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Apple puts further 2008 Mac updates on ice

post #1 of 107
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An Apple spokesperson has cooled down expectations of a last-minute refresh to the Mac line, or any other products, before the start of the new year.

Company press representative Bill Evans has told Macworld that Apple's lineup is fixed in place for the rest of 2008.

"Our holiday line-up is set," the official says.

The news dampens expectations for late 2008, which according to roadmaps would have Apple launch minor iMac updates before the year closed out.

The computer maker has let just over six months slip past since revising the all-in-one desktop in late April but was thought to be readying a fall update that would bring the processors into line with Intel's latest technology. Although the iMac has been technically using a group of non-standard processors that have the same performance characteristics as Intel's latest mobile chips, they technically use last-generation parts that don't necessarily share all the performance or feature advantages as the latest Core 2 Duo components.

These current 20- and 24-inch offerings also trail behind the new MacBooks in terms of video features. Both the Radeon HD 2400 and 2600 have remained unchanged since the aluminum iMac was first introduced in August 2007, or 15 months ago, leaving hardware H.264 video acceleration and other improvements aside. Similarly, a promise to add DisplayPort to all Macs will now have to be shelved until 2009.

It's unknown what, if anything, is pushing the next iMac update at least two months into the future, though Apple executives have alluded to a greater role for NVIDIA hardware in Macs in the long term that would represent a major architectural change to any remaining system, all of which at present use Intel mainboard chipsets.

A Mac mini overhaul is also expected in the future, though there had been no hard evidence to suggest it would arrive this year.
post #2 of 107
well at least the customer I sold that 24inch imac to today doesn't get a callback from me next week.


Shame on the mac mini, that thing is an embarrassment
post #3 of 107
I predicted nothing else would get updated this year. It's nice to be right, but it sucks that nothing else will be updated. We'll obviously see new Mac desktops at MWSF, but what can we expect? The same iMac case seems likely, but with MBP tech inside.

• Will they introduce one larger than 24"? I doubt it.
• Will they remove FW400 from the consumer desktops, while leaving the FW800? It's a toss up since they clearly have the room, but I'm leaning toward the removal to show that FW400 as a port interface is dead.
• Will the Mac Mini finally get it's long overdue makeover? I think so, perhaps even as a completely different product, and made out of aluminum and with a little more focus on the business side of things.
• Will they introduce more ACDs? I think that is the plan, if they will be ready in time.
• Will they introduce an Mac Pro with i7? I think those will be coming in February.
• Will we see a demo of Snow Leopard's mega mega performance? 100%.
• Will the iPhone get doubling in storage, like it did last year? WE won't see a storage bump as the prices aren't falling fast enough, but i think there is a slim chance for adding a 32GB model, but this seems slim as they already have two models on the market.

This MWSF looks like it'll have a lot of stuff. I think we're going to have to stop expecting Apple to update their HW as fast as they did in the past. While the new milling solution can help provide some fast changing to the frame, I think the logistics of having to sell so more Macs each quarter is forcing them to slow down their update cycles. I hope I'm wrong as I've already promised my new Mac to my niece for her 10th birthday in March.
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post #4 of 107
Hey - more time to save money, and maybe better tech in the next machine...
post #5 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Will they remove FW400 from the consumer desktops, while leaving the FW800? It's a toss up since they clearly have the room, but I'm leaning toward the removal to show that FW400 as a port interface is dead.

That's not nearly as compelling of a reason. Not enough space on the edge for a jack, not enough space on the board for a controller chip, OK, fine. But neither is a problem with iMac. Jacks aren't a problem with mini, maybe board space might be an issue if the chipset is larger.

Quote:
Will the Mac Mini finally get it's long overdue makeover? I think so, perhaps even as a completely different product, and made out of aluminum and with a little more focus on the business side of things.

Mini doesn't just have some aluminum already, it is a third aluminum by weight. And there is no need to go the expensive machining route as shell parts are already very minimal. Weight and rigidity aren't problems either.
post #6 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

That's not nearly as compelling of a reason. Not enough space on the edge for a jack, not enough space on the board for a controller chip, OK, fine. But neither is a problem with iMac. Jacks aren't a problem with mini, maybe board space might be an issue if the chipset is larger.

