It hardly seems a year since Apple’s last big keynote address, a date that looms large in the calendars of many a technology writer, was upon. This is the time of year when Apple sets out it’s stall for the upcoming year and lays a roadmap down that invariably a good portion of the computer industry will try to follow. It is of course an event that has for the better part of a decade fired up the rumour mills and garnered speculation more than any other. The rumours are of course half the fun of the event with numerous sites and publications trying to second guess the boys and girls from Cupertino as Steve Jobs takes to the stage and laps up the praise and adulation from the faithful.
2007 will be a hard year to follow in many respects for Apple, despite criticism from some quarters the iPhone was last year’s gadget to have. It’s form factor and trend setting touch screen interface certainly had the “wow” factor even if the restrictive contracts and price juggling shenanigans in the US weren’t so impressive. Then of course we saw the release of Leopard, the latest incarnation of Apple’s OS X. Undoubtedly packed to the rafters with a suite of new features, even if the experience of installing and running weren’t without their problems.
Here at 020.com. we shall endeavour to bring you the news about what Apple is offering as and when it happens. However for now, being as everyone is jumping on the rumour bandwagon. Here’s our two penneth worth.
Now the iPhone has been in the marketplace for the better part of a year, it could very well be time for an upgrade. Most people seem to think that it will enjoy a memory hike to take it’s internal storage from a somewhat average 8Gb to a slightly more respectable 16GB. Also there is the possibility of the device finally moving to true 3G speeds. AT&T hinted as much, Expect a US release before we see such improvements here.
Leopard 10.5.2 has already been seeded to the developer and beta community for testing and it looks likely that the update will make its appearance either today or within the next few days. This however has the potential to be a big update (300Mb +) but if we all keep our fingers crossed this could be the release where Apple “gets it right”. With the potential to cure at least seventy five ills within the operating system, could I finally find such features as Back To My Mac working properly, maybe my iTunes library will load itself in under half an hour? For me this really is a key issue (I’m too skint to buy whatever it is they have to offer anyway).
The big news that has been floating around the web for quite some time is the introduction of a new sub compact Macbook. Ever since the death of the 12” G4 iBook, Apple’s laptop range has been sorely missing a “baby” machine. The 13” Macbook is currently the smallest device on offer but for it’s size it might carry quite a performance punch but it carries a little bit of weight with it as well.
The new Macbook, is being touted as half the depth and weight of the current version with the possibility of foregoing an optical drive in a bid to shed weight, there’s also a strong rumour that it will shed a hard drive in favour of NAND flash memory. If this is the case that would mean not only shedding a good portion of the machine’s weight but much improved battery life and robustness (if coupled with a low voltage processor as well). There have even been some noises made about a Macbook that docks with your desktop machine. Ambitious, but it would be nice to see if there were any grains of truth in it. Although personally I find it doubtful, Apple’s intent seems to lie within synching your machines through software rather than hardware means these days (which probably means I am going to be wrong). Some are claiming that Apple might just be in the market to announce a mid range performance machine situated somewhere between the iMac and the Mac Pro (which has just had a tasty 8 Core refit with some of Intel’s Quad Core Xeon range). Once again, I don’t feel this is going to happen. If you look at Apple’s range, the entry level is still taken care of with the Mac Mini and in terms of performance the recent iMac’s have been no slouches in the performance department. Adding another machine to the range I suspect would muddy the waters somewhat. As it stands the iMac brand is synonymous with the home market while the Pro lands firmly in the ballpark of the professional.
Of course at this point prior to the event this is all hearsay, join us after the keynote for a round up of all the events that happened. I’ll see you later.