8 Predictions for Macworld 2008

We will be covering Macworld 2008 extensively here at Apple Gazette.com. Click Here to subscribe to our RSS Feed, and you can read LIVE Keynote coverage in our Live Center on Jan. 15th.

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Predictions are fun. I like predictions. I’m not always that great at them, but I like them. In my defense, though, last year everyone thought we were going to be seeing more at Macworld than just two products…and I did get the “one more thing” right…even though it was the main event.

Anyway, in the interest of good fun, I’ve hunkered down, thought about it, and come up with my 8 predictions for Macworld 2008.

1. iTunes Update

Jobs will spin the recent announcement of higher priced titles in a positive way, almost convincing all of us that it’s the greatest addition to iTunes ever. The video quality will be improved to justify the price increase, and several major studios will finally be on board.

In addition to purchasing movies movie rentals will also be added to the iTunes store – with some serious DRM restrictions.

2. AppleTV Update

Higher capacity AppleTVs will be available, with a software update including access to the iTunes store directly on the device.

3. The Strongest Holiday Season Ever

When Jobs gets into the numbers we’ll see that Apple has had their best selling holiday shopping season in their history. iPhone sales will in no way be affected by the fact that we all know a 3G iPhone is coming in 2008, the entire iPod line will have sold more than ever before, and the Mac line will also be at its best holiday sales number ever.

Fanboy dreaming? Doubtful. That’s a continuing trend over 2007 that I expect to fly right on through to 2008.

4. Updated Macbooks

We’re already getting reports that Apple is purchasing 13.3 inch BLUs. Some have speculated that they will be used for a new, long rumored, Apple sub-notebook. Of course, that doesn’t make a lot of sense, because the Macbook is already a 13.3 inch screen device – so how could the same size screen be for a sub-notebook?

Instead we’ll get a full aluminum Macbook with a BLU LED screen and updated specs.

5. No iTablet

The rumored iTablet device will NOT be at Macworld. I am still a firm believer that a device that is the size of a paper back book running Leopard with a mini-DVD drive makes no sense, and I don’t expect to see it at Macworld – or anywhere – ever.

6. iPhone and iPod Touch Software Updates

Jobs will remind us that they are constantly trying to add value to the iPhone and iPod Touch by making great software for it. The update will include several bug fixes, and small new features (like sending SMS messages to more than one person at a time), and a native iChat application.

I know, I know, “Apple won’t make iChat for the iPhone because they want you to send SMS messages”. If that’s true, then why do they show you how to send FREE SMS message on their site. You can click here or here to find direct links to free SMS apps for your iPhone. The only Apps you can’t seem to find on Apple site, are the IM applications. My guess, is because they’d rather you use theirs when it comes out.

7. iPhone SDK

The iPhone SDK will be announced as available to developers at the end of January, and they will demo applications that are already being developed by those who received the kits early.

One More thing…Mac Nano

While the “One More Thing…” hasn’t made an appearance at every Keynote in the last year or so, I think we’ll see it this time, with an all new, completely redesigned, and insanely small, Mac Mini replacement.

So there they are. I’m sure you’ll agree with almost none of them…as always, feel free to write your own predictions in the comments below the article.

Comments

  1. Aaron Benson says:

    Macworld is a consumer product announcement platform. Mac Nano and AppleTV will be the same product. Leopard has pretty much used the FrontRow layout. Bringing the family computer into the living room and further blurring what a computer can and should do has been the point for sometime now. In addition to that Movie Rentals are a go, in HD. The old Apple TVs firmware will be updated to a more current Leopard-like layout with options to buy from the living room so as to not leave early adopters in the cold. The New AppleTV/Mac Nano will feature an updated graphics card to support upto 1080p resolution to make HD Rental at a desirable price point to compete with Netflicks and Blockbuster alike. Rentals and possibility of a subscription based service for content delivery.

