The Ghost of Predictions Past

Who could have predicted that 2002 would bring Mac users a flat-panel iMac, a dual-1GHz Power Mac G4, and the ubiquity of OS X software? Last year's panelists, actually (see " Coming Soon? " Mac Beat, March 2002). Here's a look back at some of last year's more notable hits and misses.

Pick a Flat-Panel, Win a Prize -- A month before Apple unveiled its 15-inch flat-panel iMac at Macworld Conference & Expo San Francisco, MacWindows.com publisher John Rizzo and Macworld contributing editors Henry Bortman, Christopher Breen, and Jim Heid predicted that a redesigned iMac with a flat-panel monitor would debut in 2002.

Power Mac Predictions -- Contributing Editors David Blatner and Scholle Sawyer McFarland correctly figured that Power Macs would hit the gigahertz mark in 2002, with Blatner scoring extra points for predicting a dual-processor model. The year passed without a Power Mac G5, despite Contributing Editor Franklin N. Tessler's forecast.

Software Surprises -- Last year's panelists correctly prognosticated OS X-native versions of everything from Photoshop to Final Cut to Virtual PC. As for QuarkXPress for OS X, those predictions turned out to be wishful thinking.

Elementary -- New York Times senior writer John Markoff predicted "an information-retrieval technology that will advance Sherlock and integrate even more tightly with OS X." Sounds like Sherlock 3 to us.

Right Idea, Wrong Version Number -- Blatner and Tessler saw an OS X 10.5 update filling in many of the gaps from earlier versions. Apple saw the same thing, but called it OS X 10.2 instead.

OS 9 Gets the Boot -- Heid was right when he said that OS X would become the default OS in 2002. Breen was right when he said that Apple would create computers that boot only into OS X--but that's happening in 2003.

Well, Apple Did Make a 20GB Model -- Contributing Editor Adam C. Engst expected big things from the iPod in 2002, including iPods with larger capacities that could, among other things, display photos and play movies. He was right about the capacity.

What's in Store -- Tessler predicted that Apple would close some of its retail stores in 2002 -- it didn't. Markoff thought the retail strategy would be called a success -- it was.

There's Always a Chance for a Recount -- Give Engst credit for the most fearless forecast, with his prediction that Steve Jobs would run for governor of California in 2002 (while remaining CEO of Apple, no less). The new year dawned with Jobs still occupying Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, but not the governor's mansion in Sacramento.

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