Best Feb 28 Rumors

by Derrick Story

Apple recently sent out media invites for a gathering at the Cupertino Town Hall building on Feb. 28. I'll be covering PMA in Orlando that day, and many of my cohorts will be at Flash Forward. I guess we'll have to hear the news like everyone else... on our mobile RSS readers.

That doesn't mean that I can't enjoy the delicious rumors that have been circulating. Some of my favorites are:

  • Intel iBook - which most likely with be dubbed the "MacBook" without the "Pro."

  • Intel Mac mini - will it get a new name too?

  • Full screen video iPod for movie watching. Looks something like an Apple version of a Palm LifeDrive with a virtual touch screen scroll wheel.

  • iTunes Movie Store - If you're going to have new hardware, you need content to put on it.

Pretty good stuff... how much of it do you think we'll actually see next Tuesday?


2006-02-24 08:21:07
I predict AirPort Express Video with the "new video iPod" that everyone's buzzing about turning out to be its remote.
R Boylin
2006-02-24 08:48:17
My guess is an iPod HiFi dubbed a "boom box" by rumor sites. In addition an Intel powered Mac Mini. I don't believe Apple is ready for the "total" solution to video distribution and consumption yet so the device would have Front Row, digital TV and HD video through wired connections with limited video distribution via wi-fi. It would be great if Apple could do a more ambitious solution. I don't believe they will incorporate a DVR capability, leaving that to others to provide. A larger screen video iPod may also make the cut but it is less likely than the first two. The Intel iBooks will likely come in a separate announcement next month.
Jeremy K
2006-02-24 09:15:46
As much as I want it to be an Intel Mini, I don't think it will be. Wouldn't it cannibalize sales of iMacs to people wanting to try out the new platform?
Steve W
2006-02-24 09:41:31
An Intel mini would probably sell well at the current price point. If Apple can make a profit on it, why not sell them? They'll only cannibalize sales from folks looking for a complete PC instead of a CPU upgrade. I think a single core Intel Mac mini would be a smart move on their part. Not fast enough to steal sales from the iMac but a much needed upgrade from the G4 mini.
2006-02-24 09:52:17
I don't think it would cannibalize the iMac much, as it would have to have only a single core, therefore would be a lesser system with just that feature alone. Also it won't have as good a graphics card, or media (DVD) drive, most likely. It will probably be a slower processor as well (Ghz wise). So there will still be a compelling reason to go for the iMac.
2006-02-24 12:22:56
steve jobs will introduce a new OS:
windows VISTA.
2006-02-24 18:14:59
Personally, I doubt it would be an Intel iBook because it would cannibalize sales of the MBP. I could imagine a lot of MBP pre-orders being cancelled if a Intel iBook came out.
2006-02-25 00:10:58
'Real' desktop widgets - a WiFi enabled desktop calendar that syncs with iCal, a radio alarm clock that works with AirTunes - i.e. 'an Airport Express + touch screen LCD display + enough CPU power to run WebKit and a single widget - i.e. mobile phone level'.
Jochen Wolters
2006-02-25 03:12:14
Quite a few bloggers have pointed out that something was not quite right with January's keynote and that, maybe, something has even been pulled from the keynote at the last minute. And in a way you do get that feeling: even though the new MacBook Pros are cool machines, using the infamous "One More Thing" to announce something akin to "Oh, and we also put an Intel chip into our pro laptops" is positively lame, IMHO.

Consequently, I'd expect -- and hope! -- to see an announcement of something that deserves to be called "very, very cool" even by The Steve's standards. Like some of the other commenters here, I think that it will probably be an Intel mini. But a very special mini. So, let's go wild on speculation here:

On February 28th, Apple will announce the acquisition of ElGato Systems. With their help, they have designed an appliance-like Mac mini, featuring Front Row 3 which boasts DVR functionality gleaned from the EyeTV devices, and even supports optional 5.1 audio out, making it the ultimate digital media hub for any serious home entertainment setup.

