Will Mac-free 2007 be Apple's annus-horribilis?
Tue, 01 May 2007
The year started badly with Apple failing to announce any new Macs at Macworld Expo San Francisco in January, choosing instead to dangle the (disappointing) Apple TV and (risky) iPhone in front of us. In the months that followed we have hoped for, but not seen, an iMac with a touch-sensitive screen, a smaller and lighter MacBook Pro, and a redesigned Mac Pro.
Ok so we got a few more cores in the Mac Pro eventually but even Apple announced that update as quietly as possible, without even issuing a press release…
Apart from that the only real change that has happened to Apple’s product line up since the beginning of the year is that it’s offering different coloured iPod shuffles. I can hardly contain my excitement.
There have also been one or two software updates: Final Cut Studio gained a few enhancements in version 2 and Aperture evolved into (a less buggy) version 1.5.2. All that really serves to emphasise is the fact that the launch of Mac OS X Leopard has been postponed until October. Apple had been promising that we would see the finished version of (Vista-stalking) Leopard at WWDC in June, but now it seems it won’t be ready on time because the development team’s been too busy getting the iPhone ready.
What about all these new exciting products that Apple’s been promising us? Just the other day during Apple’s financial results conference call, CFO Peter Oppenheimer was talking about how “very confident” Apple is about the other “innovative products in our pipeline”.
So what could these products be? Well, I’m still hoping for the iMac with a touch-sensitive screen, a smaller and lighter MacBook Pro, and a redesigned Mac Pro mentioned above. In fact there are rumours flying around at the moment suggesting that Apple may be set to launch this sub-notebook at WWDC (fingers crossed). But I fear that when it comes to these new exciting products we need to be “Thinking Different”. Given Apple’s decision to remove the word Computer from its name at the beginning of the year I think we might be about to witness the transformation of Apple into a consumer electronics company, which scares me a bit because part of me thinks that Apple’s already taking big risks with the Apple TV and the iPhone.
Posted by: Karen Haslam
IMO, Apple should limit any touch-screen technology to professional-user hardware only, for a while at least. To maintain current profit margins on any new touch-screen iMac, Apple would surely need to increase prices across the range. Not a good move, I think, for what could be seen to be a niche requirement & perhaps even further alienating ordinary consumers from seeing the iMac as a viable option.
I agree with you about some kind of new laptop & I do share your fears about Apple TV & the iPhone. Though the latter looks like it'll be an excellent product, there are however already a number of impressive cell-phones out there. Will many people outside the Mac community really be seduced by iPhone's implementation of OS X, etc? I have my doubts. After all, even though OS X is by far the best OS around, Mac computers continue to hold a very small slice of the computer market. IMO, assumptions about the iPhone becoming as successful as the iPod are...optimistic, to say the least
Just because new products haven't appeared in the first four months of this year, it doesn't mean that they won't appear later this year.
If you read Steve Jobs' open letter about Apple's environmental policies, you'll see a specific reference to introducing new Macs with LED backlights in 2007. So new stuff is definitely on it's way, Steve Jobs is telling anybody who'll listen.
I don't think that 2007 will be "Mac-free" - on a pedantic note we have had a new Mac - the Mac Pro Octo - eight cores. In fact, with the number of new processors coming from Intel, I would expect more models being refreshed with processor changes. So we may have to get used to the same enclosure, improved insides approach. The engineering to alter the enclosures and associated parts does take time, and so a new iMac or MacBook will probably come. I do wonder that Apple has made a rod for its own back in that - unless a new machine is "radical" then it won't get the fanfare. So for the iMac merely changing the processors is insufficient news. To include a Blu-Ray drive, or 802.11n, again are not that radical. Changing the iMac to another form factor (as has happened before) is radical but will take time. Similarly, the subnotebook (a la Duo) would require both the subnote book and a docking station.
I am not overly worried by the seemingly distracting AppleTV and iPhone. In media
Karen, you need to chill. Some of your posts tend to be over-critical of Apple (or your expectations are way too high). This very website has already reported that take-up for upgrades of other brands has slowed down and there are thousands of Americans waiting with baited breath for the intro of the iPhone (as am I) I hope it becomes available on Orange but for the first time in 13 years, I am willing to jump ship and go to which ever carrier gets the iPhone. Just think of the iPhone as an enhanced iPod with internet and phone capabilities.
As a Mac user of nearly 20 years who stuck with Apple thru thick & thin, my priority is NOT touch screen equipped Macs. I am waiting to upgrade my 2 G4s and am tempted by the Macpro, but I would settle for a 24"/27" iMacs with external SATA capabilitiy.
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