Monday, October 13, 2008

New Dawn In Macland

Whether it's $799, $899, or no change in the price of the entry level Macbook, we are in for another big shift in the underlying technology along with OS X that may change computing once again for Mac users.  Well, we should be in for a change.  Nothing is certain until Steve Jobs makes it so.

Tomorrow.  10AM PST.  The follow sites are offering live blogs since Apple issues press passes and has stopped webcasting their events eons ago.

  • Macrumors - via Twitter
  • Engadget - excellent.  If one of the other sites don't work, you can always rely on them.
  • Macworld - you get the bone.  They provide the meat later through the day after the event and into the next day.  
  • Gizmodo - excellent.  The best live site for Mac and other Apple events
  • CNet - it's good to keep in mind.  But they're generally one of the worst
  • Ars Technica
I think those live blogs are good enough.  There are many others and if you think I should include them, let me know.  Macrumors has put together a bunch of "expectations" and pre-announcement analysis.  Sort of like the pregame shows for sports.

Here's what to expect before you get into these live feeds.  Get your morning coffee, donuts, and unplug your phone. Just coffee.  And a lot of this occur while most of us are at work.  Go to work early and get most of what you need to do done.  Block out that hours (10-11 - I don't expect this to go for more than an hour.  And most of what we want to know will already happen in the first 30-40 minutes.  In fact, if this is just straight up Mac portable updates, this won't be a long event.

One of the thing that bug me about this event is that Apple notify the press a bit late.  It is hard to try and reason why is it so.  A matter of expectation?  Trying to not hype to event?  After all, many have been expecting a mystery product that would result in this quarter's lower profit margin.  A lot of folks are talking about price cuts.  Right now, there seem to be some dispute whether that is going to be the case.  

Here is what we should expect.  Jobs go onto the stage and assure the fans that Apple has a great lineup for the coming Holiday Seasons.  He'll tell us the event will be about Macs.  He'll go through the data, how Apple is kicking ass in terms of sales and dollar market-share.  

Before he finally introduces the new Macbooks, he'll might go through the evolution of the Powerbook G4s to the Macbooks and how that was a huge leap.  Now, Apple is taking another one.  Nvidia chipsets with Centrino 2 chips.  And then finally, the new Macbooks.  The audience is somewhat blown away.  And while seeing is believing for the media and bloggers, the enthusiasm will be muted because of all the leaks in the last week.  

Finally, one or two folks, probably Nvidia, maybe Intel, will be paraded onto the stage and talk up the honor it was to be walked all over by Steve Jobs.  After they are yanked off stage, Jobs comes back thanks us and asks us to fork over our credit cards.  

One more thing...well, maybe.  But I doubt it.

Now, there are things I want to see for the new Macbook and from Apple.
  • 3G connectivity.  At the very least, provide it on the Macbook Air and the Pro line.
  • Minimum of 2GB and expandable to 8GB on the Pro line.  If we are truly going to see the $799 price point, expect a mere 1GB.
  • Minimum of 4GB on the MBP.  If the Macbook Air does get upgraded tomorrow, give us 3GB.
  • Dedicated GPU across the board.  Maybe not the MBA but the Macbooks are just crying out for more power.
  • Eight hours of battery life.  
  • LED across the board.  While we're at this, keep the ratio at 16:10.  We know we won't have Blue-Ray drives so there's no need for 16:9 screens.  We will live with the black border when we watch movies.
  • Multi-Touch trackpads - and with more functionality.  Prepare us for the day when we will get Multi-Touch LED screens.  We all know that's coming.
  • Apple TV functionality on Macbooks.  It won't cannabalize Apple TV sales.  A lot of folks still have not experience it before.  Think of it as a way to market Apple TV.  If we like it on our Macbook, we will like it even more on our TV and we'll will go out and buy an Apple TV.
  • I love it if Apple can shave a pound off across the board.  I can live with 1/2 lb on the Macbooks.  
  • We already discussed pricing a bit at the top.  Nobody knows.  $799 is great but I double it.  $200 cut across the board is entirely doable.  
So, there you have it.  My wish list.  Looking forwards to have none of it happen.

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