Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Annual Apple Rumor Mill

The rumor mill is running full blast with speculation about what (if anything) Apple will announce next month at Macworld. There are three core questions being asked:

  1. Will Apple announce any Intel-based products?

  2. If so, what will they be?

  3. Will Apple announce any further PowerPC-based hardware?

Here’s my uninformed speculation to go along with everyone else’s:

  1. Apple will announce Intel-based products at Macworld. With Intel apparently making better progress than expected in getting new processor designs out, Apple’s in an excellent position to announce Intel-based products in January, for release in the subsequent 60 to 90 days.

  2. I really have no idea what they’ll be, except that I don’t expect to see a G5-replacement tower-style computer at the show. Apple’s biggest win would be to take advantage of the low-power Pentium M/Core processors for its notebooks now. I’d also like to see the rumored Intel Mac Mini home media center running Front Row 2.0, but that’s primarily wishful thinking on my part.

  3. No. Once Apple introduces its first Intel-based systems, no further PowerPC-based products will be released. From what I’ve seen publicly from Apple, the company is pulling out all the stops to get its third-party developers to port their software over to Intel ASAP. Apple has to be concerned about being Osborned (the act of killing sales of your existing products by preannouncing future products.) Once it starts shipping Intel-based products, existing PowerPC-based products will appear obsolete. They control the timing for the start of the transition to Intel, but once it starts, they’ll have to move everything over to Intel quickly. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the first Intel-based products at Macworld in January 2006 and the entire computer line transitioned over to Intel by Macworld in January 2007.
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