It's not, but how long after they removed other ports from Mac notebooks did they remove them from desktops? Most notebooks have more ports than an iMac has, yet an iMac has much more space for it. Did the RJ-11 port really need to go when it's cheap and takes up so little space? Compelling or not, it seems very Apple to me for them to remove FW400 from the iMac (and their Mac Mini if that is updated). I even wonder if the FW400 ports will be changed to FW3200, but that seems much, much less likely until 2010.


Quote:
Mini doesn't just have some aluminum already, it is a third aluminum by weight. And there is no need to go the expensive machining route as shell parts are already very minimal. Weight and rigidity aren't problems either.

I didn't say mill it. It's desktop machine, like the iMac, so a pressing would be fine. It's the last of Apple's Macs to go aluminium and they seem to want to go green.
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post #7 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I didn't say mill it. It's desktop machine, like the iMac, so a pressing would be fine. It's the last of Apple's Macs to go aluminium and they seem to want to go green.

On the mini, making the shell from stamped aluminum would be a downgrade.
post #8 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

On the mini, making the shell from stamped aluminum would be a downgrade.

I was looking at it being more likely done like the old MBP designs, with a thin rubber ring around the top edge, so the top and sides aren't one piece. I can't see a full top and sides pressing until the redesign the entire case shape.

It may be evolving to a different product in that class and under a different name, but I don't think it's going away.
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post #9 of 107
A bit risky. Ideally you want Mac to keep up with PC hardware wise, so that a holiday buyer sees that it's the same chip in both and decides purely on software and design = a win for Mac every time.
post #10 of 107
Here goes the economy slowing down Apple.
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post #11 of 107
Bummer - I was holding out for my switch to Mac. And so I'll just wait to decide when the new imacs finally come out - because I'm sure not going to buy a desk top with less graphics power than a laptop. The imac goes into the tank until refreshed.
post #12 of 107
Kill the mini, make a new mini tower, refresh the iMacs and add a standard DVD slot to the Apple TV. That would pretty much make the perfect Macworld 2009.

Then September 2009 announce their 42" Plasma TV, and Macworld 2010 announce the 10" Mac touch + SDK. Boy I'm good!
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post #13 of 107
I'm in a position to buy two imacs. One for work, one for home. Would have purchased if even a minor refresh.

Now I'll wait till after the holidays. Or maybe I'll just go and get one HP and wait on the other one (but never both) given the substantial markup with Apple.

Shocked they did not do a minor update given it is the holiday season and the prices seem a bit rich for the imac package considering what you get elsewhere or in the mac notebook lines...

Suspect this WILL hurt desktop sales a lot, but that the high margins on what they do have (especially given the aging parts and premium prices) will partially offset any loses from the corporate perspective...

Bummer...
post #14 of 107
does that happen often?
if it was not for this article I'd thought we had new products coming tomorrow, tuesday.
post #15 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Kill the mini, make a new mini tower, refresh the iMacs and add a standard DVD slot to the Apple TV. That would pretty much make the perfect Macworld 2009.

Then September 2009 announce their 42" Plasma TV, and Macworld 2010 announce the 10" Mac touch + SDK. Boy I'm good!

I disagree with everything you wrote accept the iMac refresh. I think a machine that ties into a TV is more than enough. I see no reason for Apple to make a TV since they all connect via HDMI. What I'd like to see is an HDMI spec that ties in the TV IR signal so it can passthrough the TV to the AppleTV (or another media center appliance) so you don't have to use multiple remotes.

I think the Mac Mini may actually get bigger, but not the xMac that people are talking about. A DVD on the AppleTV is dead in the water, but an add on device that connects via the USB port would work as you could buy DVD or Blu-ray (even thoough a BD on this would be prohibitively expensive if Apple wanted to use a slot-loading drive), but I'd wager Apple is still trying to quash optical media competition.

I really, really hope you get your 10" Mac Touch, but I think the future looks better for a Mac Netbook, and I think that was zero chance at this point.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tamtam View Post

does that happen often?
if it was not for this article I'd thought we had new products coming tomorrow, tuesday.

Yes it does. What sucks is when they do the Tuesday update around 8am EST so you think it's product change. This late at night is probably just maintenance.
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post #16 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamtam View Post

does that happen often?
if it was not for this article I'd thought we had new products coming tomorrow, tuesday.

