Macworld 2009 PredictionsDecember 30th, 2008
Macworld 2009 is just 6 days away. It’s a Philnote instead of a Stevenote, and Apple’s last Macworld. Let’s get to it.
Apple Tablet | Netbook
Multi-touch one piece form factor – Sources, dating back to 2005, have spoken of a one piece form factor tablet running Mac OS X. The guts may have changed since 2004-2005, but the form factor is likely the same.
720 x 480 screen – Widescreen for movie playback. Easy to source these components. The real question is pixel density, which depends on the form factor.
ARM + GPU processors – ARM processors are fast; more power efficient (longer battery life); can be supplied by multiple chip vendors including Apple’s new semi-conductor division; and Apple’s already got a OS X and app stack tuned for this form factor. A GPU is necessary for hardware accelerated web browsing and the graphics intensive apps and user experience. I’d love to believe that this is an Intel machine, but Apple and Intel’s partnership has been tentative this past year and with the chip division purchase, the roadmap seems clear.
OS X variant – If it has an ARM chipset, it won’t be full Mac OS X. Existing apps might work with a re-compile. It’ll play iPhone games, though. I could be wrong. Many things have pointed to sizing Mac OS X and iPhone OS X to converge, but I’d give it another 12 months.
$599 – Steve only shows up to earnings calls to spread dis-information (lie) and gauge market reaction (smart) prior to releasing new products. He did this for the iPod Nano, the iPhone, and he’ll do it again for the Apple tablet. “We don’t know how to make a computer for $500”. Fine. “All this for just $599”. (Plus a $699 upgrade)
Q1 2009 – Debunking today’s Fall 2009 timing rumor. Reliable sources at Apple also told me just prior to the iPhone 3G launch that it would not ship until 9 months later. They work on hardware, they cited realistic technical challenges getting a 3G chip in place. I’m betting it’s bunk.
Name? – iBook, MacBook Touch. No idea. Some combination of Mac, i, Book, Pad, or Touch. “Notepad” would be hilarious, but unlikely.
Is it a MacBook? – I’d like to call an audible on whether this is a full MacBook multi-touch notebook or an Apple tablet. An Apple tablet makes the most sense now. In 2005, this product was a full blown MacBook.
Mac Mini 3.0
Apple will merge Mac Mini and Apple TV together, dropping one of the lines.
- 3D – Hardware accelerated 3D Web graphics with CSS Visual Effects. The specs exist, they’re implemented on iPhone, and definitely coming to Mac.
- Video – You can already do alpha blended, transparent, reflected video playback on WebKit nightlies.
- Speed – Benchmarks showing how much faster Safari 4 is over Safari 3 (also in a WebKit nightly near you).
- UI – Apple is cooking some interesting UI upgrades, which I’m looking forward to.
One Last Thing
While this is a Philnote, I believe that the introduction of a major new product will still guest star Jobs.