In keeping with the three immutable laws of tech journalism I outlined last year at this time (which, as you certainly remember, are (1) anything “revolutionary” you write about as front page news has already been eclipsed by something more “revolutionary”; (2) most of the products described as “revolutionary” are actually “evolutionary” the “r” is supplied by the advertising agency; and, (3) tech writers are required by the powerful and influential Techno Geek Union to publish an article with predictions for the New Year), here are my predictions for 2008.
But first, let’s see how I did with last year’s peerless prognostications. While I batted about .750 in predicting 2006, my 2007 numbers were not as good.
I predicted that Apple would announce high(er) definition movie and video content available through their iTunes Store in conjunction with the release of their Apple TV set-top box. This did not happen, due in most part to contractual differences (money) with the content providers (movie and television studios). But that’s a whole ‘nother article.
I also predicted that Mac OS 10.5 “Leopard” would be released in the first calendar quarter of 2007. As I mentioned last week, Apple slipped Leopard’s release to the third quarter to apply resources to completing the iPhone on time.
I predicted a revamping of Apple’s Cinema Display line to include the same iSight webcams built into all Mac desktop and notebook computers. That didn’t happen.
My crystal ball was not completely cloudy, however. I predicted a new generation of iPods for the summer, and Apple came through with new nanos, the monster-storage “iPod classic”, and the “iPhone without the phone” iPod touch. Apple also introduced my predicted dual-quad-core Mac Pro desktop (yes, Virginia, that’s eight processors), and refined and polished (and in the case of iMovie, completely redesigned) their iLife suite, although they labeled it ’08 instead of ’07.
So, what’s ahead for Apple in 2008? Apple’s product introduction year traditionally has three “seasons”: Macworld Expo (starting with and highlighted by CEO Steve Jobs’ keynote address on January 15th); their Worldwide Developers Conference in July; and, late-breaking “Special Events” that populate the summer and fall preparing for the holiday buying season.
Let’s start with Macworld (the chronological order of announcements doesn’t count against my score). Steve Jobs’ keynote address will begin with a general business recap: huge iPhone, iPod, Mac OS X “Leopard”, Apple Retail Store, MacBook, and iTunes Store sales figures.
Sticking with the iTunes Store, Jobs will announce deals with Fox and Disney (and possibly other studios) to provide 720p high definition movies and TV content via Internet download through iTunes, either for purchase or rental. He’ll then introduce the next-gen Apple TV, through which you’ll be able to purchase/rent said content directly from the comfort of your couch.
Jobs will then talk about the iPhone. He’ll demo the new features in a major software upgrade that will be available after the keynote. He’ll then discuss Apple’s already-announced plans to open the iPhone to third-party developers, and show off a few new applications.
On the Mac computer side (yes, Apple still makes computers), Jobs will announce a revamped line of Cinema Displays, which will finally gain built-in iSight webcams. They’ll also be outfitted with HDMI connections to receive high definition video and audio.
Apple software will be upgraded, including Aperture and other pro applications.
Then it’ll be time for Jobs’ patented “one more thing”. This year all bets are on an ultra-thin, ultra-light, compact “subnotebook”, dubbed something like the “MacBook nano” (see the column next door for more details).
Let’s gather back here next week and see how I did.
|© 2008 Peter F. Zimowski|