8 Predictions for Macworld 2008

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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.


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.

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100 thoughts on “8 Predictions for Macworld 2008

  1. I agree with the Macbook update, itunes, Holiday season, iphone and no itablet updates.

    I don’t agree with mac nano or apple tv. The apple TV is on track for the ipod hifi fate. Simply because there is no content to load upon it and there are several much much cheaper ways to get your video podcasts on your TV including the ipod itself so Apple TV is in a real crisis. I know you love it Michael, sorry.

    Regarding the one more thing, it would be a new product this year or there would be no one more thing at all. My guess here is a real mac ultraportable. i.e. 12” or even smaller. Let’s face it, it’s not just the size, it’s the weight. 2.2 – 2.8 KGs really sucks. Apple needs to tickle that market really bad. If you wanna know which type of customers would appreciate that new form factor, ask any student who has to take his mac laptop every where round the campus and the dorm.

    Nice article Michael. Keep up the great work.

  2. Update,

    Just read on Engadget that mobile intel Penryns will be hitting January 6th so new updated laptops are inevitable.

  3. To those that think that Apple is going to give up on the AppleTV, think again.

    They HAVE to keep the AppleTV alive. On demand TV/movies is the future. Apple need something for your living room. It’s just that AppleTV need to be…more attractive. It need to be priced at at least $199 and it need to have more features (but iTunes can solve that), and also make a version in black.

    iTunes is as important as Mac OS X. Like it or not, it’s true.

    Apple won’t release a tablet until this summer or 2009.

  4. maybe its just wishful thinking, but I could imagine a device which is easier to handle than a macbook. use a 13.3 widescreen screen, make the bezel around the screen smaller, skip the isight camera, skip the DVD and make it half as thick and most importantly half as heavy.

    the result would be a lightweight computer with a decently sized display – both in physical size as in dpi. Because as much as I love my PB 12″, the 1024 x 768 screen does get cluttered up quickly with menu bars, tool bars, etc.

    Any smaller than a PB 12″ is not a real notebook anymore in my book. The keys become to small to type, and either the screen resolution drops below usable or stuff is so small its really hard to make out. And personally I think most people like the PB 12″ form factor (heck I do!) and don’t want anything bordering a PDA / laptop / ipod touch hybrid. keep that for the itablet

  5. I agree with Robert. Apple has the touch technology right now in the iPhone and the iPod touch. They HAVE TO extend it into as many markets as possible. If not, they will lose other outlets for touch devices. I really think they would be foolish not to. Look how long it took to get the iPod touch out there. What a great device! A MacBook touch with flash-based 32GB of memory would be an awesome device: touchable, powerful and truly useful anywhere.

  6. Hey, WAIT A MINUTE!


    What happen to that? I remember.

    Just make a cake with boot form and call it a day. Really, I don’t mind. Just keep your promises or don’t promess anything at all.

  7. You forgot to mention that Jobs will probably fart at least 7 times in the entire speech without any coverage..

  8. @Leo

    You know, I was going to make a boot cake, and completely forgot about it.

    I have no problems doing that – find me a boot shaped cake pan, and I’ll do it.


  9. “almost convincing all of us that it’s the greatest addition to iTunes ever”
    You’re a genius. Such a perfect line right out of his mouth!

    Are you going to be at Macworld by any chance, Michael?

  10. I think that there might be some Mac Pro updates as well, but I can’t be sure.
    The Macbook Pro (which I have one myself) I think will get another graphics upgrade and, possibly, the iMac may get an option to go with a quad core processor.

  11. OK, My predictions for the record:

    3g iphone announcement ships in may (3G data will cost $40/mo)
    iphone update (obviously) which will include support for new peripherals:
    [iclock] (iphone/itouch dock that turns the screen into the clock, as well as ui for the alarm clock, hopefully sideways; instantly dubbed best alarm clock ever)
    car bluetooth gps receiver

    new iTunes server device (looks like apple tv (but with MUCH bigger HD storage, we’re talking terrabyte capability). heck even could be apple tv software update, but will centralize all media for a household on a “always on” device instead of “sometimes on” computer.) Exactly the same idea as Windows Home Server, only much much better. All iTunes will look to it for shared media

    I just don’t know about the whole mac tablet thing, I don’t think it will happen, but you never know.

  12. An Apple tablet would be pretty cool. With the touch interface, it wouldn’t need to be a ‘convertible’ tablet like my HP. Granted everyone agrees there is no tablet… but if there was… the touch input along with full wacom support that would turn off the touch when you used a pen, so your wrist wouldn’t be confused as touch input. Imagine the graphic editing possibilities… I’ll keep hoping for it 😉

    Excellent predictions, BTW! Can’t wait for another Jobs’ Reality Distortion in January. I love finding out I need things that I never needed before.

