Special: Macworld 2009 Predictions

by on January 3, 2009

With just days until Phil Schiller’s keynote at the Macworld Expo, I thought I’d continue my annual tradition of sharing my predictions for what will be introduced. After the address, we’ll revisit the predictions and color-code them if we were right (green for correct, red for wrong).

No New iPods

Just like last year, the iPod was updated just a few months prior to Macworld, so I doubt we’ll be seeing any changes there. The only thing I can think of is the possibility of more iPods based on the iPod touch/iPhone hardware, but that’s probably pretty doubtful.

A Smaller iPhone

Some are speculating an iPhone “nano” or something that is like the iPhone, but cheaper and smaller. I say no.

A Bigger MacBook Pro

Since everything but the 17″ model got the unibody refresh (not counting the MacBook Air – that’s a different story), I’m expecting that to be announced at the keynote. Nothing special or revolutionary – a bigger MacBook Pro as before. Maybe we can hope for a numeric keypad built-in so the thing doesn’t look so darn disproportionate.

Mac mini & iMac

This is where a lot of people, including yours truly have their money this year. The Mac mini is badly overdue for an update and there are rumors about a mini that can drive dual displays, or has a redesigned enclosure, or makes you breakfast. It’s also likely we’ll see updated iMacs, although I doubt a major redesign.

Cloudy Software

There has been some speculation that iWork will move to a Web-based “cloud” model where you work with your documents over a service like MobileMe or something like that, much like Google Docs. I disagree. First of all, I like iWork, but it requires a lot of power even in its desktop form, and things like presentations or creating documents are things you don’t need the Internet for. What if you want to work on things while on an airplane, or somewhere where you’re stuck on dialup? What I’d like to see is a version of iWork that has counterparts—to edit—on the iPhone.

There has also been some speculation of a Web-based iMovie. After the mess that was MobileMe last year, what makes you think that uploading and messing with gigabytes of data over the Internet is a good idea?

It’s Winter, So There’s Snow…

We’ll see Snow Leopard (aka Mac OS X 10.6), but it probably won’t be available until April. Just a thought.

Anything Else?

Everyone says this is going to be a quieter, scaled-back keynote. While I’ll agree that will probably be the case, there’s a side of me that thinks this is a stunt by Apple. Get Phil Schiller in there, lower people’s expectations, and then demonstrate that you don’t need Steve Jobs to create the “wow factor” with new products. We shall see…

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