Part of the fun in making predictions about Macworld Expo’s keynote speeches is in seeing what you correctly anticipated — the other part is finding out what other people think. Before Macworld Expo New York, we asked our forum posters to speculate on what Steve Jobs could possibly introduce at the show. The predictions were quite focused, and most posters seemed to zero in on one or two areas. Here’s what our forum posters had to say.
Jaguar Will Be Released into the Wild
A common sentiment among the predictions: the latest version of OS X — Jaguar — will be a high note among the keynote. What people thought Jaguar would be doing, however, varied wildly.
A poster known as rice-web speculated, “the eMac, iBook, and PowerBook will not be updated. However, the need for updates in these lines will be less obvious with Jaguar, which Steve Jobs will excitedly talk about. He will announce the progress of Jaguar and release a scheduled release date.”
Tor Hildrum “I also believe three things will fill up much of the keynote.The new iMac, The Xserve and Jaguar.”
Noah Livingston hypothesized that Jaguar would garner a lot of attention at the keynote — although not for the reasons others might think. “Steve will show off Jaguar cooking a four course meal while teaching you Latin and Greek.”
A New iMac
Several readers — among them Zach Strickler, bookman, DaveK, — anticipated news reports of a 17″ iMac by predicting the debut of a new iMac with a 17-inch screen.
Ross Boucher thinks otherwise: “The iMac will not be changed, except for a possible $100 price drop.” Another poster, saxophonemn, argues, “A 17″ iMac can’t happen, the 15″ is the heaviest screen that can be mounted on that base, the base would end up beeing even heavier.”
Poster Dave K predicts, “There will be an iMac SE with a 17″ screen made to order on the Apple Site.”
Aaron Meola skipped the screen predictions for a new iMac entirely: “The big thing will be a new product. A ‘headless mac.’ It will be a office work station … and the best part is it will be cheap. I think it will look like the new iMac without the LCD, so its just a white dome.”
G4 or G5?
One of the more eagerly-anticipated developments among some Mac users is the presumed next step in computing, the G5. Boucher kept a candle burning for the G5 with this: “The PowerMac G4 will recieve a new enclosure, DDR Ram in all models, and will henceforth be known as the PowerMac G5 with speeds ranging from 1 GHZ to a dual 1.4 GHZ.”
Chris Fox isn’t buying it: “Obviously, the show focus will be the G4 Towers (note I said G4 not G5). Low end starts at $1799 for a single 1Ghz, the others will be duals perhaps topping at 1.4 Ghz. All will have DDR RAM and Firewire 2, but not USB 2. The new towers may come in a new form factor. They will be quieter than the QuickSilvers.”
A poster logged in as Ct:Lit counsels patience: “They will throw out a slight speed increase for the G4’s but nothing too much, cause they want people to buy the G5’s in January.”
Larry Cambell said, “I will go out on the proverbial limb here and predict that the G5 will be announced. It will be in the Power Macs, and the Power Books, both will see a substantial increase in speed, and DDR RAM will become standard in both of those lines. The prices will stay the same.”
What about the Portables?
Most of the forum’s prognosticators didn’t anticipate any news on the portables front, but a poster known as aliasfox writes, “Steve will unveil an eBook, which is basically a low end iBook. The main difference between the iBook and the eBook is that the eBook has an articulating hinge that allows the screen to fold flat on top of the keyboard, screen-side up. This allows for the use of inkwell, which is perfect for transcribing notes, and it can also be used for drawing diagrams right on the screen. Steve will focus on this, and no one will notice that it runs a G4/550 on a 100 MHz system bus, uses a CD-ROM, and incorporates a 16 meg Radeon Mobility (last year’s Powerbook in iBook colors). Oh, and it will be sold only to the education community for too much, and while it’s a laptop with near-perfect form factor, very few people will buy, and Apple will wind up discontinuing it in less than a year.”
Steve Jobs, Superstar
And what would keynote speculation be without mentioning the man who makes it all possible? Chris Newstetter thinks, “Steve Jobs will announce a wardrobe change. No more black turtlenecks. He will adopt a retro look, returning to the suspenders and bowtie look he once experimented with. After making this announcement, Mr Jobs will thank the audience and fly back to Cupertino.”
Meola made his prediction based on years of precedent: “Steve will wear a mock turtleneck.” This prediction was corroborated by several other posters.
The Digital Hub, Revisited
The final, intriguing type of prediction focused on what else could possibly come from the company that brought out iPod, iPhoto and other beyond-the-box computer uses. According to Livingston, “Steve Jobs will announce that Apple and Sony have teamed up to provide the world’s first FireWire equipped TV. InTV, which will be available in a variety of screen sizes, will include TiVo like capabilities with a 80GB HD built-in. Complete FireWire connectivity enables you to transfer digital video to the hard drive for later viewing, or directly to the screen. InTV will also support 802.11g, enabling streaming video from Macs with AirPort 2.”