Monday, 5 January 2009
MacWorld San Francisco 2009
So its MWSF time again, and for the final time as far as Apple's attendance for product announcements, which have traditionally often stolen some of the limelight from the CES event down the road in Vegas at this time of year. And Steve Jobs has finally issued a statement about his weight issues and hormone imbalance. Perhaps, though I suspect not, the press will leave him alone now and let the markets reflect the performance of the company rather than the health of its CEO.
So what can we expect Apple to release tomorrow? I usually join the other Apple pundits in guessing what may be revealed. This time I suspect we will see some updates on how well the iPhone App store is doing before a general focus on Mac computer products. I agree with those tipsters who suggest that the iMac and Mac Mini are due to be refreshed, although I suspect the latter will be a more major revamp than the former. Many people are already using the Mini as a media server in their homes and the updated spec should make this an even more attractive option alongside Time Capsule and iTunes /Front Row. I wouldn't be surprised to see software updates to these latter two applications and perhaps the iPhone/iPod Touch Remote app at a future date.
We should see the new 17 inch MacBook Pro which was delayed from the other laptop announcements late last year. Rumours suggest that this may sport new battery technology and if this is the case, I would see this transfer to the other sizes of laptop in due course. Price adjustments to the portable range may be a side effect of the 17" model launch. The other piece of the puzzle I would expect to see unveiled tomorrow is information about the next release of OSX, called Snow Leopard. The hardware announcements are likely to ensure that all the popular models of computer Apple make are 'Snow Leopard ready' in terms of exploiting OpenCL and Grand Central. While hardly creating mind blowing demos in themselves, I would expect Apple to come up with a characteristically simple way of showing the sheer performance advantage of this under-the-hood technology.
Finally one of the distinctive features of Apple computers against their PC counterparts is the bundling of the iLife suite. I would expect Apple to want to keep pushing these applications ahead of the competition and if not tomorrow then would expect announcements soon during the first half of 2009.