Macworld forecast: Thin, light notebook 'sure bet'
Second attempt at Apple TV also likely, say analysts
Computerworld - Although only Steve Jobs knows for sure what new products he will introduce Tuesday to the Apple faithful gathered in San Francisco, if there's anything close to a sure bet, it's a smaller notebook, analysts said Friday.
"The most persistent rumor is of a very small subnotebook," said Charles Golvin, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. "Smaller than a MacBook or MacBook Pro, possibly with a multi-touch interface or perhaps just super thin."
Rumor and speculation are more than a cottage industry in the Apple Inc. ecosystem. In the weeks, then days before January's Macworld Conference and Expo and the summer's Worldwide Developer's Conference -- the other stage the company takes to roll out new hardware -- the guessing gets serious."There's something in the air" meant that the iconic CEO would introduce iTunes purchases over AT&T Inc.'s EDGE network, new wireless hardware for the Mac line or even a WiMax initiative.
Or, as the appropriately titled site MacRumors.com speculated Friday night, the marketing slogan might point toward a smaller, thinner portable dubbed the MacBook Air.
Neither Gene Munster, an analuyst at Piper Jaffray Co., nor Ezra Gottheil, an analyst at Technology Business Research Inc., would be surprised, since both joined Golvin to bet on a petite portable as the rumor most likely to prove out.
"It's a given," said Munster, who said that his sources had pegged the screen at just 11 inches, even more diminutive than the blogosphere consensus, which had earlier gravitated toward a larger 13-in. display. "The one real wild card [for Tuesday] is whether it will come with a touch screen. In a year, that's certain. This could be the beginning of the end of the mouse."
"The ultralight seems like a good bet," said Gottheil.
While the maybe-MacBook Air/maybe-not machine's specs have been all over the map, the anticipated thinning of the frame and the lightening of its heft likely will come from ditching a traditional hard drive -- and probably a built-in optical drive as well -- and replacing it with a flash memory-based device. Forrester's Golvin said the move made sense. "Apple gets the best price on flash [memory] of anybody, thanks to the quantities they buy for the iPod," he said. "Whether it happens now or not, I would think Apple would be the company to do this."
Other than Jobs holding a new laptop aloft, the most probable announcement, said the three analysts, will be one or more changes to Apple TV, the slow-selling music- and movie-streaming box.
- 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant Report For the 7th year in a row, Riverbed is in the "Leaders" Quadrant of the 2014 Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization Controllers. In...
- Improving Business Value of WAN Optimization Want to achieve faster ROI with WAN optimization? Read the latest IDC report and discover how you can cut IT costs without compromising...
- Four Little-Known Ways WAN Optimization Can Benefit Your Organization Read this white paper to learn how far WAN optimization has come, and how to make this most of your investments by using...
- IDC ROI Infographic Trends such as evolving communication patterns, connection types, applications and bandwidth can have an impact on enterprise organizations. Learn how IT organizations can...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- It's not too late...Get Your Mobile Questions Answered Live! How can IT provide seamless and secure mobile communications and collaboration for all? Join this live Webcast as IDG asks an expert panel... All Laptops White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!