Yep, just noticed that too. Hmmm. Wonder what they're up to? Usually the store doesn't go down for small updates. At least I don't remember seeing it down before small refreshes.

Maybe they have one last update after all. Or they could be adding the 24 inch LED Cinema display.
post #17 of 107
The store is down. Tis might be a clever ploy.
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post #18 of 107
Yes, Canada too is closed on this early Tuesday morning, November 4, 2008 at 12:54 AM Eastern Standard Time.
post #19 of 107
Maybe they're finally adding those in-ear headphones and mic they announced back in September. They said they'd have them last month.

Here's hoping they let me do VOIP on my iPod Touch.
post #20 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phong View Post

Maybe they're finally adding those in-ear headphones and mic they announced back in September. They said they'd have them last month.

Here's hoping they let me do VOIP on my iPod Touch.

Oh yeah, I'm waiting for those to be tested for quality and to definitively see if the volume controls on the cable work with the 3G iPhone. If not, no sale.
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post #21 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I disagree with everything you wrote accept the iMac refresh.


Meh. Never anything wrong with a Mac mid-tower... no matter what anyone has to say about it.
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post #22 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

Meh. Never anything wrong with a Mac mid-tower... no matter what anyone has to say about it.

Nothing wrong it from my POV as a consumer, but if I were at Apple I'd kill it if I had such power as I don't think it's good for Apple's business in its current focus. Now, if they change their focus to business, a mini-tower may have more relevance to their business model, but I still think that Apple would be better off at making a business-line of desktop computers that aren't available to the consumer.
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post #23 of 107
I wasn't planning on purchasing until next year anyway, probably two iMac refreshes from now. I'm really hoping they introduce a 30' iMac to complement the 30' ACD they are sure to release. I want my computer to be a TV replacement. I know it's a dream not likely to be fulfilled.
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post #24 of 107
How does "set" get interpreted as "no new products"? Couldn't "set" equally mean, our new product lineup for the holidays is "set" ... but we ain't telling yet?
post #25 of 107
I guess we will get a normal Spec update on Mac, but not a design update. Therefore there wont be a special event for it.

Properly just update to using Geforce 9400M instead.

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post #26 of 107
I am also very disappointed! I also missed out on getting an iPod 8gb for only 14 (student discount that ran until end of October if purchased with a new iMac ), because I wanted to wait for the update. Now I'm not sure what to do... decisions decisions...
post #27 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

How does "set" get interpreted as "no new products"? Couldn't "set" equally mean, our new product lineup for the holidays is "set" ... but we ain't telling yet?

The article was from a Macworld reporter speaking to an Apple spokesman. Really, now. That's unambiguous.

The store update was for holiday-themed stuff, no new products. Headphones and mic still aren't shipping either.
post #28 of 107
Disappointing really. Now it means I won't have a new computer to use over the holidays. I wanted a new Core i7 Mac Pro for work but if it comes next year, it means transitioning to Leopard without fully testing it. Work tends to die down over Christmas so it's easier to make the transition. No new Mini for casual gaming at home, experimenting with CUDA or the iphone SDK (Leopard-only and I didn't really want to manually upgrade with new machines coming) and doing 3D stuff over the holidays either.

If the new Macbooks had been £700, I might have gone for one as I'd use a large external screen anyway but not at £950. I'd miss firewire but I'd be prepared to get new devices.

Ah well, another boring Christmas as usual and overall disappointment at Apple's offerings for another year. I'm glad to see the changes to the laptop range and the move towards Nvidia but the negatives that came along (glossy, higher prices, dropping firewire) have dampened this and no desktops just kills the whole year for me.

Hopefully this means USB3 is coming:

http://www.engadget.com/tag/usb3.0

"Intel, HP, Microsoft, NEC, NXP, and TI will present the initial spec for a design review in November with first silicon to be stamped in "early 2009." While the new interconnect (pictured) will remain backward compatible with USB 2.0 and prior devices, new cables laced with an optical link and a max length of 2-meters will be required to take advantage of those high speeds according to a senior engineering manager with NEC.