    ONE MORE THING… is the catcher that will make people who are on the fence and not sure if AppleTV is really the best option out there for what they want, I mean Netflicks works, Pay Preview Work, DVR/TIVO works…what is so special about another set-top box. How is it going to compete. BLU-RAY. Apple though a partner in the Blu-Ray consortium, has yet to fully back the standard. Many reasons why that could be from contactual obligations that prohibit development until a certain time period (possible the holiday season 2008) so as to not compete with the PS3 to waiting til the final Blu-Ray standards were available for player devices. The AppleTV is a failed product unless the product combines all your set-top boxes into on neat package. It would be amazing if you could some how have it record live tv in a TIVO/DVR fashion, but I am sure that a deal with content providers would make them think twice.

    A promise to have a new Blu-Drive in all Mac’s starting with the MacPros with updated chips.

    Airport Express upto the N-Wireless draft standard.

    I-Tunes announcement will be that another major label is following suit with the I-Tunes Plus no-DRM content.

    SUBNOTEBOOK IS A YES

    Environmental Awareness Roadmap update.

  2. I love crystal ball gazing….

  3. I think you forgot about the MAC PRO !!! I’m waiting for the next update to buy one !!!

  4. I think, I’m sure, it’s obvious, it will be the introduction of the
    iMac G3 strawberry 400 GHz (!) slotlaoding (!!), although it’s hard to believe…

  5. Paco Rodriguez - Spain says:

    What about to open new Businesses???? Apple dropped ‘Computer’ from its name, right? What about to produce music and tv shows/films? Apple will vertically integrate the whole line of the products, distributing their films through iTunes, watching it on a AppleTV/iPod/Mac….

    We´ve been through worst times: we couldn’t even think that apple would successfully get on mobile market, and it did….

  6. bart hanson says:

    And because YOU, our customers asked for it we’re fixing the Finder. Windows will stay in the same place retaining the same view after being closed, even if re-opened months later. Hell, System 9 did this, so we felt our big cats should bring you the same comfortable, familiar interface you’ve come to expect from Apple. In fact our new slogan is “Opening a window is like coming Home”.
    Yeah Right!

  7. looking forward to see the new Apple that you can touch
    and eat

  8. xavier serrano says:

    i also think that the apple tv is in crisis or at least i dont see the point of it. it cost 300 dollars i would prefer to pay 300 more get a mac mini conenct it to my tv in the living room and ill have an apple tv, music, i could get and eyetv or equivalent and record the tv shows and the best of all a computer on the living room as well as a dvd player since it plays dvds

  9. klimegreen says:

    I for one am looking forward to the iPhone SDK announcement. Found some info on that here: http://personafile.com/iPhone-apps.html.

  10. thegreatbigblue says:

    I don’t thnk we’ll see movie rentals. After all, The Man said costumers like to really own their content. Renting and owning don’t mix.

  11. I would like to see a new redesign Mac Mini, and new updates for the Apple TV.

  12. - iPhone 4G, 32GB, iChat, iChannels, Voice Dialing, JavaScript, Unlocked
    - 42″ and 50″ iMac HD LED TV / Computer, wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, wireless network, optional wall mount; new television ads introduce themselves as ‘I am an HD TV” and “So am I”. “I can display 720i or 1028i” and “So can I”. “I can display HD television channels from Satelite or Cable providers” and “So can I”. “I can connect to any Windows based computer” and “I am a computer, I have an Intel Core2 Duo processor running Leopard OSX and with the software that comes with me I can create my own music and videos”. “I can play and display the music and videos that you create” and “Uhhh huh, yea… how proud you must be too!”
    - iServe Blade16
    - AppleTV v2 now supporting iChannels
    - iTunes iChannels subscription service offers over 120 live and pre-recorded television channels (HBO, Cinemax, Disney, Discovery, CNN, Local News, …)
    - iCar adapters digitally integrate the iPod / iPhone into your vehicle; crisp clean digital sound without the interference commonly found when using FM transmitters
    - iBear an iPod toy for your child or loved one that talks, and plays music and audio msgs that you or your child can record. USB interface.

