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2014 Apple announcement predictions

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Remember the good ole days when we'd be up to our necks in predictions by today, because the Macworld Expo keynote would be early next week? Good times. :(

 

Anyone care to venture a guess on how this year's announcements will pan out?

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post #2 of 20
Thread Starter 

My guesses:

 

End of January - Redesigned Mac Mini

The Mini is overdue for an upgrade. Apple will remove the power supply to shrink the size, and add TB2 and HDMI 2.0. Apple will continue to restrict it to non-upgradable, integrated graphics to protect the similarly-non-upgradable 21" iMac.

 

February - MacBook Pro and iMac upgrade

Relatively small spec bump, allowing for TB2 on the iMac, and HDMI 2.0.

iMac gets a high-end 4K-display option.

 

March - iWork upgrade

Last year's released-too-soon upgrade to iWork gets back many of the key features lost in the move to iOS compatibility. 

 

May - Mac Pro downgrade

The Mac Pro is now widely available and early adopter orders are satisfied, so a lower end (still not cheap) model with a single GPU card is introduced. USB 3.1 debuts on the Mac line.

 

September - iPad/iPhone upgrades

13" 'iPad Pro' supplements the iPad line and kills off the MacBook Air.

iPhone 6 released. iPod Nano goes down to $99.

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post #3 of 20
Would be nice to see the Mac mini shrunk to the same size as the AppleTV puck.

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post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Would be nice to see the Mac mini shrunk to the same size as the AppleTV puck.

 

That would likely cause significant thermal issues, no?

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post #5 of 20
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

End of January - Redesigned Mac Mini

The Mini is overdue for an upgrade. Apple will remove the power supply to shrink the size, and add TB2 and HDMI 2.0. Apple will continue to restrict it to non-upgradable, integrated graphics to protect the similarly-non-upgradable 21" iMac.


That’s the opposite of what they’re doing with all of their products. They just put the PSU into it with the last redesign; you think they’re going to take it back out? They’re masters of the miniaturization of PSUs. I’d like to see what could be done with a circular Mini design, but if that’s impractical they shouldn’t copy the Mac Pro just to copy it.

 
February - MacBook Pro and iMac upgrade

Relatively small spec bump, allowing for TB2 on the iMac, and HDMI 2.0.

iMac gets a high-end 4K-display option.

 

Broadwell’s out in Februrary?

 
March - iWork upgrade

Last year's released-too-soon upgrade to iWork gets back many of the key features lost in the move to iOS compatibility. 

 

iWork will receive updates whenever new features can be pushed out. There won’t be ’15, ’16, ’17, ‘xx releases ever again; it will get new features on whatever timetable they see fit. And haven’t they said they’d restore those features before March?

 
May - Mac Pro downgrade

The Mac Pro is now widely available and early adopter orders are satisfied, so a lower end (still not cheap) model with a single GPU card is introduced. USB 3.1 debuts on the Mac line.

 

They’re not doing an xMac. Unless you mean they’ll drop one GPU and have two CPUs, but that seems silly not to offer right now, too, right? Have a Mac Pro for those who want a train engine and a Mac Pro for those who want fireworks off the back of their truck. 

 

Maybe they have big plans with GPGPU that will remove the necessity for two CPUs. Who knows? Do you mean to have them offer this just to get the price down? I don’t think they care, since the hardware’s already thousands of dollars cheaper than a PC equivalent.

 
September - iPad/iPhone upgrades

13" 'iPad Pro' supplements the iPad line and kills off the MacBook Air.

iPhone 6 released. iPod Nano goes down to $99. 

 

I LOVE IT, except the MacBook Air won’t be taken away until 2017 at the earliest. It’s way too soon. Glad you’re on that boat, though. Toot toot; all aboard the laptops are dead train!

