[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>There was a good post by Amorph in a different thread about how the hype isn't about chip speed, like everyone here thinks. It's about digital hub and software-hardware integration, like iTunes-iPod.
We all know that Apple's biggest limitation right now is their price-performance. So that's what we want to change. But Apple is limited by others in that respect. When the G5 is ready, they'll release it as fast as they possibly can. But in the meantime, Jobs sees Apple's uniqueness in their ability to create a total hardware-software solution.
What we know is that there will be a beautiful new iMac at about 700-800 Mhz, faster PowerMacs maybe even with a dual 1Ghz, and perhaps even speed bumps to some laptops.
But is that all? It could be, but probably not.
My guess is that the iMac will do something special. The only thing I can think of is some type of digital hub connection with home entertainment devices. Here are some guesses:
1. It could have some of the features of <a href="http://www.sonystyle.com/vaio/mx/index.shtml
" target="_blank">that Sony Vaio MX</a> we were talking about a few weeks ago.
2. It could have the ability to link to third-party entertainment appliances like stereo equipment or TVs.
3. It could be another iPod-like device that uses some iTunes-like software to integrate with the Mac. Example: an Apple digital camera or camcorder specially made to link with Apple software like iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD.
4. Rather than a portable Apple device, it could be some appliance-like Apple device, like a DVD player/recorder that works seamlessly with bundled Apple software on the iMac.
4. It could be iPhoto software designed to work with third-party cameras, rather than an Apple camera.
5. It may have something to do with the new MPEG-4 standard and QuickTime. A TiVO-like PVR that compresses better with MPEG-4?
Just some hypotheses. Any other possibilities along these lines?</strong><hr></blockquote>
1. A nice baby step would be front accessible Firewire Ports (either on the front or the side next to the front where you can find them without craning your neck or turning the unit. Firewire seems to be connection method Apple is going for with its digital lifestyle devices, which is very nice (speed, power through the bus, etc) but it's a pain in the hindquarters to play "fumble for the firewire port"
2. I am fairly nonplussed as how any of these options are worthy of the hype Apple has been dishing. To be worthy of "it's like a backstage pass to the future" the new products from Apple would need to be able to significantly improve the digital device-human interaction or be dramatically ahead of their time in features/capabilities (A 1.5 Ghz G5 that runs neck and neck with the 2 Ghz P4 while it is a very nice thing is not "the future", a system that runs at the speed Wintel is hoping to achieve 1-2 years from now is perhaps "the future").
What I would consider to be "the future" would be a much faster/more capable unit that uses its new "horsepower" to make it possible for me to interact with the computer in a much more refined way to get my work done and manage my life. "The future" is not a Mac that takes 1.9 seconds to scroll through a Word document instead of 2.5, it is a device that transcends our expectations for what a digital device can do to make our lives better. This takes more megahertz, RAM, etc, but that is really the easy part. Envisioning and creating the new paradigm-busting solutions is the hard part, and as witnessed by Apple's history does not guarantee profits for the innovator.
That is the future, Mr Jobs, and I hope you are able to deliver what you have promised. I have my doubts if today's Apple is anything more than a Macintosh box builder that has delusions of beating Sony in building gadgets. Still, I hope that the Pirate flag is still flying somewhere at one infinite loop.