We’ve had the 7 August marked on our diary for a while, ever since we first heard rumours that Apple was going to do something on that day.
Well it turns out that Apple is indeed holding a special event on 7 August. So the obvious question is, whatever could it be?
A new iMac and iLife 07 seem to be the obvious candidates. The iMac is well overdue a refresh and an update to iLife is also long overdue. We’re glad to see the iPhone look so good, but now want Apple to start rolling out its computer updates.
Is Apple gearing up for a new addition to the iMac family?
So here’s the thing. There’s rumour of a high-end titanium iMac. But I’m not sold on it. Why? You might ask.
The answer is that it’s the sort of thing people would think when they ask themselves, ‘what would I do with the iMac?’ rather than, ‘what would Apple do with the iMac.’
Apple’s products are defined by a strict four spot grid: consumer, business; desktop, laptop. There’s one product in each grid.
John Heilemann described how this came about in his feature for the New Yorker:
‘Steve Jobs In A Box’
‘Look, our company’s too complicated,’” recalls Sky Dayton, the founder of EarthLink. “He [Jobs] said, ‘We’re going to do just four things,’ and then he drew this grid: laptop, desktop, consumer, business. That was it. And I was, like, ‘Beautiful!’”
The only odd one out is the Mac mini, which technically could be defined as a consumer desktop alongside the iMac – but it still fits a bit uneasily in the grid. And look what’s happened to it. It’s not even made it to Core 2 Duo yet, and it’s starting to look like it’s ready for the chop.
So where would the titanium iMac sit on Apple’s grid. As a business desktop? Then it wouldn’t really be an iMac but a Mac Pro, right? Is that what business really want, an all-in-one. I don’t think so, they have plenty of spare monitors and keyboards to push around and usually want bare desktops with power and upgrade options.
Do consumers want it? Maybe, after all the raw power of the 24-inch iMac impressed us all. Mind you, if you look at the sales figures it seems customers want less power and cheaper laptops (such as the MacBook) rather than more power and expense.
More importantly, does Steve Jobs want it? Let’s face it: his vote is the only one that counts.
I’m not sure if he does, like much at Apple the product grid works because it is simple (Sky Dayton may have been gushing, but he was right to call it ‘beautiful’). Buying a Mac is as easy as using one because there’s no confusion: either you’re a consumer or a professional; and you want a laptop or a desktop. Then it’s just a case of money.
Either way we’ll find out on the 7th.