  13. The tablet will simply be an enlarged iPhone – the “iPhone pro” will have an extra isight for 3g video conferencing, video camera functionality, higher spec camera, more screen real estate.

    Mac mini and apple tv will merge. the mac minis front row interface is basically this already.

    Apple HDTV is also a possibility – built in wifi streaming from your mac etc.

  14. I predict a few things too:

    1) iTunes update
    It will up the prices for movies that already cost less as DVD’s, and increase DRM levels again to kill ANOTHER 1/3rd of your portable device’s battery life.

    2) Quicktime will get security fixes
    They will fix 2 of the kerjillion known critical flaws that have been comprimising systems and crashign browsers just to support their bloated, dead media format, and will charge you an entire extra license fee just to get a fraction of what you paid for the first time.

    3) Their profit margin will increase more…
    by selling more useless pieces of crap like the iSock for $20 a pop. No kidding. Yeah, I’m serious. That’s how retarded you wankers are. You actually buy that crap.

    4) Updated macbooks
    Apple will once again ship all-metal cases which decrease wireless access, show FBI-quality fingerprints without that messy powder, and have more useless screws that don’t catch on anything because some arse in a turtleneck likes visual-pseudo-balance.

    5) iTablet
    But it won’t be a tablet pc, they’ll sell coffee table whiteboards for the “ultimate in multi-touch interfaces” to compete with MS in a “revolutionary way” while also being able to add a lower-case ‘i’ to another product.

    6) iPhone and iTouch software updates
    Embarrassed about the internet access while the device is powered off, combined with insane roaming charges, combined with 300+ page monthly bills, combined with modifying your plan without your consent, the devices will be updated to both:
    a) pre-authorize their own payments from any account it detects.
    b) control a new peripheral DRM device called “iPhallace” that physically reams you as it financially does.

    7) iPhone and iTouch SDK
    They’re going to actually release something that should have been available months (if not more than a year) before the devices shipped so there could actually be a good software base without hacking the device and worrying about updates. Yet another example of Steve giving you a steaming pile for you to perform 2girls1cup with. But use mouthwash before you lick his boots.

    8) One more thing…
    Steve will run out of permutations of his limited vocabulary and resort to providing the “power-iPod mini touch nano-book”. It will, in essence, be of sleek, unconventional design, with a rotational tactile response interface, will play catchy tunes, and surprize everyone with its 3D interactive display.

    Did I mention that’s a white jack-in-the-box described in steve-talk?

  15. I bet with the iPhone sales starting to slow around MacWorld, Steve will announce activesync integration with Exchange, opening the iPhone to the Enterprise market.

  16. No iTablet ever?

    The potential for Apple to leverage its touch interface work into an amazing tablet-like device is too huge and too obvious. If you can’t see it, you really should pick up the iPhone or the iPod touch, play around with it for about 5 minutes, then re-evaluate. Repeat until you change your mind. It shouldn’t take long. The odds of it being at Macworld are close to zero, and it could still be 2 or 3 years away, but Apple is without any doubt developing a tablet-like device.

  17. @Joseph

    I am not saying a tablet-like device will never be released. I’m saying that tablet device the size of an Amazon Kindle with a mini-dvd drive will never be released. What is being batted around the net as the “iTablet” – that thing, will never be released.

    A tablet with a nice size screen, at least the size of a sheet of paper or larger, I could see – but something as small as what has been described – in my opinion – serves no purpose.

  18. So I’m still really confused why I have NEVER seen any posts or articles anywhere about an Apple TV. Hello, look at the iMac. Wouldn’t you like a thinner 52″ inch 1080p version hanging on your wall. They are Apple Inc. now remember. It’s not just computers. Everyone I know thinks it’s a no brainer and I don’t hear any rumors. They’d be fools not to merge into that market now! Are my friends and I the only ones???

    Just my thoughts ;}

  19. At the last keynote Steve Jobs said 2008 will see products that are “through the roof”. Therefore I am predicting an iFlagpole (Codename: iStrip or MacinTush). Each Macbook sold will come with an Apple flag to affix to your chimney, plus a bottle of Coke and a roll of Mentos.

    Seriously though, there will be no iTablet simply because too few people want to haul around a glorified clipboard.

    Apple has innovated at a torrid pace over the last year and that pace just cannot keep going. They must focus on polishing the bugs from devices they have, so overall there will be a collective yawn across the tech boards as Apple is currently too busy with the iPhone/Leopard at this point to introduce any truly new or radical products.

    A Mac Nano? That’s what the iPhone is destined for, but this is MAC world not iPhone world so no iPhone announcements will be made. They will NOT release an iPhone SDK because they already stated they would do that in February.

