Macworld Rumors Recap: My Report Card

31 01 2008

As you might recall, I wrote a series of articles on major Macworld rumors in the week leading up to Macworld. You can review them here: MacBook, iTunes and iPhone.

Goodbye Macworld 2008

You’ve heard the story of our Macworld experience. You’ve heard about the new products. Our Macworld 2008 coverage is sadly coming to an end- its time to see how I scored with the rumors.

I organized each rumor by a Verdict (brief explanation), What To Expect (actual prediction) and What is Possible (things that could happen). Now with the Keynote over, I’ll go back and grade myself. All new commentary in bold.

For the iPhone:

The Verdict: Macworld last year was mostly occupied by the iPhone announcement- however I think that this year, an emphasis will be placed on the Mac. We should look forward to seeing an announcement or two pertaining to the iPhone, from the sales to a firmware update. We probably will not hear anything about 3G (or the iPhone 2) this early in the year.

What to expect:

•Sales Figures- How the iPhone Preformed throughout the Holiday season, maybe the 5 million, but probably not that high. (100% chance)
•Firmware 1.1.3- We should expect a firmware update, possibly coinciding with other (iTunes) annoucements. (90% chance)

My iPhone predictions were dead on! In the What is Possible category, however none were correct.

What is Possible:

•iPhone storage bump- Add an 16GB model or replace the 8GB. (50% chance)
•iPhone 2- With 3G and higher storage capacity. (30% chance)
•iPhone Nano- Rumored for a September release, with a smaller price point and less features. (10% chance)

For iTunes:

The Verdict: I am almost positive there will be some kind of iTunes announcement at Macworld, hopefully in conjunction with a AppleTV hardware (or at least, firmware) upgrade. Recent spottings in iTunes including a Jobs reference lead me to believe it is going to be Movie Rentals. However, it depends upon how much time Steve Jobs wants to spend with the Mac hardware (which, as he says, it is Macworld!). Remember last year almost 75% of the keynote was taken up with the iPhone.

What to expect:

•iTunes Update- some kind of change to the content or distribution of iTunes media. (80% chance)

My iTunes predictions were correct however, the Apple TV did see a firmware update and a price drop. I predicted this in the What is Possible category.

What is possible:

•AppleTV Update-The product is begging for a hardware and firmware update! (60% chance)
•Larger Capacity Hard Drive(s)- Add more space or drop the price. (50% chance)
•Price Drop- Drop the price and make the money back with iTunes. (30% chance)
•Inputs- Add Blu-Ray Optical Drive or DVR Functionality(20% chance)
•Keyboard or new Input Device- The Apple Remote could use some more functionality, especially if coupled with new hardware features. (10% chance)
•LCD Screen Addition- Would coincide with recent patent filings. (5% chance)

For the MacBook:

The Verdict: I can confidently say that there will be new laptops at Macworld- both the MacBook Pro and MacBook lines have seen little design changes since their introduction almost 2 years ago. If this design change includes a new ‘portable’ model, will remain to be seen- but the chances are in favor. There is a large hole in Apple’s laptop lineup- there is no small or cheap laptop! Yes, Apple, $1099 isn’t cheap- sorry.

What to expect:

•New Laptops- Either consumer or Pro, both are due for an update! (100% chance)

My MacBook predictions were correct but somewhat vague. In What Is Possible, I did predict, with an 80% chance there was going to be an Ultra Portable with no Optical Drive. However I said there was a 0% chance of a flash based hard drive! Ouch- to clarify, I did mean, a flash based hard drive standard! Also note that the MacBook Air name did not come up when I wrote the article.

What is possible:

•Ultra-Portable (80% chance)
•No Optical Drive/Optional Internal Drive (do I hear DVD Rentals to tide us over, Steve?)
•Multi-Touch Trackpad- Would coincide with patent filings. (50% chance)
•Blu-Ray Optical Drives- Hey, Apple (and Disney) does support the Blu-Ray camp! (10% chance)
•Flash Based- some were initially reporting the ultra-portable would be flash based. The flash memory industry is not ready for this, from the poor read/write speeds to great expense and small capacity. Physical storage is here for a while. [Note this applies to a Flash based hard drive] (0% chance)

Thank You Steve Jobs

In total, the only rumor I did not see coming was Time Capsule. I made a bad call with the flash based storage on the MacBook Air. Otherwise I think I scored pretty good, I would say at least a B-, no? Goodbye Macworld 2008.



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