My Apple-Expo 2006 predictions

My Apple-Expo 2006 predictions

Summary: One side effect of announcing the new Core 2 Duo iMacs and faster Mac minis last week is that it effectively removes them from contention for debut at Apple's media event tomorrow.

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TOPICS: Apple
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crystal_ball.jpgOne side effect of announcing the new Core 2 Duo iMacs and faster Mac minis last week is that it effectively removes them from contention for debut at Apple's media event tomorrow.

This combined with the company's less-than-subtle "It's Showtime" theme make predictions a little easier than usual, although there are some wild cards at the end. Without further ado, here's what I think that Apple will announce tomorrow:

iPod nano 6 & 8GB. This seems like a no brainer to me, the original 2 and 4GB nanos were announced almost a year ago to the day (07 Sept 05) and they're due for an upgrade in capacity. The biggest question is the case. After the cracking and scratching fiasco that plagued the original nano launch, expect Apple to return to their iPod mini roots, with a scratch-proof brushed or anodized aluminum case in colors.

iPod 6th Generation. The iPod 6g will play movies downloaded from the new iMovie Store on a 16:9 wide-screen display. Although having Front Row on a landscape iPod is a great idea, I'd settle for just a mini version of iTunes running on the iPod with a way to enter and edit meta data.

iPod 6g Features. Some of the niceties that could be included in the iPod 6g:
- OLED display. Although Organic Light-Emitting Diode displays cost more they don't require backlighting, which will extend the iPod's battery life.
- Touch screen. The iPod is in desperate need of a way to enter data into it. Everything from ID3 tags, to photo captions, to entering contacts and events requires a method of data entry. The new iPod should have a pressure-sensitive display with a virtual keyboard that can be operated either via stylus, hovering or by scrolling the click wheel.
- Wireless. Apple has already ventured into wireless iPods with the Nike+ running shoe transceiver, so Bluetooth or WiFi isn't far off. There's no real interface to use an iPod as a proper Web browser, but it would be great for movie and music streaming and for syncing with your Mac. Just don't try to sell me on Bluetooth headphones. The deal breaker on wireless iPods is the penalty in battery life.

iMovie Video Store. Apple will try to extend on its market leadership in music to movies by offering downloadable movies for US$10-15 that play on the iPod and on any Macintosh. Deals with all the major studios will be announced and a healthy amount of Disney titles will be available at introduction. The other studios will gradually roll out more titles in coming months.

Airport Express Video. Think of it as Airport Express (APX) with an HDMI port on it. Just like AirTunes allows you to stream iTunes to any speakers in your house the APXV will allow you to stream video from your Mac to any television in your house. Short-range wireless HDMI transmitters using ultra-wide bandwidth (UWB) signals are coming in November, so this is very feasible. My favorite name: AirShow.

HDMI was chosen because it supports HDCP encryption. This was a concession to the Hollywood movie studios to get them to license the content and to the MPAA. The Airport Express Video will be the first device to allow the output of digital video.

MacBook and MacBook Pro. the Intel Core 2 Duo (Merom) chips were released in August and several PC notebooks are already offering Core 2 Duo notebooks. This means that Apple's notebooks are overdue for the new chip. While it could happen tomorrow, the theme of the event doesn't lend itself to notebooks.

iPhone - Analysts like American Technology Research's Albert Lin and Shaw Wu say the iPhone is a sure thing, but I think that iPhone is still on the back burner.

I'd love to see a tablet Mac, but I'm not sure if anyone else would actually buy one, so chances are pretty slim. What would you like to see Apple announce tomorrow?

Topic: Apple

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17 comments
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  • Announcement

    Tablet! Tablet! Tablet!
    rsbell
    • Glad I'm not the only one...

      ... that wants an iTablet.
      It would be oh-so-convenient sometime :)
      Anyone else think there's merit to an iTablet?

      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
      • Re: Glad I'm not the only one...

        I've been wanting a real tablet computer, not one of those silly WinCE things, for a long time. I do a lot of drawings, diagrams, and photo retouching, and need a tablet to do it (as someone once said, "Drawing with a mouse is like drawing with a bar of soap."). Having the portability of a laptop with the capability of drawing in a natural manner would be great.

        Bruce.
        SpeakerToManagers
  • Careful, you could get sued for writing about Apple.

    (NT)
    Hallowed are the Ori
    • No one know that better than I...

      Thank heavens there is something called The Constitution in this
      country and that the legal system follows it.
      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
  • What about a media center product?