P.S.: It's just grand that Apple doesn't do the pre-pre-pre-release presentation stunts that Microsoft pulls off regularly, because this We-don't-know-nothing-but-here's-my-take rumor mongering is just too much fun. ;)

2006-02-25 12:53:56

Remember this news:

Freddie Geier to head up Apple Computer Germany

[not sure how to make that a clickable link since comment Preview still doesn't work with Safari here]

I'm more interested in something like an Appleized EyeHome (the long-awaited AirPort Video?) than a Mac DVR mini (and EyeHome is seriously overdue for an upgrade). I already have a mostly satisfying, reasonably low-budget (non-HDTV) wireless media streaming solution with:

Macs + EyeTV + Storage (downstairs) =>
AirPort Express + EyeHome + A/V components (upstairs)

Two things most lacking are the ability to:

• program EyeTV (DVR) and manage media library from upstairs (workaround: use iBook to access "components" downstairs)
• stream H.264 and Apple DRM'd video content

Integrating HDTV streaming could eventually be possible, with higher bandwidth WLAN and/or "cache disk" storage in the EyeHome-like device. And a convenient way to dock portable storage devices to the upstairs components for non-streaming situations.

So, why exactly would I want a moderately pricey "media center computer", with sufficient disk storage for content, in the living room? :-)

2006-02-25 12:56:01
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Engineer #3
2006-02-25 13:10:26
These are the products Steve is going to announce.

1. Mac Razor - Intel-based Mac Mini at half the current height. Using a slimline harddrive similar to the iPod's. Integrated polymer-injected battery to allow instant start-ups of the multimedia device similar to iPod's battery.

2. MacHub - Autosensing hub allowing multiple item control through your Mac. Televisons, Radios etc. using RF. Will add extras a.k.a. X-10 home system components.

3. MacBook Pro 15 inch - Will have all the functions of the current MacBook Pro, but with bigger, better everything. Tweaked with two firewire ports, 3 USB2.0, Gigabit, 16x DVD dual layer burner, two-button trackpad, higher resolution, new gloss screen, ambient audio sensor for auto adjusting sound with room noise and more...

4. MacVoca Technology - Will announce Skype's purchase and integration into iChat.

5. MacBook - iBook in a new Polymer shell. Thinner and with Intel.

6. SecureX Technology - Built-In GPS transmitter for recover of stolen laptops. Will use secure features to allow owner to disable temporarily (given number of days,weeks, etc.) or permanently using root permissions and with an Apple GUI for ease of use.

7. Chameleon - Natively run Windows & LINUX within an app a.k.a VirtualPC. Full speed, with some restraints.

8. Mac OS XI announcement for second-quarter 2007. Improved GUI. Tighter footprint. More graphical offloading to GPU. More responsive. Much more., really

2006-02-25 14:13:12
For my logical choice, I see a bluetooth mighty mouse. (Even though not listed above) If I'm using my Mac ability to think different, I have to go with the total replacement for the G5...the G6. Knowing Apple though, they will do away with the G line of products.
Think Different
2006-02-25 18:43:28
I breaking non-disclosure to tell you this but Steve is announcing the WristMac - a tiny Mac using a new Intel chip and technology along with OS X10.6 dubbed "primate" which uses nerve induction to route audio and video directly to the brain so that the screen appears as a HUD over images from the retina. Sound is mixed with signals coming in through the ear. Sub-vocalizations are detected and responded to as voice commands and the mouse moves are detected by nerve signals to the wrist and fingers The user choose which hand. Unused neurons in the brain are used to provide up to 10 terabytes of storage. Networking is wireless. new versions of IChat (dubbed "Telepath") and iMove (dubbed "Memory Dump") are also being announced.

Four "models" of the new Macs are being introduced with cases designed by Omega TAG Heuer, Ahford and Movado. Cheaper models will be introduced early next year designed by Swatch.

2006-02-26 11:56:43
Wireless screens including a very large LCD perhaps 44 inches.
2006-02-26 16:44:47
I predict an ipod styled notepad. Built w/intel, video,itunes, dual layered DVD-r,bluetooth, touchscreen abilities along w/ wifi/airport features...Sweet..very sweet. Now this would be nice for photographers, field personel and artist. I got $2.00 on this one.
2006-02-26 21:25:56
I think it is past time for a new AirPort of some sort. My other guesses would be maybe another iLife app. We still need a better spreadsheet app from Apple. Maybe that would be in 2007, but hopefully soon. My other guess would be the intel ibooks and the video iPod. Also, I think Apple may somehow tie the AirPort into the iPod. Maybe some type of wireless iPod hub. I don't know, but I see a hole that Apple could move into there.