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.