Here are my predictions for the MacWorld keynote address in January. The following information comes from a completely fabricated source, in other words, I made all of it up.
Apple News Update
The keynote address will start with Steve Jobs giving the “State of the Mac” update. He will highlight the number of countries where the iPhone 3G is now available, iPhone market share, laptop sales numbers, App Store success for developers and overall revenue. In other words, “Buy Apple stock, we actually have cash in the bank and great products.”
Preview of Snow Leopard
Steve will turn over the presentation to Phil Schiller to demonstrate some features of the upcoming operating system. There will be a focus on enterprise features to better integrate with corporate networks. For some reason, my sources tell me that there will be someone from Cisco touting enterprise security and the Mac in some form. In an effort to be “green,” Apple will be offering Snow Leopard as a downloadable upgrade version to existing Leopard customers for a reduced cost. Steve will come back in to tell us that Snow Leopard will be shipping in April or May of 2009. (Coincidentally, that is when new iMacs and iLife will arrive too.)
Steve will come back and introduce Scott Forstall to present the updated MacPro. This will feature the Intel Nehalem processor, support for USB 3.0, an optional Blu-ray burner, and new graphics card options. Also expected would be a refresh of the 30″ LED Cinema Display, same idea as the new 24″ version. (Side note, the 20″ display will vanish.)
AppleTV/MacMini = MediaMac
Steve will return ready to announce the next generation AppleTV update, or perhaps called the MediaMac. More HD content will available through iTunes with more studio partnerships. The FrontRow interface will be upgraded to support a partnership with NetFlix and perhaps viewing web content through Safari. iPhone/iPod Touch Remote application will get an upgrade to make this even cooler. In spite of the “Bag of Hurt” comment, there will be a Blu-ray reader on one of the models. (Side note, people will gripe that you can’t burn DVDs or CDs from the MediaMac, which is so five years ago anyway.) You will be able to connect external hard drives and stream content from iTunes libraries on the local network. And the device will support 1080p video formats. Price for this will be $299 with a DVD drive or $499 with a Blu-ray drive. And the MediaMac will have the same style as the current AppleTV/MacMini, but instead of white, the case will be aluminum with black plastic inset.
Not Mentioned in the Keynote
Shortly after the keynote, Apple will release the 17″ MacBook Pro with the updated form factor, which will ship in February. Also there will be upgrades to the Xserve line with the new Intel processors.
Not Going to Happen
There will not be a Mac tablet or mini notebook machine. Steve Jobs will not have gained 20 pounds. John Mayer will not be playing at this event.
So if by some amazing chance my predictions for MacWorld are correct, I wanted to at least make sure my post was out there early! Post your comments below with your predictions.