Crystal ball: Macworld Expo 2007

Crystal ball: Macworld Expo 2007

Summary: Another January means another round of fortune telling. The week leading up to Macworld Expo are when pundits predict what Apple has in store for us in the new year. With that let's dive into what Steve Jobs could announce at the Moscone Center in San Francisco one week from today.

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TOPICS: Apple
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crystal_ball.jpgAnother January means another round of fortune telling. The week leading up to Macworld Expo is when pundits predict what Apple has in store for us in the new year. With that let's dive into what Steve Jobs could announce at the Moscone Center in San Francisco one week from today.

From most to least likely:

iLife & iWork '07 - Apple's iApps usually get updated at Macworld Expo and this year should be no exception. Look for updates to both of Apple's software suites and maybe we'll even see the addition of a spreadsheet (rumored to be called "Numbers" or "Sheets").
[odds: even money]

iTV - Steve Jobs introduced us to iTV (a code name) at a press event on 12 September 2006 and told us that it's "coming in Q1 2007." I'm pretty sure that it's coming out at Macworld Expo, I'm just not sure about what it does. I'm hoping that in addition to being an Airport Express for video, I hope that it includes some TiVO-like DVR functionality (which would require an external HDD/Mac mini/Elgato API) and comes with Netflix online, which CEO Reed Hastings said was coming "in January." And how about that remote?
[odds: even money]

Mac mini - The Mac mini is due for an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and we'll most likely see that announced at Expo. It's a perfect fit for the iTV.
[odds: even money]

Mac OS 10.5 - Leopard could be released at Macworld Expo despite Steve Jobs' assertion that it would be released in "Spring 2007." Remember that Steve likes to under-promise and over-deliver and take a peek under your seat at the keynote address.
[odds: 2:1]

Click through for the rest...

Mac Pro - Apple's desktop Mac is due for a quad-core Intel Xeon Processor, an upgrade from the current dual-core silicon. Expect the Mac Pro to inherit a pair of Intel's brand-new, quad-core Xeon 5355 processors. We know that it works because CNet already installed two of these bad boys in a Mac Pro. The Xserve may also go quad-core with an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700.
[odds: 2:1]

Displays - Look for Apple to announce a 17-inch Cinema display to complement their existing 20, 23 and 30-inch monitors. It looks like Apple will also refresh the entire Cinema Display line to include built-in iSight cameras, as they already build them into all MacBooks and iMacs. Apple also quietly discontinued the external iSight cameras recently. Don't be surprised if Apple also includes HDMI inputs so that they work with the iTV and can play copy-protected HD content (HDCP). I just hope that Apple makes the new displays affordable.
[odds: 2:1]

iPod -  The iPod was last updated on 12 September 2006 (30/80GB video) and the 4/8GB nanos was announced on 7 September 2005. Although there are constant rumors of a full-screen "true" video iPod I don't think that it's ready yet. I think that we're more likely to see a bump to 100GB capacity, courtesy of Toshiba's new 1.8-inch drive. There's also a chance that Apple could add WiFi and/or Bluetooth to the iPod but I wouldn't hold my breath. We're more likely to see a keyboard with a built-in iPod dock.
[100GB odds: 2:1]
[WiFi/BT odds: 5:1]

Apple Phone - The iPhone has to be the most-hyped piece of vaporware in the history of Apple products. While there are plenty of patent filings and overseas reports indicating that it exists, I think that there's almost no way that it can live up to expectations. I also think that it could be a decoy planted by Apple to keep the rumor mill busy.
[odds: 10:1]


Thin 12" MBP - Rumors abound of an ultra-thin 12-inch MacBook Pro targeting photographers despite Apple's claim that "it ain't going to happen." The introduction a 12" MacBook Pro would fill a gap left by the 12" PowerBook model, which was dropped during the transition to Intel in early 2006. Tough call as the 12" model was wildly popular with the jet set and commuters. I think that it's more likely to be a 12" MacBook aimed squarely at students.
[odds: 50:1]

Mac Tablet - This is the Apple product that I want most. Despite the requisite patent applications and overseas reports I think that the small potential market and the fact that most Tablet PCs and UMPCs have stumbled are signs that it's not likely to happen. I guess there's always that chance of "one more thing..."
[odds: 100:1]

What are your predictions for Macworld Expo SF 2007?

Topic: Apple

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11 comments
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  • I tend to agree with the macphone as red herring

    Not long ago I was reading a web bio of The Steve and while I have long believed that he is a visionary and that he has singlehandedly affected our modern lives more than any living human (okay, go ahead and flame, but he is the person who is responsible for making the GUI a mass market product), I was struck by something in the bio about Thomas Edison.

    I tend to think that like the iTV, most of what comes out of MacWorld will be unexpected, and likely why a lot of Leopard is under wraps. I have no idea what it is, though Cringely has been predicting big screens from Apple for a long time. I think some it will have an initial hunh? factor, but maybe the whole strategy will become clear.

    Why the disappearance of the iSight? Legal troubles in Europe? I was thinking more like a Windows-friendly usb model, but no one seems to be saying that. iSights on big screens? That strikes me as weird and while it makes a certain kind of sense, it also has a big brother kind of echo to it that creeps me out. (As does the possibility that someone could hijack the one on my iMac.

    The thing that's most striking about all of these predictions is that none of them is very interesting. Except iTV, which The Steve has already shown us. How does that fit together with the phone, the monitors/tvs, aside from the obvious? Where does google fit in? Disney?

    Their new teaser logo seems to point to the movies. Is he going to out-tube youtube? Has narrowcasting's time come?

    I know that I download a lot of free content (Ze Frank's The Show, for example, and lots of other podcasts -- Make Magazine, etc.) from iTunes. Maybe that's where this is going.

