Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Apple: Steve's baby

I have promised a post about Apple, but one has yet to come just because I have been a little lazy ... so here it is.

I am going to start with Steve Jobs.  Apple news seems to revolves around Steve Jobs, Steve this, Steve that - he is of concern to everyone.  When CNN issued the ireport that he died, the stock took a nosedive.  People are overly convinced that Steve Jobs is Apple.  Gigaom has a post about how Apple will be just fine without Steve Jobs, here.  I'd like to think it is true, and hope that people aren't stupid enough to realize that a single man doesn't make a company great.  Steve has instilled a culture at Apple that will long out last him - at least I'm sure he hopes it does.

On that note ... you may have heard that this is the last year Apple will be participating in the Macworld conference - set to take place in early January in San Francisco.  Apple backing out of the trade show means that it is over, and is certainly the end of an era - but I think they are right in doing so.  Apple used the event to tout new products - something that is just as easily done from the small theatre on the Cupertino campus.  More interestingly though, even though this is the last Macworld - Steve Jobs won't be giving the keynote ... so what does that mean.

Well as of this morning, investment firm Piper Jaffray thinks that nothing of any excitement will  be announced because of Mr. Job's absence.  I am inclined to think the contrary ... perhaps Apple is going to prove that they can make a huge announcement without Steve Jobs standing up on the stage and dazzling people.  The events aren't about him, it should be about the product - right?

So what will we see at Macworld ... what will come.  Here is what is making its way around the rumor mills:
* Mac mini - the mini has been the same forever, and people have said it is going bye bye time and time again.  The mini has proved itself, especially in business applications - where people want a small form factor machine that can perform basic tasks and display video - without crashing.  I know its funny when we you see the BSOD on a display outside or at some store, but I'm sure the company doesn't find it cool - so they should be choosing the mini.  I desperately hope the mini gets an update ... and I think it will, especially with Apple's switch to Display Port technology with the latest lineup of Macbooks.
* iMac - Our age old friend needs a redesign ... maybe?  It will definitely see some kind of refresh, who knows if there will be an actual design change.
* iPhone Nano - This has been speculated before ... will we see it.  Who knows, I'm not holding my breath.  Engadget has some deets on the situation, here.
* Apple Media Server - You will remember my post yesterday about HP's MediaSmart home media server, and my complaints about how Apple has been basically useless in this category.  The AppleTV was a great start ... but it doesn't have the storage capacity to be a media server, nor was it meant to serve that purpose.  Yesterday afternoon, right after the HP announcement, mac rumor site 9to5Mac posted a rumor about a supposed media server that we could expect to see at Macworld.  I screamed for joy.  It would basically serve as an add on to MobileMe (hopefully no cost change), and would be able to act as a home media server and one accessible over the internet (so I don't need to use Lala at work - sorry Lala).  9to5 has the full rundown, here, but it sounds pretty awesome.  This is exactly what I want/need.

Anyway Phil Schiller, SVP of Worldwide Marketing, will be giving the keynote on Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 at 9am PST.  So, on Tuesday morning look for some links to live blogs on the keynote and look for something after the keynote about what was said and what we got.

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