Last Minute Macworld SF ’09 Predictions

If this isn’t the last Macworld Expo, in 2010 everyone will say it should have been.

What I think we’ll see

  • New Mac Minis. [ wrong ] I don’t even care what the specs are, I’m buying at least one for the office. I’ve been putting this purchase off forever waiting for a newer revision, the current model has been unchanged since August ’07.
  • Unibody 17″ MacBook Pros. [ right ] This just seems obvious. I don’t know how much stock I put in the non-removable battery rumors, though it’s not inconceivable that battery access was reducing rigidity in the aluminum and was dropped for structural reasons. [ wrong ]
  • iLife and iWork 09. [ right ] I just hope Apple looked long and hard at Mobile Me and then ran as fast as they can in the opposite direction.
  • A new 30″ Cinema Display with Mini DisplayPort connectors and a camera. [ wrong ]
  • Phil Schiller will be wearing buttons. [ right ] Consensus will be that he was boring because he didn’t do anything insane.
  • Steve Jobs will not appear. I get the impression he’s so far past completely annoyed with the media attention that there’s no chance he’ll iChat in just to bump the stock a few dollars. [ right ]
  • The stock market is just too erratic these days to call any dependable reaction. I have some feeling that the stock will be punished for less than earth-shattering announcements, [ right ] but it all depends on the broader market. I’m going to be watching the UltraShort tech ETFs.

What I’d like to see

  • I’m hoping for a significant update to the AppleTV. If Apple don’t start taking this product seriously, they’re going to lose this market — if they haven’t already. Roku and Tivo are cutting deals with Amazon and Netflix for huge libraries of TV and movies on demand. These alternates are tempting, especially compared with the often anemic rental selection available from iTunes.

    There’s a lot to hate about the current AppleTV, the movie browsing interface, where you have to scan movie poster thumbnails with text that only appears when active is just horrible. AppleTV doesn’t have to suck like this, make it awesome, just don’t break Boxee.

  • Time Capsule, the Mac Mini and Apple TV… seems like there’s a lot of crossover there.
  • iTunes needs some fresh thinking regarding some interface and usability features, especially regarding video content and large libraries. I’d love to have a media server where I could create playlists from any of the computers in the house, all accessing the same media library. I also would love to be able to sync a subset of my library onto my portable for traveling.
  • iPhoto: Faster please, with less sucking. And share movies already. I’m definitely going to be checking out Picasa and I hope the competition pushes Apple to make iPhoto really shine.

Is Apple pulling out of MWSF so they can attend CES in Las Vegas? I just don’t see it. No matter how much of the Consumer Electronics Show revolves around the iPod ecosystem, CES just feels kind of lowbrow for Apple. Besides, these days Apple can get a gaggle of media assembled in Cupertino on a moment’s notice with five-words and a picture of a light beam. Whenever they want.

I haven’t been to a Macworld Expo in years, but I have fond memories of attending the Boston Expo in the mid 90s. I wish I could go this year, the last-hurrah zeitgeist seems like it would be fun to share in.

MWSF 2008 pre-thoughts

Just so I can go on the record, here are my thoughts before the Macworld 2008 keynote.