    But what would Thomas Edison be working on?
    failednovelist
  • Don't under estimate the Steve...

    I see an iPhone with a built in camera and iChat. Dick Tracy will finally have his videophone. I see big screen TV's with built in video using iChat via an iTV interface box, which communicates to your computer and television. I see people sitting on their sofa, chatting with friends in far off lands while seated in front of their huge new Apple HDTV's (which will come in 30?, 40?, 50? and 60? models). The video camera will be integrated right into the monitor. When they are iCatting with their friends, it will seem as if they?re sitting right across the room from them. They?ll be able to share music, photos, and video?s while they chat with friends and family. It will be called, iHanging Out. I don?t want to divulge too much, for fear Apple will unleash its corporate law sycophants after me.
    gtdworak
  • It'll be a WIFI iPhone

    I can't see Apple coping with carriers and competitors like Nokia, and Motorola, but CAN see Apple chasing the 100,000,000 user plus PTP phone market with a wifi phone. I've got a dozen other reasons, but it adds up to 1,200 words that can't fit here. But check out the rationale on my blog, CogentPassion:

    http://cogentpassion.blogspot.com/2007/01/its-gonna-be-wi-fiphone-apple-wi-fi.html
    PlayballTim
  • iTV Video Preview

    Don't know if everyone has already seen this, but I found the late and great James Kim giving a hands on preview of iTV at:
    http://reviews.cnet.com/Apple_iTV/4507-6739_7-32069563.html Enjoy.
    greenJeepGuy
  • The amazing iHope

    I hope Apple's phone will consist of full HD video recording, a 6-10 megapixel camera for stills. Also it will be fully wifi capable and will have a local storage conisting of at least 20 GB of flash memory.

    Through its wifi capabilities it will be able to stream MP3s from a personal repository in the cloud, thus alleviating the necessity to store it locally.

    It will also be able to automatically connect to built in keyboards and monitors at your local Starbucks in order to perform any necessary work via iLife.

    Furthermore, a full voice recognition service will automatically transmit your voice to an online service and convert it to text immediately so that usine the thumb pad to text is purely optional. (NOTE: the online service is merely to handle the immensely complex algorithms necessary to filter out background noise, etc.)

    Finally, once you get home I expect that the phone will automatically connect to your local home network via wifi and start up some music or automatically organize your videos, documents, etc.

    Oops, almost forgot...how will this be powered, well no need to worry, it will have a dermaheat conversions system onboard. Simply holding the phone will generate enough energy to power the phone so you will never run out of power. Of course the optional plug charging system will come standard, but it's not necessary in order to complete the value proposition of the iComm.

    This will be the single device that complements life and transforms it as we know it.
    THEE WOLF
  • Airport ! Airport !

    Well if any of you have looked at the time frame of things the airport is due for an update. You can also tell because as long as its been out the base station has been $249 but for some reason on the website its $199. Now that might be a good indication that we are getting something new or updated but if nothing else lets look at technology. We have been streaming music over the airwaves but nothing else. shouldnt we stream the video from our ipods? well lets take it one step further. If we are getting iTV that is suppose to be our Media center then shouldnt we have the ability watch whatever is on in the big room on our laptops somewhere else in the house? Well with the advancement of 802.11n or "draft" as they call it we should be able to stream video in surround sound and much more. here is a link to what it can do http://www.deviceforge.com/articles/AT5096801417.html
    so with all of that I know we will see the airport update this year.

    trey kirby
    A Mac Man For Life

    P.S. if they do come out with a phone it will simply be called
    "Appletalk" what else could it be called
    treykirby@...
  • Moratorium on new

    I'm holding out for the third generation Macbook Pro...the model that works. Optical drive problems, poor wireless performance, random shutdowns, these seem to be common issues reported by current users, and if i'm gonna shell out $3000 on a laptop, i'd like one that works, one that makes me smile.

    In my computer eutopia, I would like to see all vendors take a time out on 'new', and just make what they have very solid.
    bryhal@...
  • What I Want To See

    What I want to see, but know that it's not going to happen is that Apple come out with a new OS that is as good as Vista.
    But I know that ain't going to happen.
    Moosehouse
  • Mac Expo Surprises?

    Addition of the Beatles songs to the iTunes collection?

    Free download, for its environmental benefit, of Al Gore's AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH?
    alfeld
  • I think more software then hardware releases this year.

    Personally I am thinking that this year's Macworld will be all about software rather then hardware. It is almost sure that 10.5 will be featured if not released, although I think a real release is coming later this year.

    iLife '07 and iWork '07 I think will take the spotlight. iLife '07 is already listed on Amazon if you search for it. I am hoping with that the .Mac service gets a nice overhaul. The iLife suite depends upon it so much, but it is sort of hurting as a full fledged service. There is a lot of improvement that could be done on it from the webmail features to the speed of data transfer.

    A community system around .Mac sort of like what they have over at Opera would be fantastic. Apple is all about the community and communicating, yet it is hard to find what other .Mac members are doing with it. Space bumpage and some faster transfer speed would be nice as well.

    I am curious to see what is going to happen to the Backup software that comes with .Mac.

    iTunes will at the least get some more movie providers announced on board, if not also the inclusion of higher resolution videos for download. That seems like a natural setup if the iTV is coming out within the next 6-9 months.

    On the hardware side I think we will see some spec bumps, and maybe some more options but nothing ground breaking. New Display panels, but that is about it.
    msupert@...
  • My top 5 predictions for Macworld '07

    I put together 5 predictions for the Macworld 2007 Keynote, along with a gallery of images from last year's show, which was fantastic: <http://imagingbuffet.com/?p=158>


    All the best and thanks for the great info,

    Andrew Darlow
    Editor
    The Imaging Buffet
    http://www.imagingbuffet.com
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