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 


That’s the opposite of what they’re doing with all of their products. They just put the PSU into it with the last redesign; you think they’re going to take it back out? They’re masters of the miniaturization of PSUs. I’d like to see what could be done with a circular Mini design, but if that’s impractical they shouldn’t copy the Mac Pro just to copy it.

 

Admittingly, I'm just speculating. But the internal power supply is one of the complaints of using the Mini as a server, and now that the Pro is a bit more upmarket and the Xserve is dead, they might go for it.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Broadwell’s out in Februrary?

 

No, not till the end of the year. Which is why I though they'd just bump up the ports and adjust HD capacities for now.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

iWork will receive updates whenever new features can be pushed out. There won’t be ’15, ’16, ’17, ‘xx releases ever again; it will get new features on whatever timetable they see fit. And haven’t they said they’d restore those features before March?

 

Which for Apple means Feb 28. But I already had February predictions.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

They’re not doing an xMac. Unless you mean they’ll drop one GPU and have two CPUs, but that seems silly not to offer right now, too, right? Have a Mac Pro for those who want a train engine and a Mac Pro for those who want fireworks off the back of their truck. 

 

Maybe they have big plans with GPGPU that will remove the necessity for two CPUs. Who knows? Do you mean to have them offer this just to get the price down? I don’t think they care, since the hardware’s already thousands of dollars cheaper than a PC equivalent.

 

Yeah, I was just thinking that dropping one of the GPU cards might get the price closer to the traditional Mac Pro asking price.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I LOVE IT, except the MacBook Air won’t be taken away until 2017 at the earliest. It’s way too soon. Glad you’re on that boat, though. Toot toot; all aboard the laptops are dead train!

 

Laptops aren't dead by any stretch, but the MBA is the low end mobile product for people who really just do light duty (surfing, email, writing).

That seems to me to be the target for the so-called iPad Pro device, and I think Apple will eat their own before the competition does.

 

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post #7 of 20
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

But the internal power supply is one of the complaints of using the Mini as a server


Really? I thought they’d love that. Would they rather run two PSUs out to the same line? Maybe the Mac Mini Server could have two tiny PSUs inside, like the Xserve.

 
No, not till the end of the year. Which is why I though they'd just bump up the ports and adjust HD capacities for now.

 

How long has it been for the laptops? October… hoo boy. May as well be dead.

 

Yeah, that makes sense, I guess. Though spring feels better to me. April or something, if Broadwell’s late.

 
Which for Apple means Feb 28. But I already had February predictions.

 

:p

 
Yeah, I was just thinking that dropping one of the GPU cards might get the price closer to the traditional Mac Pro asking price.

 

Hmm. I think the days of a $1,999 pro Mac are dead, particularly since the “prosumer” community has grown and the iMac has fulfilled that.

 
Laptops arent dead by any stretch, but the MBA is the low end mobile product for people who really just do light duty (surfing, email, writing). That seems to me to be the target for the so-called iPad Pro device, and I think Apple will eat their own before the competition does.

 

Agreed and agreed, but I still think it’s early.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

That would likely cause significant thermal issues, no?

Why? Smaller, faster, cheaper. That's the path of technology in a highly competitive market.

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post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


Why? Smaller, faster, cheaper. That's the path of technology in a highly competitive market.


The tdp of the internals hasn't changed drastically during the last couple processor generations, so I don't know that the suggestion is feasible at this point. Also before anyone points it out, I understand the difference between tdp and typical power consumption.

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

iWork will receive updates whenever new features can be pushed out. There won’t be ’15, ’16, ’17, ‘xx releases ever again; it will get new features on whatever timetable they see fit. And haven’t they said they’d restore those features before March?

 

Missed this question. Apple said on November 11, 2013 that some of the missing features will be restored within six months.

Which gives them until May 11, 2014.

 

But I think March is a good candidate for an iWork Service Pack. (You act recklessly like Microsoft in the 90's, you deserve the mocking...)

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post #11 of 20
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

six months.

