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Some Optimistic Rumors...

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Some Optimistic Rumors...
on Jun 13, 2003 at 7:21:37 pm

I copied the following from a Mac rumor site that has been pretty reliable it the past. I hope he is right!

Warning: The following is *not* based on solid industry tips, and is *not* offered as a fact-based set of predictions. This is just one lone MacWhispers guy taking a shot at looking ahead at what might be in store from the Apple pipeline over the coming year. And, from what we see here at MacWhispers Central, this is going to be one incredibly entertaining year.

There are more parallel major development programs underway at Apple today than at any time in the company's history: new chips, new motherboards, new enclosures, new operating systems, new application software, new lifestyle devices, new accessories, new services... the major word in the Cupertino vocabulary these days is "New."

The headlines right now are all spinning around the migration to IBM's PowerPC 970 processor, and around just what specific timetable will be unrolling all the wonderful new products built around this new chip. But, there's a lot more happening behind the scenes than the PowerPC 970.

What we see coming is a near simultaneous release of a single processor PowerPC 970 based Power Mac and a PPC 970 based mid-size Powerbook around the time of WWDC; it's certain these will be announced at the keynote, but we can't nail down actual shipping release times any closer than to say we expect them to ship within no more than 30-days of the keynote. We then see two dual processor PPC 970 Power Macs coming within 60 to 90 days following WWDC, and a speed bump Powerbook model prior to Christmas.

We do not see the 12 and 17-inch Powerbooks, the iMac, or the Xserve shipping with PPC 970 processors before Christmas this year, but do see these platforms moving to the new architecture during (calendar) Q1 2004. Everything we have heard presently points toward the eMac remaining G4-based for the foreseeable future, and to the iBook moving to the Gobi IBM G3 platform around year's end.

Did we say "Christmas?"... While we have not nailed down what it does, we have verified that a small Apple handheld device is entering the production process, with volume availability well before Christmas. White plastic, about 5 by 7 by 1-inch in size, this is the "enclosure" we have been reporting on for the past several weeks. We will be as curious as anyone to see what the thing actually does, but it is certain to make one terrific gift!

Christmas will also see what we visualize as a "home A/V system companion," and what we've previously referred to as the iPod Super Dock. Adding network connectivity, multiple types of audio I/O's, remote control, and possibly even wireless connectivity to the humble iPod, this is also to be one hot Christmas 2003 gift item.

We haven't nailed this one down firmly enough to make a standalone front page news item out of it, but we are now convinced that Apple is moving to production with its own digital camera design, and will have it to market prior to Christmas 2003. Integrated tightly with a new, enhanced version of iPhoto, this is the product that Apple will use to turn the market's attention back to photography... after most of the year seeing us all distracted by Apple's music offerings. Again: This prediction is based on OEM supplier reports, and is one we believe to be real.

We also have a lone report here from a new OEM source saying that Apple is *not* planning a special DJ edition iPod, as was recently reported in several mainstream press outlets. Instead, according to this source, Apple is developing a special docking stand and software package designed to mount two iPods and an iBook/Powerbook, and to enable what will certainly be "the most amazing DJ system ever created." We will make a point to continue digging on this report, and will report any new info we find. But, frankly, this sounds like a much more Apple-like way to address the DJ market than re-engineering the iPod.

Finally, we have a steady flow of reports coming in of a whole gamut of new Apple branded accessories: headphones, speakers, cables and connectivity gadgets, at least two new mouse and keyboard designs... and, if these whispers are true, some sort of USB-based control surface device.

All in all, we believe the next year will be the most exciting time in a long time to be an Apple fan, as the stream of interesting and exciting products rolling our way is going to be pretty amazing.

It all starts at WWDC, and just keeps rolling forward from there.


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