Friday, May 11, 2007

Apple prognostication

As I sit here, typing on my dented but happy 17" MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo (soon to go into the shop for a replacement SuperDrive - mine stopped burning CDs for some reason but otherwise is OK), I can't help but think ahead to the next generation of Apple gear, and when I think we should expect it. As always, I have no special sources of information that you, the reader, lack. I simply have a pretty good track record of tea leaf reading and a good knowledge of industry roadmaps. Do not make life-and-death decisions based on this:

First of all, the 800 pound gorilla. The iPhone. Unless something goes horribly wrong, it'll ship in mid-June as planned. Probably announced at WWDC, along with an initial SDK and plans to certify applications for use on it. Unless they add UTMS support into the final version (which would not surprise me), expect a rev. 2 of iPhone by year-end with more RAM (probably 8GB standard, 12 or 16GB extended for the same price) and UTMS support.

Then, with Leopard having slipped to October, we should see some hardware shortly. There hasn't been a new Mac config (excepting the 8-way Mac Pro) since the initial Core 2 revs of the laptops late last year. I'm expecting a MacBook Pro revision in the next month that'll be incremental - probably just faster processors and maybe a chipset refresh. I don't think any major upgrades are in stock until right around Leopard.

My timetables for updates:
MacBook Pro - June
MacBook - July
iMac - July
mini - June (just a Core 2 refresh)
Mac Pro - July/August

As for redesigns and new form factors:

iMac - October
MacBook Pro - October (with LED backlit screens)
MacBook and mini - Not any time soon!
Mac Pro - January

And I figure the next iPod refresh will be in August - in time for back-to-school and after the initial iPhone rush is over.

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