 

Ah, you’re right. Thought it was three…

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Missed this question. Apple said on November 11, 2013 that some of the missing features will be restored within six months.
Which gives them until May 11, 2014.


But I think March is a good candidate for an iWork Service Pack. 
(You act recklessly like Microsoft in the 90's, you deserve the mocking...)

The surprise wasn't the apple refactored iWork and lost capability. The surprise was that anyone was seriously using it. With over a thousand macs and around 30% usage as the primary platform here I can count on one hand the number of iWork users I know. And I used to be the Keynote fanatic that annoyed PPT users.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

My guesses:

End of January - Redesigned Mac Mini
The Mini is overdue for an upgrade. Apple will remove the power supply to shrink the size, and add TB2 and HDMI 2.0. Apple will continue to restrict it to non-upgradable, integrated graphics to protect the similarly-non-upgradable 21" iMac.

My fear is they are going to let the mini languish this year and update to haswell when the iMacs go broadwell.

Perhaps the delta between the HD4600 and Iris Pro is large enough for them. I dunno. But the chips have been available since q3 of 2013. Why a jan refresh?
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

the chips have been available since q3 of 2013. Why a jan refresh?

It was Q4 for the dual-core chips:

http://ark.intel.com/products/76348/Intel-Core-i5-4200M-Processor-3M-Cache-up-to-3_10-GHz

I haven't seen many of those used. The i7 chips have been available for a while but they couldn't leave the entry i5 out of the update. There were a couple of laptops using the 5200M reviewed in December:

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Toshiba-Satellite-C75-A-13P.107132.0.html
http://www.notebookcheck.net/MSI-CR61-i5U45FHDW7.107948.0.html
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Why a jan refresh?

 

I'm assuming that they wanted the much more profitable desktop line (Mac Pro) out the door and reviewed on the web before updating the Mini.

 

Yes, I know they don't directly compete. But it's good business sense not to bring the lower profit line out first.

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post #16 of 20
I only care about a Broadwell Mac mini. Everything else means nil to me.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I only care about a Broadwell Mac mini. Everything else means nil to me.

It still tends to be the last thing out the door with a given hardware generation. It could be in a different year. I hope you get some longevity from whichever one you eventually purchase.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post


My fear is they are going to let the mini languish this year and update to haswell when the iMacs go broadwell.

Perhaps the delta between the HD4600 and Iris Pro is large enough for them. I dunno. But the chips have been available since q3 of 2013. Why a jan refresh?


I really doubt it will go that way. There was some speculation that desktop cpus would

post #18 of 20

As far as Apple is concerned, the Mac Mini IS their xMac - wishful thinking doesn't help here, unfortunately...and this is the main reason the Mini is here to stay - just revamped chipsets, more RAM etc...nothing else.

iMac Intel 27" Core i7 3.4, 16GB RAM, 120GB SSD + 1TB HD + 4TB RAID 1+0, Nuforce Icon HDP, OS X 10.9.1; iPad Air 64GB; iPhone 5 32GB; iPod Classic; iPod Nano 4G; Apple TV 2.
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iMac Intel 27" Core i7 3.4, 16GB RAM, 120GB SSD + 1TB HD + 4TB RAID 1+0, Nuforce Icon HDP, OS X 10.9.1; iPad Air 64GB; iPhone 5 32GB; iPod Classic; iPod Nano 4G; Apple TV 2.
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post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 

I simply refuse to believe that Apple will wait for June to update the Mini.

 

One would think that they would at least bring Thunderbolt 2 and 802.11ac to the Mini in a hurry, if not HDMI 2.0.

 

But Apple just got done shipping an outdated Mac Pro for years without a redesign, so anything's possible I guess.

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post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 

Well this is beyond sad.

 

We're at the end of February and we've had absolutely no hardware updates. And software-wise, we've gotten an iWork update. And 10.9.2.

 

I don't really care about 4K, but why isn't TB2 on the iMac yet? And where's the new Mini?

The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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