08
Jan
07

On the Eve of MacWorld 2007

MacWorld is totally freakin’ nigh. I know I sound like a complete mark for saying this, but this is one of the highlights of the year for me. Nobody knows how to do a “proper” product launch and announcement (as my friends in the U.K. would say) quite like Apple. For Mac fans all around the world, this is the time for much speculation. Over the past few months, there has been all kinds of murmuring about what Apple is going to do next. Well, here are my thoughts on some of the announcements that have been in speculation:

The iPhone/iChat Mobile/ – This has been rumored for quite some time now. The folks on one of my favorite podcasts, MacBreak Weekly on Leo Laporte’s TWiT network (www.twit.tv) are ready to give their firstborn for the privilege of owning a Mac-branded phone. And while I’m a Mac aficionado and consider my MacBook Pro as the one thing that I’d take if my apartment were ever on fire (God forbid) even I am not this much of a fanatic. To drool over something that you haven’t even seen or don’t even know the specs of is kind of ridiculous. Their rationale is that Apple will bring to mobile phones a similar experience as what they’ve brought to their computers and the iPod. For me, the jury is still out. But nonetheless, this is one of the most anticipated items at MacWorld and it’s announcement is certain to be the feature of the show. (This would have to the the “One More Thing….”).

ITV – Last summer Apple announced the ITV and said that it would be launching in 2007. “ITV” was a code name and it will be receiving it’s proper name — probably at MacWorld. No ideas at all as to what they’re going to call it. But it’s supposed to be a way of relaying video from your Mac to your large-screen display. They’ve got some challenges here. I hope they decide to allow for an RJ-45 Ethernet input because streaming TV over a wireless connection has to be darn-near impossible right now. Also,

Leopard – You can bet the farm that you’ll see a full featured demo and release date announced for the next incarnation of the Mac OS X. Leopard was featured early in 2006 and I blogged about some of the features after a conference this past summer. I’ll be buying to have the latest and greatest. But there really isn’t anything significant about the next release that I’m drooling over. Perhaps that will change with MacWorld.

iLife Upgrade – Without a doubt, this is the one thing that you can count on every year — an announcement of new features for Apple’s pride and joy on the OS X platform. It’s their “MS Office for your home life”. iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, and Garageband should all receive sizeable upgrades. Not sure about iTunes.

New iPod?? – I consider this somewhat unlikely, but it could happen. The iPod hasn’t been upgraded in over a year. The last upgrade was the 5th Generation iPod with video. Since the launch of the Zune, will we see an iPod with networking capabilities? Perhaps a bigger hard drive (80GB anyone?) and a bigger screen? Hopefully they have something that will surpass even my expectations, but for some reason I don’t quite think we’ll see much change in the iPod line this go round.

Apple Display with iSight and a 50″ model? – Insightful Apple fans have noticed that the iSight is no longer on sale at Apple.com. With the iSight being incorporated on the lid of the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac, the thinking is that the iSight will be put on the Apple LCDs. This is probably going to happen for certain. However, not certain if they’re going to totally change the design of the display? The more juicy rumor is that there will be a large screen display (which would totally coincide with the release of the ITV.) Boy, I can feel my pockets getting emptier by the minute.

iMac Upgrade? – Not likely. Hopefully there won’t be an iMac upgrade. I had a good friend who just bought one and she’s going to kill me if they release an upgrade.

Mac Pro Upgrade – This rumor is actually gaining some momentum. The rumor is that Apple will release a dual-four core Mac Pro with some weird moniker like “the Octel”. It would make much more sense to talk about this upgrade at the developer’s conference in the summer, but I guess it doesn’t make sense to wait. If you’ve got a new configuration, let’s have it!

A Smaller MacBook – Since the 12″ PowerBook was the last truly ultra-portable Mac, there is much speculations that the MacBook will get a little baby brother — a 12″ MacBook. This is one that I would definitely pick up — undoubtedly. And for that reason, I’m hoping they don’t release it.

As far as what’s being speculated — at least the stuff that we are privileged to know about — this about covers it. You can bet the house that you’ll see a release date and demo for iLife and Leopard. ITV is sure to make an appearance in a more finished fashion. And I’d say the display upgrades are another sure bet. But besides this, all bets are pretty much off.

The excitement it killing me. Can’t wait till Tuesday afternoon. I’m going to take a trip to the Mac store on Fifth Avenue! Once again, it’s a great time to be a geek.

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