  13. Quit Dreaming says:

    I can’t believe the fantasies you guys are having on this forum. Apple isn’t going to turn into fscking sharper image. They’re not going to have a new gadget for every damn thing you do. If you’re going to make predictions, let them be logical ones, based on some thought. You’re all so hilarious. You think just because Apple isn’t doing what everyone else is doing that they are automatically not as good as anyone else. BULL! Apple isn’t doing what everyone is doing b/c to Steve, what everyone’s doing just isn’t good enough. People like Apple because they deliver functional, quality products, not because they make your dreams come true. Here’s some more functional predictions:

    1) AppleTV: Video on Demand
    2) iPhone: software update – more features, SDK (hopefully more sophisticated texting features), discuss the next iPhone.
    3) Multi-touch Laptops -maybe
    4) Design change for the MacBook Pro – maybe
    5) Design change for the Mac Pro -maybe
    6) New Cinema Displays (Please)

  14. There better be an Aperture 2.0 update soon or I’m switching to Lightroom.

  15. So, if there IS an iTablet (w/o a DVD drive — because you wouldn’t need one – use thumb drives) at Mac World 2008, would you feel completely stupid for having “jumped the gun” on products that other people want, even if you don’t?

  16. The only thing I didn’t see mentioned that will be revolutionary to the market is a stock split. Make sure to load up on Apple Stock (AAPL) leading up to the Mac World 2008 week of January 14th.
    Hopefully they will do a 3 to 1 stock split. As a holder of Apple stock I am excited thinking about a stock split. Stock has almost eclipsed $200 a share. That’s more than your average investor is willing to pay. A stock split will bring the price to a reasonable level.
    If the stock splits the value should continue to rise through the end of 2008 as revenue numbers come in for the updated IPOD sales, IPhone, & revenue commissions they get from consumers monthly AT&T contracts.

  17. NEW MAC MINI PLEASE!!

  18. why not an aluminium imac non-glossy screen option

  19. Paco Rodriguez - Spain says:

    What about to have an updated Logo? That one would be stunning!

    The rainbow logo was used from 1976-1998, and the silver one is being used since then. Why not update it? Maybe it can be updated with 4 different colours/greys representing the 4 main lines of apple’s business: software, ipod, mac, iphone?

  20. An ultra-mobile would be logical, simply because it’s the logical progression for the Macbook. Currently the Macbook is biting in the market for the Macbook Pro because the two aren’t different enough. Turning the Macbook into a lightweight, low-power, mechanical-drive-less laptop would kill two birds with one stone.

    First it would make the gap between Macbook and Macbook Pro large enough that the prospective buyers for the latter would not be considering the former, as they now often do.

    Second, it would tap into the huge reservoir of professionals who want to be mobile, and for whom turn-of-the-century computing power is generally more than enough. I am talking about system administrators who have been aching for a portable thin client for over a decade now; consultants who need an e-mail device for on the road that has a decent keyboard and doesn’t force them to squint; I know several fiction writers who are either using such a device right now (either a 12 inch iBook or an Asus EEE) or are waiting for one.

    Current ultra-mobiles, excluding the Macbook, cost thousands of dollars and come with unnecessary features such as DVD drives and hard disks. These are sold to people who don’t need a computer, but need to be seen with one. I am convinced there’s a whole market waiting for cheap ultra-mobiles. The Asus EEE has already sold over 350k units in one quarter.

  21. ummm….how many years has it been since they’ve updated those displays of theirs?

  22. what happen to price drop on Apple product like iPod Touch
    OR
    the bigger storage for iPod Touch for the same price of $399?

