Workers are already getting ready for WWDC 2012, and so are we.
Today at 10AM Pacific, Tim Cook will take the stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco for Apple’s annual WWDC keynote, and if the rumor mill is to be believed, he’ll be hard pressed to fit everything Cupertino is ready to announce into its 90 minute presentation. We’re looking at massive upgrades to the entire Mac line, the official unveiling of iOS 6, loads of new apps, and maybe possibly even our first glimpse of the iPhone 5 and Apple HDTV.
Here’s what we think Apple will (and won’t) announce today, ranked in order of likelihood.
Is Apple's latest 'Think Green' campaign an effort to shift existing Macs before the new ones roll in?
Apple has given its Premium Reseller across the United Kingdom authorization to discount £100 (approx. $160) off all Macs when customers trade-in their old machines. The Think Green scheme will run until June 17, and some believe it could signal Apple’s effort to shift existing stock before its next-generation MacBook Pros make their debut.
This will be the chip that features in your next Mac.
Just as expected, Intel launched its first crop of quad-core Ivy Bridge processors today. This is the chip that will replace the company’s Sandy Bridge CPUs in Apple’s next-generation of Macs. They’re the world’s first processors to use a 22-nanometer manufacturing process and feature Intel’s “Tri-Gate” 3D transistor technology.
Today mark’s the 35th anniversary of the iconic Apple IIe, the first PC that can really be said to have achieved true mainstream success, but between the Apple IIe and the Mac, there was another computer: the venerable Apple Lisa, which Steve Jobs named after his daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs.
The Lisa was a first for Apple in many ways: the first Apple computer to have a GUI, and the first Apple computer to ship with a mouse… both ideas that were borrowed by Steve Jobs from his historic visit to Xerox’s PARC labs. Unfortunately, due to both its price ($10,000 new) and the repeated delays, the Lisa never took off, and was in fact almost immediately replaced by the less expensive Lisa 2.
If you’ve got a 25K bill deep wad of Washingtons, though, you can now pick up a rare Lisa 1 computer system in original box on eBay, courtesy of the same seller who put that $100K 128K Mac prototype on sale earlier this week.
Is there a glass ceiling for Macs in enterprise companies?
A new Forrester report on Apple in the enterprise shows that nearly half of all companies (46%) issue Macs to at least some of their employees. The report also notes that Macs make up a thin slice of the overall computing population in most of those companies – an average of just 7%.
While the report notes that Apple’s overall sales of Macs to businesses increased by more than a third (34.9%), it seems that Macs remain a distinct minority in most businesses. Given the business and enterprise dominance of the iPad and iPhone, the much slower growth of Macs in business can seem surprising by comparison. This issue has been debated time and again over the years and the more common reasons offered tend to be IT professionals having a preferences for Windows, corporate cultures favoring uniformity, and Apple’s refusal to act like most enterprise vendors.
All those are valid points, but one issue that rarely gets raised is that supporting a handful of Macs is a very different experiencing than deploying and managing a larger number of them. It takes a different set of skills on the part of IT professionals and, in most cases, it requires investing in a different set of tools.
A common complaint that I heard earlier this week at the CITE conference in San Francisco was that Apple wasn’t a “real” enterprise vendor. IT professionals have whined and moaned about the fact that Apple doesn’t behave like most enterprise vendors for years (as a long time Mac and Apple IT professional myself, I’ve probably muttered under my breath about Apple’s approach to the enterprise many more times than most of the CITE attendees). What’s changed, however, is that CIOs and other IT leaders can no longer simply say “no” anytime Apple or an Apple product is mentioned.
This week, Apple even reiterated the point by dropping Apple Configurator, a completely new free tool for managing iOS devices in business. It’s a tool that offers new workflows when it comes to how businesses work with iPads (and to a lesser extent iPhones) and Apple released without telling its mobile management partners or its enterprise customers.
To all those IT folks bitching and complaining that Apple doesn’t publish 18-month roadmaps and doesn’t reach out to every enterprise months in advance of a product upgrade or cancelation, I have to say this: deal with it.
The folks at Canlys this morning are doing what analysts are fond of: playing the ‘if’ game. If iPads were included in the same category as computers, Apple might soon overtake HP as the world’s largest PC maker — particularly if the Cupertino, Calif. company launches the iPad 3, anticipated by many to be a 2012 release. Canalys, which does count tablets as PCs, expects Apple to pass HP before mid-2012.
A couple weeks ago, we posted about TwelveSix’s PlugBug, a cute little attachment that plugs into your standard MacBook MagSafe charger and gives it a 10W USB port, perfect for charging your MacBook and iPad simultaneously.
The PlugBug’s an ingenious little idea, and I’m reviewing one now. However, PlugBug’s days might be numbered: a new patent says that Apple is working on a universal power adapter that can charge MacBook Pros, iPhones and iPads, all at the same time.