Macworld rumour mill picks ultraportable launch

Macworld rumour mill picks ultraportable launch

Summary: As the Macworld expo gears up to open on Tuesday, speculation about new products centres on a possible ultramobile MacBook laptop.

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TOPICS: iPhone, Apple
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As the Macworld expo gears up to open on Tuesday, speculation about new products centres on a possible ultramobile MacBook laptop.

Analysts and the media have suggested that a new notebook computer, with half the thickness of currently available models, might be announced. This slenderness could be the result of a switch from traditional hard drives to flash-based storage, claimed Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster in an interview with USA Today.

Banners at the Moscone centre in San Francisco, where the event will be held, reportedly read "There's something in the air", seen by many as a reference to the possible inclusion of WiMax in the new MacBooks. The long-range wireless broadband technology is due to make its way into many new notebook computers from this year, as the chipmaker Intel is heavily promoting such inclusion.

However, although US mobile operator Sprint will start rolling out a WiMax network in the US in the second quarter of 2008, the regulatory landscape in Europe is very different. In the UK, for example, mobile WiMax's future depends largely on the result of a spectrum auction due to take place early this year, and 3G technology also constitutes a much more entrenched rival to WiMax here than any in the US.

There is also speculation that Apple boss Steve Jobs will unveil a new version of the iPhone, boasted 16GB of storage rather than 8GB, a move that UK newspaper The Telegraph suggested might annoy those who bought the 8GB version. A 3G version of the device, which currently uses only relatively slow Edge networks for data connectivity, is also rumoured.

On the consumer side, Apple is expected to launch movie rentals through its iTunes store.

The slogan on the MacWorld banners has been seen by many as a reference to the inclusion of WiMax in the new MacBooks.

Topics: iPhone, Apple

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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