    Come on….
    Well, let’s see if that would be true.
    if it is , i will be coming back to gloat and ‘Com-mean’ u

  23. How about a camera added to the iTouch? (or an iPhone that doesn’t require the service plan….)

  24. How about a camera added to the iPod Touch? (or an iPhone that doesn’t require the service plan….)

  25. I love thinking about new innovations just as much as the next mac user, but some of these ideas are just hopes and dreams. We can expect to see various Leopard updates, as well as iTunes. We are in desperate need of a Macbook Pro update as well, perhaps re-design and make a bigger difference between that and a regular Macbook? A much sleeker, thinner computer would be nice..with more features. There’s only so much you can do for an iPod, I believe they will just focus on system upgrades. Apple NEEDS to clear their inventory on iPhones. They most definitely made far too many. If they want to advertise a second iPhone, I would be the happiest man alive (I’m waiting for the second one to purchase, it’s not worth switching my service just yet..) but if they aren’t going to, then it should be completely ignored for Apple’s benefit. If they talk about it, iPhone sales could dramatically decrease, hurting apple. Still, I hope they do. As for AppleTV, I have no desire for it as of now. Apple’s products have always been very eye-catching and has been a great demand for it, but this one maybe missed the mark. For their benefit, they need an upgrade. So all-in-all, we can plan to see upgrades on AppleTV and Macbooks, Updates for Leopard and iTunes, and HOPEFULLY information and/or release date for iPhone 2 and it’s SDK.

  26. i think there is a MacBook Mini.

  27. I think this is the year where Steve and Apple will try to enter the Kitchen market ( I mean the computers which can be stuck on the refrigerators).

    There is a lot of money there to be made.

  28. Well im hoping that theres not going to be a repeat of previous events where the Steve announces something at ridiculous prices and then everyone claps! what teh heck.

    Like ringtones….pay for the song then…wait for it…you can use it as a ringtone….oh and you have to pay for that too…..**APPLAUSE**

    what the hell….youve paid for the song..why dont they just let you edit the song for free…

    other than that i love my ipod touch lol :-)

  29. Here is the boot shaped pan you wanted for your boot cake.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Wilton-WESTERN-Cowboy-BOOT-cake-pan-Aluminum-Mold-1995_W0QQitemZ320154223782QQcmdZViewItem

    I hope the predictions are right, I will be there to watch.

    D

  30. Blu-ray drive optional on Mac Pro. This is overdue and I will be very surprised if this is not added to parts of the mac line.

  31. I agree with most of the predictions. Not the Mac Nano, though, and I miss the MacBook Pro Upgrade.

    On point I never saw discussed anywhere, and which I firmly believe will come: The iTunes Update will also include the possibility to buy iPhone applications through the iTunes store. Because this will be the way Apple will keep control of the iPhone software. The only way to install third-party applications on your (unhacked) iPhone will be through iTunes.

  32. Richard Prince says:

    First, I wish you gamers would shut up and go play with you Wii-wees. Masturbation junkies.

    OK, this list of predictions is really lame. Mac Nano… do you really know what you are talking about? NO. That’s why you are so bad at making predictions because you have put so little thought into Apple’s partnerships, product alliances, their patents and the direction of the technologies.

    Right now Apple’s touch screen implementations are blowing everybody out of the water and they must move on it fast. Adding to their portable Mac line with a low-power subnotebook is essential. And you are say NEVER, EVER, EVER… (in bold text) get some perspective. Who let’s you write crap?

    I agree with the earlier poster that said if Apple doesn’t significantly upgrade AppleTV it is a dead product line for them. All indications are that they will turn this into a video-on-demand platform in partnership with studios and certain Disney (no brainer). I’d be willing to speculate that Jobs sees DVD drives as a passing technology and not something to include in the portable and laptop lines in the future.

  33. Any idea when we can expect to see new Cinema Displays? I’m really looking forward to getting a built in iSight in a Cinema Display since I generally keep my MBP docked to an external keyboard & monitor when I’m not traveling. Its annoying not having iSight when the lid is closed.

