Macworld 2008 Will Put “Something in the Air” [Macworld Predictions]

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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.

12 responses to “Macworld 2008 Will Put “Something in the Air” [Macworld Predictions]”

  1. Andrew DK says:

    “…and Steve Jobs absolutely hates Motorola.”

    I doubt Lord Jobs would allow such petty altercation affect his sound judgment for Apple. o_O

    The Adium thing is quite intriguing, though. Either some Apple engineer is slapping his head going “Oops” or wringing his hands mischievously, cackling.

  2. Ric says:

    I’m betting they’ll have the Thunderclap Newman song (or the Tom Petty redux), “There’s Something in the Air,” playing some role in all of this.

  3. Tim says:

    What about iPhone and iPod touch wireless syncing over wifi? I mean, the Zune already has it (gasp), so why not us? That way I can charge my iPhone in my bedroom like my regular cellphone and not have to worry about connecting to my mac at the other end of the house before I head out in the morning just to sync podcasts and such.

    On a related note, wifi syncing of podcasts though the iTunes wifi store would be even better. Then I could update them wherever I happen to be.

  4. David says:

    My prediction is that the Air theme will cover many topics. Air theme #1: The MacBook Air sub-notebook which will be extremely thin and light weight. Air theme #2: It will have the mercury-free, power-efficient LED currently in the 15″ MacBook Pro and the manufacturing process will be more environmentally friendly. This will be a major marketing point of the device. The trackpad will have multi-touch features. Air theme #3: The optical drive (and maybe other peripherals) will be external and wireless using either WiFi or the new ultra-Wideband Bluetooth standard. The external drive(s) can also be used and charged via a USB (or firewire?) connection. Yes, this means there will be ports on the MacBook Air; but to keep the slim form factor they will be collapsable as seen in this Apple patent: [http://tinyurl.com/yw8cfv] . The MacBook Air will be available with an optional iMac style dock as seen in this patent: [http://tinyurl.com/29bkmt] . Air theme #4: If you get the docking station it will use power induction to charge the MacBook air. All MacBook Airs will also come with an improved MagSafe adapter. Air theme #5: There will be an iPhone/iPod Touch update along with an iTunes update for all Macs with WiFi which will allow for wireless syncing as seen in this patent: [http://tinyurl.com/23cuf5]. Air theme #6: The same iPhone/iPod Touch update will allow for file sharing as seen in this patent: [http://tinyurl.com/2ylurz
    ]. The iphone updates will include the features seen here: [http://tinyurl.com/2gbyn8] . Possible Air theme #7: I think the only way WiMax will be a part of this would be if there is a new or updated AirPort introduced (maybe an “AirPort Pro”?) with WiMax capabilities. Unlikely but possible Air theme #8: The 2G iPhone with 3G support (or maybe WiMax with a tandem AT&T WiMax announcement?). The only way this would be introduced is if the the iPhone is ready to sell this week; but all reports indicate the 3G won’t be until later this year so I doubt Apple will cannibalize existing sales by addressing upcoming features now (unless they do a huge price drop now an a much higher price for the 2G). There, that is my prediction based on being an Apple nerd who looks at a dozen Apple RSS feeds and their links every day!

  5. David says:

    “One more thing…..” Apple TV 2G with Blu-Ray Drive and movie rentals from the iTunes store.

  6. David says:

    I hate to brag but I think I did a pretty damn good prediction. I don’t work for Apple – hell I only made the switch 2 years ago!