Our pals over at Wired Gadget Lab point us toward these humongous banners that Apple has positioned throughout Moscone Center for this year’s Macworld, reading “There’s something in the air.” (They’ll be live-blogging Tuesday — check it out!)
As you might expect, this has led to rampant speculation around the Internets, including the idea that Apple’s new ultra-light and -thin MacBook would adopt the surname “Air,” an idea popularized by the occasionally reliable and occasionally crazy 9to5Mac and MacRumors.
Everyone agrees, however, that this probably has something to do with wireless networking, either the arrival of WiMax on the Mac platform, or (more likely) the availability of HSDPA (3G) networks for new iPhones, true mobile broadband at last. I think the latter is much more likely, if only because the most enthusiastic proponent of WiMax is Motorola, and Steve Jobs absolutely hates Motorola.
After going back and forth, I’m making a very conservative forecast for this year’s Macworld. We’ll see Penryn-based MacBook Pros for sure, maybe Penryn MacBooks (could wait until February), Penryn iMacs, an announcement of new iPhones with more data and 3G (for delivery in the spring), and a thin-and-light MacBook Pro. But nothing with SSD, no multitouch for Mac, and no tabletMac. I think Apple has so many incremental upgrades to perform this time out that there won’t be much room for a huge, earth-shattering kaboom like last time around. I’m certainly hoping to be proven wrong, though.