Apple's charismatic CEO won't be showing up to deliver his famous keynote speech at Macworld Expo on Tuesday, but the show must go on. Wired.com has been following the rumors and analyst reports on what to expect at the show. Here's a roundup of those tasty tidbits, along with our probability estimation for each prediction coming true.
Aluminum Mac MinisWired.com learned straight from an Apple corporate employee that a new Mac Mini is slated for announcement at Macworld Expo. The Mini, Apple's portable desktop, hasn't been upgraded since August 2007 — which is unusual, considering Apple typically refreshes its products every six or seven months. Other publications dug up additional details about the Mac Mini's specifications. In summary:
- The enclosure will be composed of a combination of aluminum and black plastic, matching the color scheme of the latest MacBook family and iMac. - The system will ship with an Nvidia graphic chipset. - The system will ship with a SATA optical drive, which can optionally be swapped for a SATA hard drive. - The system's connectivity ports include support for Mini DisplayPort, Mini DVI, FireWire 800 and USB.
Probability: 99 percent
iPhone NanoA third-party iPhone case manufacturer created a new category labeled "iPhone Nano," igniting speculation that Apple will release a smaller version of its popular handset. A purported image of the Nano case suggests the handset is simply shorter and less wide than the original iPhone. Our problems with this gadget: It would be extremely difficult to use the touchscreen if its size is compromised. An iPhone Nano is a possibility later in the future, but the evidence for a Macworld release is thus far unsubstantiated.
Probability: 15 percent
iMac UpgradesEconomic Daily News, a Chinese publication, says component suppliers have leaked Apple's plans to upgrade its all-in-one desktop, the iMac. According to the publication, the iMac will sport a magnesium-aluminum alloy chassis. Corroborating this report, MacRumors discovered a string of code evidencing that new iMacs will carry an Nvidia chipset.
Probability: 90 percent
17-inch MacBook Pro
APC speculates Apple will refresh the 17-inch MacBook Pro at Macworld Expo with a unibody chassis and a low-cost, quad-core mobile processor. The evidence? Intel quietly added a new quad-core chip to its price list: the Core 2 Extreme Q9000 ($350), which partners four 2-GHz cores. Also, it's mysterious that Apple in October upgraded all the new MacBooks except the 17-inch MacBook Pro, and January would be a good time to announce one.
These are reasonable inferences, and AppleInsider claims it "independently confirmed" an upgrade for a 17-inch MacBook Pro would be announced. AppleInsider's report doesn't further the theory of a quad-core processor, but instead claims the notebook will include a fixed internal battery and an Nvidia chipset.
Probability: 75 percent
Thus far, it appears the "big deal" product at Macworld will be the souped-up Mac Mini. That's not awfully exciting to us, but we look forward to an aluminum treatment for the little guy.
A question to all the crazy Mac fanatics: Are you going to be camping out for the keynote this year, even though Phil Schiller's emceeing rather than Jobs?