot-on.


Heath McKnight January 3rd, 2006 09:31 PM

And more:



Jonathan Jones January 3rd, 2006 11:33 PM

This topic came up a couple of weeks ago in a group I belong to. I posted the following length of comments regarding my expectations for MWexpo.

One additional note however is that I claim bonus points if an easychair is utilized at any point during the keynote either as an image or as a prop.

Let me shoot out a little speculation with the reminder that it is all that it is.

Apple has indicated that it expects to incorporate Intel chips into its Macintosh lines by the Summer of '06 (I think that is how I understand it.) However, it is also recently reported as confirmed that Steve Jobs (Head Marketing Executive and Motivational Director of Microsoft's Research and Development Labs - aka Apple Computer) (j/k) will be presenting the keynote at the January Macworld Expo in San Francisco. It is a generally held belief among many tech pundits that Steve elects to give the keynote because Apple has something 'cool' to unveil. Some rumored speculation includes that the keynote will be used to introduce the first of the 'Mactel' lines - which is to say Macs with Intel chips. Whether they will be available that day or during successive weeks is inconsequential given that Apple-minded consumers will still consider it a major positive as it appears that Apple is delivering the goods ahead of schedule - even though the 'schedule' was vague at best and left plenty of wiggle room.

This may all be alot of malarky - so at this point no one can say for sure what will be up Steve's sleeve (or in his jeans coin pocket) at the keynote....

However, if there are to be new Macs with Intel chips introduced in January, I have heard rumors that such introductions will begin with the consumer line of Macs, ie: iMacs, iBooks, and Mac Mini's with the nod going initially to the Mac Mini's and the iBook line where there is a pressing need for higher performance without excessive heat.

The information suggests that pro line Macs (Powerbooks and Desktop towers) will begin utilizing Intel chips within the next 6 - 18 months although 5 - 10 months is more realistic given strategic marketing to Mac pro markets.

So, with regards to your question, it would depend upon what line of Mac you are looking to buy. If you are looking for a powerbook or desktop tower, it is unlikely that new versions will be introduced in January as both have already undergone very recent updating.

If you are looking to buy an iMac, iBook, or Mini, many folks believe that new ones are to be announced very soon and may suggest to hold on to your cash...

Personally, if I wanted to get a new Mac right now, I might think about getting the tried and true current releases that I know will serve me very well for at least a few years. Given the change in chip technology - some parts of it will be smooth as Apple suggests, but they also have indicated that there may be a few touchy areas to work out - so I would wait till the bugs are worked out in the 2nd Intel releases or so before taking a chance with that much cash. But that's just me - I remember reports of exploding batteries on an early Powerbook 5300 line from the mid 90's as well as fan noise on the mirror-drive-door desktop, Scratch prone surfaces on the Titanium Powerbook, malfunctioning latches and spotty displays on the first version of the Aluminum Powerbook G4's, and heat dissipation problems in the first iMac G5's....It happens. But at least they're not Windows boxes.

So...what do I believe Steve will unveil??? I think he will cover the following - not necessarily in this order:

Steve will talk a great deal about the new video revolution according to the Gospel of iPod. He will talk about the video content that is now available through iTunes and how two of the major networks are now distributing content via iTunes (by the expo there will be at least 1 more network signed on)

He will probably announce distribution deals (either ready-to-roll or around the corner) with a small number of movie studios for potential iPod distribution for video content.
{{Steve has been clever in his reference that this is not called a 'video iPod' but rather an iPod (with video). A video iPod is sure to come, but it may be called something else and will include a larger display, probably a widescreen that can be viewed straight up or sideways depending on the ratio of the presentation - a video iPod isn't likely till Summer of Fall of '06 at the earliest.}}

He will gloss over the abysmal failure of the ROKR phone from Motorola, although he may cleverly leave a bit of awkward silence to let folks chuckle....and he will likely talk a little bit about other models of phones available through Motorola (ie: RAZR) that are now iTunes capable.

As far a Software, he is likely to demonstrate the recently released Aperture for photo professionals. He will demonstrate some bit of Rosetta, and I have heard it rumored that he will introduce iLife '06 - although this makes little sense given some of the glaring bugs in iLife '05 have not yet been addressed by Apple. If iLife '06 hits the stage, it will likely be with improvements on existing apps and the introduction of a whole new app as part of the iLife suite - whether this will be used for writing wills or playing solitaire - I can't even guess.

iWork will be updated with a new version of Pages.

He will present a timetable for the next release of OS X (code named Leopard) Odds are that it will be released before Microsoft releases Longhorn (but then so will Cougar, Ocelot, Siamese and Tabby)

For his 'one more thing', Steve may use this particular show stopping moment to unveil the new version of the Mac Mini. It will house an Intel chip. It may also feature a new style or design (just to keep competition on their toes) and shock of all shocks...it may even be a little smaller! Anyone want a Mac Nano???

Or, Steve will very likely kill the Mini product line altogether as I see it more becoming a newer, more enhanced product that will grow to become the core of the living room entertainment center, incorporating some of the best features of the new iTunes, H.264 video, Front Row software, remote control, wifi, bluetooth, etc all in a package very similar in size and shape to the current Mac Mini line.

My crystal ball is fading...gotta go.

just my 2 cents (plus a pearl or two and alot of rubble mixed in)

Boyd Ostroff January 4th, 2006 08:16 AM


Originally Posted by Jonathan Jones
he will likely talk a little bit about other models of phones available through Motorola (ie: RAZR) that are now iTunes capable.

I'm not so sure that the Motorola relationship will continue. Yesterday Motorola announced their own service for downloading music and other content wirelessly. "iRadio" is seen as an alternative to satellite radio for your car. Maybe Apple fits into this somewhere, but it doesn't appear that way to me initially...


Duane Smith January 4th, 2006 09:55 AM


Originally Posted by Heath McKnight

Some are ridiculous, others sound spot-on.

I agree, but I think there are more 'spot-on' predictions than 'ridiculous' ones in that particular list. I do believe that this Macworld will show more 'evolutionary' products than 'revolutionary' ones. Intel Macs, 10.5, updated iSoftware, etc.

But then again, he could always pull a rabbit out of his hat and surprise us all. ;-)

Heath McKnight January 4th, 2006 10:06 AM

I remember a few years back that all Steve announced really was iTools and some updates (no new products). Not too exciting.


Boyd Ostroff January 4th, 2006 10:42 AM

Boy, there would be a lot of unhappy people (some of them on Wall Street) this year if he repeated that! I think the landscape has radically changed in the last year or so. Apple is now the darling of the NASDAQ and all eyes are on them. Steve knows this, and I'd be very surprised if he disappoints. Dumping the PowerPC architecture was a signal that they're not going to let anybody hold them back; it was a big embarassment for Steve not to be able to deliver the G5 laptops and faster processors that he promised awhile ago.

Heath McKnight January 4th, 2006 02:25 PM

FCP 6 rumor:


The other factor for Steve was when IBM decided they wanted to make PowerPC processors for the next gen gaming consoles, like PS3, Xbox 360, etc.


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