    I think Apple should sell a Media Center computer that would be
    somewhere between a mini and a mac pro. It would be twice as
    wide as a mini with Core 2 Duo (not Merom), cable card, a hefty
    hard drive, and maybe a BlueRay drive.
    Price it $899 to start and offer a million CTO options. I'd buy one
    and everyone I know would buy one too!

    -TS
    schneidercom
    • Xserve mini, anyone?

      http://www.powerpage.org/archives/2006/07/the_xserve_mini_1.html

      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
    • Mac mini Pro

      Maybe make it "Cube" or "NeXT Slab" style.

      I don't care if it has a faster CPU than the mini, but it absolutely has to have 1 or 2 3.5" hard drive bays and a 16xPCI-E slot for a real video card. It can ship with the slot empty and the cruddy GMA950 on-board, but unless there's at least the option of upgrading to dedicated video it could come with a free pony and I'd turn it down.
      Resuna
  • Newton replacement

    Fulfill the 10 year old promise . . .
    Roger Ramjet
    • Newton

      I have been in the process of switching from a PPC phone (k-jam)
      to a Newton. While I don't think I can really do it (constantly
      updating PIM via MS Exchange is nice), using the Newton REALLY
      shows the shortcomings of every PDA since. The handwriting
      recognition and integration are STILL unmatched. Get on it, Apple!
      rsbell
  • My wish list

    1: New iPods, including higher-capacity Nanos and video iPods,
    along with a new iTunes with improved interface.

    2: newly revised dot-Mac service, with improved reliability and
    services.

    I could list a whole bunch more, like a new iWork with a FileMaker-
    Lite-style database app added, but this isn't the right time of year
    and it's probably wishful thinking anyway.
    Walt_Atwood
  • Video podcasts integrated with iTunes, iTMS, and .MAC - and personal DRM!

    You drag your audio or video into the "my podcasts" tab of iTunes 7, and it publishes it through .MAC, links it from the new home-movie section of iTMS (or a .MAC Podblog service that happens to use the iTMS style interface in iTunes). Check a box and people can stream your hits. Linked to garageBand through Spotlight and you can let people in on your jam session and share samples.

    Oh, and there'll be a tab under "Info" on your .MAC podcasts to let you encrypt them with Fairplay Light and apply DRM settings and policies that you choose!
    Resuna
  • iSight built-in the new iPod

    I predict that apple will definiltely be introducing the new ipod
    tomorrow, but what will it have on it? I'm so glad you asked ;-):

    - built in iSight camera, which may be detachable or movable so
    that it can take photos and video from front-side or back.
    - a thumb-keyboard or touch screen-like keyboard
    - better battery for longer life
    - WiFi with Skype-like (or T-mobile) intuitiveness.
    - Bluetooth
    - ROM for a new O/S to run some new pocket size version of
    Front Row, iPhoto, QuickTime, etc.

    I know I'm going out on a limb here, but I've been a mac user
    since the day of the Mac Plus and think I have my hand on the
    pulse. If you're reading this Apple... plesae don't make me look
    like an idiot!!! :-)
    raemix
  • Why Apple is Winning in Media Downloads

    While waiting for Apple's announcements, here's some great
    analysis of why Apple's in the lead, where online movie sales are
    going, and why Apple isn't threatened by Amazon:

    Why Apple is Winning in Media Downloads
    http://digg.com/apple/
    Why_Apple_is_Winning_in_Media_Downloads

    A Visual Comparison of CD, DVD, HD and iTMS Downloads
    http://digg.com/apple/
    A_Visual_Comparison_of_CD_DVD_HD_and_iTMS_Downloads

    The Apple iTMS vs Amazon Unbox Rivalry Myth
    http://digg.com/apple/
    The_iTMS_vs_Amazon_Unboxed_Rivalry_Myth
    danieleran
  • Mac Tablet PC Wanted

    I need the capabilities of a Tablet PC with a OneNote type application. Because I don't see that happening soon with Apple, I am forced to go with a Toshiba, Acer or Fujitsu that can play DVDs and burn CDs for backup. BooHoo!!
    fredaa@...
  • Mac Tablet PC Wanted

    I need the capabilities of a Tablet PC with a OneNote type application. Because I don't see that happening soon with Apple, I am forced to go with a Toshiba, Acer or Fujitsu that can play DVDs and burn CDs for backup. BooHoo!!
    fredaa@...
  • Mac Tablet PC Wanted

    I need the capabilities of a Tablet PC with a OneNote type application. Because I don't see that happening soon with Apple, I am forced to go with a Toshiba, Acer or Fujitsu that can play DVDs and burn CDs for backup. BooHoo!!
    fredaa@...