Apple Dismisses Product Update Rumors

In one fell swoop, Apple has put an end to the “speculating.”

Stating that their “holiday line-up is set,” Bill Evans, an Apple spokesman, has put to bed the rumors that were circulating Apple news sites stating an update to the iMac and Mac mini was coming. The source, a comment made by David Sellers, believing that Apple would refresh the aforementioned models to bring them in line with the recently updated MacBook/MacBook Pro as early as next week, was relayed across the Apple blogosphere with much vigor. However, in speaking with Sellers, we were able to confirm that it was pure speculation on his part.
While there is no doubt in our minds that a refresh would have been welcomed, that is obviously not going to be case. So, if you were hoping to get an NVIDIA-powered Mac mini or a DisplayPort toting iMac before Christmas, best not hold your breath, but chin up, there’s always Macworld.

iMac, Mac Mini Updates November 11 According to… Pure Speculation

When it rains it pours, and the current outlook is calling for torrents of speculation regarding iMac and Mac mini updates from Apple. Just to show how desperate people can be for any shred of “information” regarding Cupertino, let’s look at the latest bit of “news” making the rounds.

Yesterday, Macsimumnews.com published a piece in which editor David Sellers claims to be “pretty sure” that the iMac and Mac mini will see updates on or before Tuesday, Nov. 10 (it’s actually the 11th). He makes no mention of sources, and the article is categorized as an opinion piece.
Which didn’t stop 9to5mac from posting about the piece under the banner “iMac, Mac Pro upgrades loom?” Loom? It hardly seems valid to suggest updates are “looming” based on the guesswork of a single Apple journalist, even if he does have experience in the industry.
MacDailyNews opted to use as their headline the prediction even Sellers himself believes to be a stretch, boldly proclaiming “Apple to debut new Mac Pro at Macworld in January?”. In a move typical of Apple rumor sites, MacDailyNews opts for the more sensational and attention grabbing headline, regardless of the facts.
Read More about iMac, Mac Mini Updates November 11 According to… Pure Speculation

Last Minute Rumor Roundup

It wouldn’t be an Apple event day without a final attempt to corral all the crazy rumors floating about in the last few heady hours before Jobs dons his turtleneck and proceeds to amaze (or underwhelm) us.  The sheer number of predictions, leaked images, price points, and technical specifications means it’s unlikely that you’ll find them all below, but you should find the juicier ones.

Macbooks and Macbook Pros are getting aluminum casing, with a frame built from a single piece without plastic trim. Keyboards have black buttons, like the Air, and there will be no more physical latches on any of the casings. Displays feature a black frame like the most recent iMac, which, combined with the new aluminum construction, will bring a heightened design unity to all of Apple’s computer offerings. Port changes include the discontinuation of Firewire 400 (expect videographers to be displeased) and a mini-DVI replacement that supposedly saves even more space while rendering your existing adapters useless.
Trackpads are the latest rumored major change, with Daring Fireball claiming that we’ll see Apple do away with discrete buttons altogether, favoring instead a design that resembles that of the BlackBerry Storm‘s screen. The new design would see the trackpad itself mounted on a physical spring, so that pressing the trackpad would act as a button press.  The trackpad is said to be made of glass and offers support for yet more multitouch gestures. While there are no further suggestions of in-trackpad display, optical glass would improve durability and touch sensitivity.
Displays will be LED-backlit, which will greatly improve contrast ratios. In what is sure to be an unpopular move among print designers and photographers, however, matte screen options on Macbook Pros will no longer be available.
Macbooks will continue to be available in a 13-inch form factor, but Macbook Pros will reportedly see the 17-inch option phased out, with existing 17-inch models being offered without updates until existing stock is depleted.
Graphics across the board will be handled by Nvidia GPUs, the 9400M for regular Macbooks and the Air, and a dual SLI set-up in Pros featuring the 9400M and a 9600M GT, making the upscale laptop a true graphics powerhouse, since the 9600M GT is a dedicated card.
Aluminum Macbooks (the 2.1GHz white macbook will stick around unchanged at $999) will be priced at $1,299 and $1,499 respectively.  The $1,299 option will get you a 2.0GHz processor, 2 gigs of RAM and a 160GB disk, while $1,499 will nab you a 2.4GHz with 2 gigs and a 250GB disk.  The Air will get a 120GB disk on the base model, while the pricier version will get a 128GB SSD.
Sadly, no $800-899 laptop appears to be forthcoming, at least according to recent sources.  Instead, a new 24-inch Cinema Display with Display Port at that price point is said to have caused the confusion.
And there you have it. You’ve now had your last-minute rumor appetizer…but I’m sure you still have plenty of room for the main course. Enjoy.

The “Real” $899 MacBook is Actually a New Display?

New rumors keep cropping up about Apple’s event tomorrow.

First, some new pictures have surfaced on Engadget of a supposed new 15″ MacBook Pro. A few other sites have picked these up, but AppleInsider has taken it further with information about a possible new display that resemlbes an aluminum iMac but without the “chin”. They go on:

A second source adds that the display is about 24-inches and features a “super thin” base stand. The new 24-inch display may be the mysteriously-priced $899 Apple product that recently turned up in Apple’s systems, not a $899 MacBook. 
The $899 product is codenamed K29, while all other products on the price list begin with an “M” such as “M96.” Apple has traditionally used different codename trackers for its accessory products. For instance, several years ago, its Mac codenames began with a “Q” and its MightyMouse codename started with an “M.”