    Minor upgrades across the Mac line-up will mean “the fastest ever” using Intel’s latest chip …. and they’re even thinner!!! Yada, yada, yada…

    Cinema displays will receive an upgrade (and iSight option) while lowering prices.

    Look for eco-centric bragging regarding LED backlit screens – Green Apples.

    Upgrades to the Pro software suites.

    If the AppleTV receives no significant update, it will effectively seal its doom, so look for a mediocre processor and storage upgrade because it is important to Apple to retain the iTunes music/movie download market share. This will be the make-or-break event of the day because it is the one thing the whole tech industry is waiting for, as a central piece of their Mac-based digital living room/media center solution, but is unlikely to come to fruition in any significant way. No DVD drive or third party software access to Front Row will be added.

    Movie downloads (only via iTunes) will be announced but choked with DRM causing a silent pall to fall across the mostly tech-savvy audience.

  20. Hm… I think it’s really important to look at the history of updates for current products when predicting.

    The entire “home” line (iMac / Macbook) have both been recently upgraded or updated. We have an all new iMac, and the Macbooks recently received upgrades to their processors and RAM. I believe that because this was just done, it is unlikely to see an upgrade to them at MacWorld.

    I want to shift my focus to the ‘pro-sumer’ line, specifically MacBook Pros. These are the only computers in Apple’s line to have “old” features such as the former Apple keyboard. Additionally, we can argue that the form factor of the MacBook Pro has not been changed drastically since the days of Powerbook. It is with that in mind that I predict we will see a whole revision of the MacBook Pro line, and quite possible the 13 inch version many have wanted which would sport the LED display.

    Similarly, no major changes have been done to the MacPro line however I don’t know how much emphasis is put on the form factor as I believe that many of the users purchasing that computer put more emphasis on performance than aesthetics.

  21. How about a touch-based Word/PDF/HTML reader application for the iPhone/iPod as a Kindle-killer, plus wireless ordering of Audible spoken books without the need for the computer to push the final nail into its coffin.

  22. I think the AppleTV desperately needs some update now – It’s been around for a while doing nothing – Usually apple packages things well – mac with the .mac, ipod with itunes, iphone with at&t (alright, that was not the best of combinations) – appletv with umm – wireless sync – cant think of anything else.

    Movie rentals would be definitely a logical, sensible and welcome addition. It was made for that – has a hard disk, can schedule syncing …

    heck why can’t I have a browser on it ? Even the useless Wii has one. iPod Touch has one. Add bluetooth to the usb port or build it in and allow a keyboard – the PS3 does – and it is only 100 bucks more than the 40gb appletv and does everything else – (movie downloads on the cards as we keep hearing) – it is also 1080p capable.

    Give me one good reason why I should not dump this for the PS3 as my media center (forget the gaming nonsense). To think I dumped 400 bucks on this POS (160gb – I seek punishments in their larger form) – I really regret.

    If I don’t see much else happening, I might as well rip it apart and convert it into a mac and use it instead of my old iMac G4 700mhz.

    Damn, this must be the worst supported apple product ever todate.

  23. Predicting the future of Apple products is really more about the fun of speculation than actually having any kind of insight into the future. No one knows what the future holds.

    Some predictions, like a theoretical iTablet, seem to be built more on wishful thinking than a real understanding of the market and how much Apple can innovate in that area. Geeky feature sets like those on a subnotebook are more in line with the PC/Windows mentality that longer feature lists trump user friendliness, and that’s why they’re less likely to be manufactured by Apple. A device with ten usable features is ten times better than a device with a hundred features that are torturous to figure out.

    To come closer to a more accurate prediction for the next big thing from Apple, you need to think more about usability and design than about smooshing four dozen geeky must-haves into one box. That’s why Apple excels at what it does and why uberdorks don’t get it.

  24. The true KILLER APP for the iPhone will be announced, this being DICTATION SOFTWARE, that will permit a user to dictate an outgoing Email or a telephone number to be dialed. The former can then be received on the user’s home computer, filed or printed, etc.

  25. My serious and not-so-serious predictions:

    1. MacBook Mini
    2. iMac Touch
    3. iPhone Nano in conjunction with the new 3G iPhone
    4. A serious AppleTV overhaul (I don’t think they’ll merge it with the MacMini because they need to keep an under $1000 computer in their lineup to compete with the wave of new Linux machines that will sweep the market in the near future)
    5. Yeah, how about some new displays?!?! Maybe a CinemaTouch?

  26. i was wondering why i never hear any talk of an imac 30″?
    i thought my 24″ was great for about a month………now
    i want more and don’t understand why i cant have it.

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