Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Macworld Predictions

Here are my realistic expectations for MacWorld. These are speculative only. Don't make stock buying decisions or wait on purchasing an Apple product because of these. Only Apple really knows what they're going to do.

No 3G yet. Not until AT&T gets better coverage. Fact is, iPhone browsing works very well compared to other phones because it has a fast processor to render the web pages. I would expect announcements regarding third party application and possibly, Microsoft ActiveSync licensing which would speed up adoption amongst business users as a response to the overwhelming request for better Exchange support. Watch for a sizable bump in flash storage, and new features enabled as the device evolves. Maybe even something like an iChat client.

MacBook Pro
New processors - maybe the new 45 NM Penryns for faster processing, longer battery life, cooler operation. Same case. Perhas an additional feature here or there but mostly evolutionary. A built-in flash drive to speed up boots and to extend battery life would be great.

I'm thinking evolutionary improvements here. Expect the new LCD screens. With the move for the iMac to aluminum and glass to be more environmentally friendly, the case of the MacBooks really are a sore thumb. An aluminum keyboard surface so you will have a white/aluminum or black/aluminum look would be very cool.

Slim Book
I know a lot of people are talking about a flash driven, no optical drive notebook for $1,500. A flash drive that would work in conjunction with RAM to reduce hard disk swapping for extended battery life (and hard drive life too) and for faster booting is more plausible. But flash only? No way.

We are at the cusp where optical drives can be dropped just as similar to the time when Apple dropped the floppy disk for the iMac. I'm betting that most of us don't use an optical drive for daily usage anymore. With being able to download most applications you buy or movies, having a low usage device take up so much internal space doesn't make sense anymore. Plus, it's one more mechanical thing that can go wrong which increases the cost of warranties and servicing.

I would expect it to be part of the MacBook Pro line which is typically purchased by the more experienced and affluent user who would gladly trade the additional cost of an external DVD drive for better aesthetics. Look of amazement by those around the conference table when you pull out your ultra-thin notebook compared to the bricks and anchors

Here's wishing for HD video content that would look nice on my 42" LCD.

Needs an update to drive adoption. Maybe HD content from iTunes will help. Also, if it could record from TV like a DVR it would be a lot more meaningful device. But, keep it at $299 and put a Blu-ray player in it (I prefer HD but Disney's stuff is on Blu-ray) and it would fly off the shelves. Or make it a Blu-ray/HD combo for $399. Now you're talking long lines at the checkout counter.

The AppleTV then becomes a device that drives iTunes, iPod, and Mac adoption. Sort of a tail-wagging the dog thing like what the iPod did.

Bigger flash memory in the iPod touch with similar third party application support as the iPhone. I would think iChat with voice support over Wi-Fi would be great, but don't expect it.

Besides these products from Apple, look to see Microsoft Office being officially announced, as well as some other application that takes advantage of Leopard technologies.

Well, that's my prediction list. Now we'll just have to wait and see.