Monday, January 14, 2008

He Got Me Invested In Some Kinda Fruit Company

"Before Steve Jobs made the iPod..." - Jay-Z

For all the Apple-heads out there (myself included), tomorrow is a big day. The Macworld Conference & Expo, Silicon Valley’s largest technology trade show, began today and tomorrow (1.15) Steve Jobs will deliver his annual address, which always brings the announcement of a new revolutionary product or two. In past years we have been introduced to slim and trim iPods, Apple TV, and the most hyped product of 2007, the iPhone. Not being a technical person at all, I have no idea what Jobs is gonna throw at us, but has made some speculations.

Excerpt from

· A Skinny MacBook. Probably the leading candidate for Jobs’ one-more-thing moment, it’s already been named — Macbook air, thin, nano and mini — and imagined in PhotoShop (see here, for example) by bloggers who should know better. Likely specs: 12 to 13-inch. LED backlit screen, under 3 lbs., half as thick as today’s MacBooks, 32, 64 or even 128GB solid-state flash drive, priced around $1,600.

· iPhone updates. A bump in capacity from 8GB to 16GB and maybe 32GB is expected, as well as a preview of the software developers toolkit (SDK) promised for February; we might even get a few demos from developers, like EA, who were seeded with the SDK last fall. A 3G iPhone and a Newton-type tablet are reported to be in the works, but not yet ready for prime time.

· Movie rentals. This is the item Hollywood is following most closely. It’s been widely reported that Fox and Disney are likely to make movies available on iTunes for overnight rental (at $3 to $5 for 24 hours) or for purchase for roughly the price of a shrink-wrapped DVD. If, as rumored, Paramount, Lions Gate and Warner Bros join them, the flood of fresh video content could breath new life into the Apple TV. (The Associated Press reported Sunday that Netflix (NFLX), anticipating such a move by Apple, will offer unlimited monthly video streaming.)

· DRM-free Music. Having famously championed the cause with his February 2007 Thoughts on Music memo, it would be surprising — and disappointing — if Jobs did not use this opportunity to announce a significant expansion of the DRM-free offerings in the iTunes Store, especially after the last of the major labels announced last week that they were putting their music on (AMZN) without copy protection.

· Microsoft (MSFT) Office 2008. No surprises here, since the reviews are already in, but an excuse for what should be the most lavish after-hours party of the show.

· The Beatles. It’s about time. Just in case, Yoko Ono’s John Lennon Educational Tour Bus mobile recording studio is making the trip from its Las Vegas unveiling at the Consumer Electronics Show to be at Macworld. A few hours after Jobs’ speech, there’s a press reception in the bus that’s co-sponsored by Apple.

Check out the full article here and I definitely will be updating tomorrow once the announcement has been made.


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