OK, that’s a new twist. So all the talk of a $900 MacBook may not be true, and instead we get a $900 display. That’s the same price as Apple’s current 23″ Cinema Display. You’d think after all these years Apple could have lowered the price when they introduced a new display. If not a lower price, then at least add some functionality.
And why announce it now? They’ve waited so long, why use the event tomorrow for that purpose? I mean, what kind of functionality could be so special about this display that they would potentially announce it at a laptop event? Well, maybe… this

Admittedly, this would be very cool, but I think Apple’s going to break a lot of hearts tomorrow (especially on Wall Street) if there’s no sub-$1K MacBook.

Steve Jobs’ Heart Attack

Nearly a month ago, at Apple’s unveiling of the new iPod lineup for this fall, Steve Jobs quoted Mark Twain’s “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” (By the way, Snopes.com and Wikipedia both say that is even a misquote of Twain’s original comment: “The report of my death is an exaggeration.”)

Even though that remark was funny, and got a rousing round of applause, I do believe that Steve Jobs was serious: he is not as sick as all the pundits proclaim, nor is his health in any great danger. But yesterday, Apple’s stock price plummeted briefly due to reports from CNN’s iReport.com that Jobs had just had a massive heart attack and had been rushed to the hospital. Both claims turned out to be completely untrue. The really interesting part turned out to be how Apple’s shareholders reacted.

In addition to their being a temporary drop in Apple’s stock price there was also an overall drop as the stock closed for the weekend at 97.07…its lowest close in nearly 18 months. The SEC is investigating and ireport.com is cooperating fully by handing over any information they have gathered on Johntw, the poster who put up the “fradulent” story.

I don’t understand why the stock market is so volatile as to let the rumors posted on a site where the claim to fame is “Unfiltered. Unedited.” change how money is invested. Maybe iReport was going to add “Untrue. Unethical.” to the tagline, but they ran out of room, and had to settle on the first two. This could very easily be someone who thought they could make a quick buck by posting the story, buying some Apple stock, and then selling it when everyone found out it was fake. It will be interested to see what the SEC finds.

Here’s to hoping Steve Jobs stays healthy for a long time and that AAPL stock starts the trek back upward before the 21st when the 4th Quarter earnings call is scheduled.

New MacBook Rumors

Last week, during the Q2 financial call for Apple, Peter Oppenheimer does what Apple does best: he stirred the pot. It may seem to the untrained eye that Apple’s less-than-stellar four-product launch was detrimental to the company, but how quickly we forget. Just a few short words left all the bad feelings behind and kept the rumormill going at full tilt once again, “…and we’re busy finishing several more wonderful new products to launch in the coming months.” In the call, Oppenheimer stressed that he could not talk about these products, and that they would be released at about the end of September. What better way to divert the attention from poor performance than to announce bleeding edge products that will leave the competitors straggling in the dust?

Since the brief unannouncement, the speculation has been plentiful, with some talk of new Apple Cinema Displays (and from January of this year), but most of the rumors have focused on the long overdue MacBook line.

Here are some highlights:

  • Thinner and lighter MacBook and MacBook Pros with glass trackpads, to utilize Multi Touch, and will be called MacBook Touch(ComputerWorld)
  • No Intel chipsets (the CPU will still be Intel–not going back to PowerPC), looking at AMD, VIA, or nVidia (CNET)
  • One long piece of aluminum for the body of all three notebooks (AppleInsider)

I have heard of some others that sound pretty farsical, and of course, a Mac tablet is always bantered about when it is time for a new rumor. What other features have you heard? What would force your hand to upgrade when they are released?

WWDC ’08 Rumor Roundup

Since we all know that Steve Jobs is Mr. Secretive, everything that is “announced” before his keynote is pure speculation. Of course, it sure is fun to think about all of these.

I am sure there are more and will be more before the weekend is over. I think the 10.6 and Tablet rumors are most far-fetched. And if there isn’t a 3G iPhone expect Apple’s stock to drop and look for many, many upset people!

Feel free to add to the list in the comments, and tell me what you most want announced at Steve’s keynote on Monday.

Apple’s Next Big Cat to Make WWDC Debut?

It seems just like yesterday that we were celebrating Leopard’s release. But if rumors hold true, we could be celebrating another big cat’s release come January 2009. According to a rumor first spotted over at TUAW, Apple may be planning to unveil Mac OS X 10.6 at next week’s WWDC in San Francisco, with a planned ship date in January 2009.

There have been some rumblings of 10.6 lately; some intrepid souls found references to 10.6 in the iPhone SDK installer, as well as in WebKit, the engine powering Safari. If this rumor is true, 10.6 would be released a mere 15 months after 10.5. While Apple has released major Mac OS X versions that close (and closer) together before, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a new version so soon. 

Since we have a few days until Lord Jobs’ WWDC keynote, let’s play a quick game of Name That Kitty! My money’s on “Cougar.” I like the sound of it and have hoped Apple would go with it for a while now. What sayeth thou? Post a comment!

Rumor Machine: The Next iPhone to Be Black Plastic?

This June will mark the one-year anniversary of the original release of the iPhone (though it was announced several months prior). Many Apple fans are chattering that this June’s Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco will be the time and place to announce a “3G” version of the iPhone, with a new sleek black-colored plastic design.

Among the additional claims: GPS built-in, 3G capability (which can be turned off), slightly thicker form-factor, and better signal strength (as a result of the plastic case, replacing the current model’s metal backing).

Some rumormongers even claim that such a device will appear as early as in the next week or so (due to recent rumored shortages of the current iPhone). It’s normal for product in the sales channels to be nearly or completely depleted before the unveiling of a new replacement model, and can sometimes (but not always) be an indicator of something new on the way. This may also be part of Apple’s plan to have a new model on-hand for developers on or before the conference, as the conference takes a strong turn in the direction of the iPhone this year.

The more conservative rumors peg the iPhone to be released in the same form factor, but with more capacity (32 GB, possibly 64 GB) and possibly a cheaper price tag, sometime this summer.