Special: MWSF ’08 Predictions

by on January 7, 2008

With less than a week to go until Macworld San Francisco, I thought I’d continue my annual tradition of sharing my predictions for what will be introduced. After Steve Jobs’s keynote address, we’ll revisit the predictions and color-code them if we were right (green for correct, red for wrong.

iPod Changes

I’m not sure if we’ll actually see any changes to the iPod line, since everything was refreshed and reworked a few months ago. If anything, we’ll see price adjustments or capacity changes. Nothing spectacular or revolutionary.

iPhone Changes

As much as I’d love to see an all-new iPhone, things are pretty much set in stone for this item, too. Everyone is calling for a 3G iPhone, but it just doesn’t seem to make sense if you think that the iPhone in its current state has only been for sale for about a month. An iPhone “Lite” might be introduced, but what is there to strip out that would make people still choose it over the Bluetooth/2MP camera/3G phones that many carriers are offering for free or less than $50 anyway (I’m talking about the Nokia 6555s and similar devices). A 3G iPhone with some sort of memory card slot would make sense, but I’m giving it a 10% chance of reality.

PowerBook MacBook Changes

The MacBook lineup is stale. I want to see something revolutionary – maybe a tiny, yet usable laptop, a decent amount of flash memory as a boot drive, or a tablet done right. If we’re going to play it safe, I expect to see minor changes to the MacBook, possibly with the move away from the white enclosure (seeing as Apple is moving to the silver/black look).

Desktop Changes

The Mac Pro is not the glamorous model in Apple’s lineup – if there are any changes, they’ll have their own announcement. The iMac was recently redone, so that leaves us with one other candidate for change—the Mac mini! Personally, I really hope the Mac mini doesn’t get discontinued, since it has quite a bit of potential from Apple. Although a larger enclosure is wanted by many (to allow for more mods/upgrades), I think that the current size/shape works quite well. How about a Mac mini that complements the current iMac in power/specs?

Apple TV Changes

Apple’s product that doesn’t seem to know where it’s going will get updated. Right now, it’s too narrow-targeted and doesn’t have many features to get people interested other than “that’s a kinda cool toy”. Additional features such as an optical drive or independence from a computer will make the Apple TV more living room friendly.

Other Announcements

Finally, I’m guessing Apple will announce changes to the iTunes Store. The rental features seem obvious, but I think there might be more than that. More DRM-free music seems like a possibility, too. A replacement for the Mighty Mouse is another possibility.

It seems that Apple doesn’t have too much that they can do with the existing hardware/software lineup, but that’s not to say they can’t come out with something entirely new and different. We’ll just have to wait and see what Apple introduces, but be sure to come back for our Keynote coverage and after the Keynote when we make sense of it all.

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