  34. I say NEW DESIGN Macbook Pros we havent seen a new design of the macbook pros in a very long time not since the powerbook G4s and i would love to see a Geforce 8800M GTX put in it too with 512 graphics ram make it a real gaming notebook COME ON APPLE WE WANT NEW MBPs

  35. I believe that Steve Jobs will be announcing the following new products:

    1. A microcomputer which is portable and has its own VDU and keyboard – possibly attached, and all neatly arranged in a carry box about the size of two briefcases. Though unlikely, it would be nice if it had some sort of removable storage capabilities – wow, digital would be great!

    2. A wireless telephone unit with number buttons instead of the standard mechanical dial. It would hopefully have an LED display showing the time, date, seconds and the channel or frequency you are speaking on.

    3. A music device which I think could quite easily be called “iDisco” which allows you to play music from a number of 7 inch or 12 inch long players records in a row – I would wager it will use the stacking mechanism but with a sort of braile reading device which swipes each disk before dropping down to AUTOMATICALLY select 33 or 45 rpm speed. If I get my wish they will have an armband-mounted version which I can take jogging.

    4. One more thing… An office device incorporating dried food and hot water heating – to create INSTANT HOT FOOD. I have no idea how this would be realised but I can see that fruit manufacturers may get upset that the snack as we know it (e.g. a standard factory produced apple or biscuit) will be redundant.

    I love technology!

  36. Paul Boswell says:

    I would expect to see a lower priced, entry-level Apple TV, possibly as low as $99 since Apple needs to adopt the strategy well established by Kodak that you give the “camera” away because the REAL money is in the ongoing film sales. Also look for a Apple TV+ with a DVD player, since this is the key missing component of Apple TV. DVDs still provide vastly superior pictures (not to mention extras) to downloadable m4vs. Most of Netflix’ business is still DVD based, for example. I suspect most people also have quite a few DVDs around the house too. It might make sense to include an option to order a Blu-Ray or HDTV drive since stores carry these discs but still very few players. However, I predict that consumers will weigh-in on the side of video on demand over HD video for some time to come. Too few people have the necessary hardware for HD and the software (movies) is still very limited. Remember, it took over 20 years for people to accept color TV over black & white. By the way, the biggest liability to Apple TV is the name. People assume it needs to work with their PCs and people think Apples and PCs are incompatible. They should have tried harder to come up with a completely brand-neutral name, as they did with iPod. So, we can only hope they rename it.

    IF Jobs chooses to announce the G3 iPhone, expect him to drop the price another $100 to clear out remaining inventory of the current model. This would be consistent with other maturing cellphone products, like the recent Motorola Razr. If he’s smart, the Apple store will take pre-orders for iPhone 2 immediately. (This is a stupid omission from the first release).

    A Mac Nano is highly unlikely because of the practical size limits imposed by the a CD/DVD ROM drive. As I said, the biggest argument against Apple TV is the lack of a DVD drive. For just a little more money you’re far better off with a Mac Mini as your home entertainment computer. The Mini was greatly improved with the upgrade to 4 USB ports (vs. the 2 original). So, a smaller form factor would only reduce the features with no real benefit. More likely, if there are any changes to the Mini line at all, we’ll see at least one new color (black) or possibly several colors, like the iPods. Also the “Nano” name is too closely associated with iPods to extend to Mac computer products.

    Apple may introduce a Mini Tower, which is a missing product from their lineup. These are about 2/3 the size of a standard tower but would be in about the same class as higher-end iMacs. This would appeal to a lot of users who want to use their own, cheaper, displays but still have a Mac.

    We’ll see next week.

  37. i dont think that there will be a iTablet. It would be way to expensive. most people that buy a computer for that price use it for work. i just cant imagine the iTablet being very useful in anything but games, viewing pictures, videos,….entertainment etc. since it wouldnt have a keyboard. Face it guys, there just arent enough people that could afford to buy a “toy” with this pricetag.

