September 04, 2006

Let the Apple Speculation Begin Yet Again

I swear, if Steve Jobs sneezes, it's bound to hit the Mac rumor sites. I'm surprised if isn't there with live coverage, a streaming chat site and user forums - all claiming inside information from his general practitioner. Hot off of WWDC, the Apple rumor mill is again abuzz - with suggestions that Steve and the rest of the Apple crew will unveil some "insanely great" updates on everything from the iMac to iPods, their AirPort wireless base stations, and as usual, a kitchen sink of mystery offerings - including the long-rumored, much-anticipated iTunes Movie Store, and even a video streaming device that would interface with your television set.

While Mac aficionados always expect for every single product in the lineup to get an update, plus a surprise, it doesn't really make good business sense for Apple, or any other company, to do away with their entire suite of offerings in one swoop - with inventory, supply and demand issues all being key. Instead, Apple typically updates two products at a time, and alternates their introductions. While WWDC saw updates to the Power Macintosh line, the new mysterious September 12th media invite would focus on iPods and iMacs, and a third, unnamed event later this year might see updates to their line of laptops. It just makes sense.

But here we go... the contest of the rumor sites to one-up the other.

Think Secret, with one of the better track records in this informal business, says new iPods and a new iMac are due on the September 12th event. Think Secret expects higher capacities (as always), and new colors for the iPod Nano. Their expectations for the updated iPod line are less extensive, as the long-rumored touch-screen iPod isn't expected until early 2007, barring an early release to trump Microsoft's warmed-over Toshiba Gigabeat, which they've called Zune. Think Secret also says the iTunes movie store has been postponed, for unknown reasons.

This of course conflicts with AppleInsider's expectations. With some instances of success, AppleInsider is typically more aggressive and fanciful with their expectations from Apple. The site once expected "strawberry" pink G3s, and has expected handhelds or Apple cell phones every few months for the last several years... but they try.

AppleInsider also expects new iMacs and iPod Nanos. But they take things further by expecting that Steve Jobs and Apple have even bigger plans than anyone has anticipated - video streaming of iTunes movies to television sets in customers' living rooms - extending the functionality of Airport Express, which now offers streaming to home stereos (including mine).

They also claim that rumored delays of the touchscreen iPod are overblown. But only one of these sites can be right, which will be seen next week. We'll be watching, of course.

Listening to ''Hymne & Sail'', by DJ Armin van Buuren (Play Count: 5)