  38. There’s probably won’t be a mac iTablet this year, but its definately – and I say definately – something that will come sooner then later. think about it;
    - 13.3″ BLU LED screen
    - ultra thin with blue-ray DVD
    - runs full blow mac osx
    - full multi-touch screen

    the main concern people have in input, do u really want to use a cluttering on-screen keyboard? the answer is: if u want, the device will come with a slick slim bluetooth keyboard/mouse (maybe a bundled dock too)

    if mac released one i would buy it tomorrow, because currently i have an iMac and a regular PC laptop, a tablet would be all i need on the road to access emails, watch movies and work

  39. The LCDs on the current 17″ MacBook Pros are so crappy…I’m TRULY hoping that Mac gets its act together and makes them all with the new LED technology and backlighting that’s actually worthy of the high price tag.

    I’m also hoping that the new Intel Penryn processor will make its way into the MacBook Pros this year.

  40. cool

  41. Kenny Terell says:

    i think you are spot on with the comments there :)

    you even missed out the mac pro – and thats brilliant because they didnt really do anything with that did they?

    lol

    also you missed out the blue ray and hd-dvd subject which they havent really done anything with :)

    the mac pro showed up a lot -

    i hope that they do release the ‘one more thing’ product otherwise apple have lost their speed… :(

  42. Most of your predictions feel like they’re pretty spot on. However, I disagree that only the Macbooks will be updated. I think there will be sweeping updates through the entire Macbook and Macbook Pro lineup.

    A 13.3″ Macbook Pro would be oh so sweet.

  43. I really really really hope for a 13.3″ (or 12″) aluminium laptop.
    Even if it’s just a 13″ macbook, just please make it in aluminium.
    How cool would black aluminium laptops be (like the iPod nano black).

    maaaaan i’d love that.

    And clearly, some people are really hoping for a 15″ macbook.
    I mean, alot of people want a bigger screen, but don’t want the bigger price. I can understand where they’re coming from.

    but whatever, I just want my 13″ aluminium laptop, i hate the plastic-y look of a regular laptop.. and the white too. Oh well.

  44. something small and handy like the Asus eee pc would be nice, but with a 10 inch screen!

  45. but there is one more thing….
    BLU-RAY

  46. Mac needs to get this together. But they won’t because they have converted from a computer company to a consumer electronics company. Have you seen the Sony eReader and the music pad pro? If that was 8×10 or 10×12, and wireless, and documents could be marked up, every student (millions of them) would using this thing to read textbooks in class instead of carrying around huge tomes from the school store. Where will they get these pdf versions of textbooks? From frat guys that scan those $200 overpriced schoolbooks and sell the pdfs for $20 each until they get emailed around, which will be in about a week. The students will be able to buy the iTablet less than the amount of money they spend on one year’s worth of textbooks, which is about a thousand bucks. Not only that, but professors could WIFI class documents from their iTablets tot he iTablets of the students, and they could receive papers submitted by the students the same way. Professors would much rather mark up students papers on their iTablets and email them back than to carry around those huge stacks submitted papers.
    This brings us to Apple going “green.” If Apple wanted to reduce the absurd paperload of universities, they would make the iTablet. But they won’t, because Apple is not green. Apple is about mega-consumption, which anti-green.

  47. Yeah a mac nano, what an AMAZING PRODUCT. Cheapskates will be so happy. There is no way that will be the “one more thing” product, the mac mini is a lame product, like half an imac. It’s not cool and nobody cares about it

  48. Adding a touch screen feature to a laptop or desktop would be horrible. The position you would need to be in to operate the UI screen would just be… weird? Having keyboard onscreen would be nice if you enjoy having half of your screen occupied by a input UI. In the world of design and coding, more landscape = better.

    Mouse + keyboard + wacom is such a better combo then being able to finger paint on screen. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO to the idea of an iTablet!

  49. What about APPLE TELEVISION SETs in the NEAR FURUTRE with built in Appletv?? And to go with the TV’s, SUBSCRIPTIONS to Itunes that allow for competition with the major cable and satelite providers??

    Sounds like a winning idea to me. It would bring apple to the front lines of TV-on-demand.

  50. why would they update the macbook and macbook pro if it was just updated in november?

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