Of course, it's all just a lot of smack-talk 'til they deliver, but with Apple running Intel inside now, Sony putting USB in their camcorders, and eSATA proliferating for external disks... well, Firewire's days sure seem numbered."
post #29 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Both the Radeon HD 2400 and 2600 have remained unchanged since the aluminum iMac was first introduced in August 2007, or 15 months ago, leaving hardware H.264 video acceleration and other improvements aside.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. The graphics cards that Apple have been using in Macs have had hardware H.264 decode for years and that includes the HD 2400 and 2600. See this page. What's the first bullet point of "product features"?

"Hardware based H.264/VC-1 decoding".

It's anyone's guess why it's taken so long for Apple to get with the program on the hardware H.264 decoding front.
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post #30 of 107
Well, everything said in the MacWorld magazine report sounds about right. Has an Apple spokesperson ever deliberately lied about holiday product plans in recent history? With the economy in recession, it makes total sense for Apple to make the decision to shelve any further product launches this year. Q4 margins will stay intact, giving holiday revenues a good pad toward bolstering shareholder confidence, come the new year. Refreshed iPods and new MacBooks seem to be all the official holiday fare for '08 that we can expect. If all we have to wait for is MWSF for the rest of the line to get caught-up, then even that'll be a short wait. Then, I hope to see a refreshed iMac line-up, and, hopefully, a re-engineered, possibly re-productized MacMini. But I won't expect to see anything in the line between the mini and an iMac. And that tablet thingy? I'm guessing 2010, if at all.
post #31 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Wrong, wrong, wrong. The graphics cards that Apple have been using in Macs have had hardware H.264 decode for years and that includes the HD 2400 and 2600. See this page. What's the first bullet point of "product features"?

"Hardware based H.264/VC-1 decoding".

It's anyone's guess why it's taken so long for Apple to get with the program on the hardware H.264 decoding front.

Somehow only the new Nvidia chipset thingy notebook line now has full consumer-level hardware H.264 decoding. As in, as implemented by Mac OS X.

The next iMac update will probably have all-Nvidia chipset/ GPU/ etc. for gaming and stuff, hardware H.264 decoding...

Oh, and good luck all USA-ians. You all know what most of the world wants you to do, right...?!
post #32 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

...Of course, it's all just a lot of smack-talk 'til they deliver, but with Apple running Intel inside now, Sony putting USB in their camcorders, and eSATA proliferating for external disks... well, Firewire's days sure seem numbered."

Outside of the pro market, the writing's definitely on the wall. Better pay your last respects to Firewire while you still can. It's about to join ADC, Parallel and so on in Port Heaven, within a year or so... at least on the consumer side.
post #33 of 107
Apple should have updated the mini a few times in the last few years.

More than likely, they will continue their trend to introduce new products in January at MacWorld. Stupid.
post #34 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Somehow only the new Nvidia chipset thingy notebook line now has full consumer-level hardware H.264 decoding. As in, as implemented by Mac OS X.

The next iMac update will probably have all-Nvidia chipset/ GPU/ etc. for gaming and stuff, hardware H.264 decoding...

Yes, should have made it clearer: the hardware has been there for ages but for some reason Apple never bothered before with the required drivers (software support in OS X) to make it work. However, the latest MacBooks do have the required drivers. The Apple TV also uses GPU-based video decode.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Oh, and good luck all USA-ians. You all know what most of the world wants you to do, right...?!

The world has its fingers crossed.
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post #35 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by 460FILMS View Post

Well, everything said in the MacWorld magazine report sounds about right. Has an Apple spokesperson ever deliberately lied about holiday product plans in recent history? With the economy in recession, it makes total sense for Apple to make the decision to shelve any further product launches this year. Q4 margins will stay intact, giving holiday revenues a good pad toward bolstering shareholder confidence, come the new year. Refreshed iPods and new MacBooks seem to be all the official holiday fare for '08 that we can expect. If all we have to wait for is MWSF for the rest of the line to get caught-up, then even that'll be a short wait. Then, I hope to see a refreshed iMac line-up, and, hopefully, a re-engineered, possibly re-productized MacMini. But I won't expect to see anything in the line between the mini and an iMac. And that tablet thingy? I'm guessing 2010, if at all.

It would be a crappy MWSF 2009 if it was just updates to existing lines.

The tablet rumour will be making the rounds, along with Apple HDTV/OLED, Apple 30" LED Cinema Display, and the inevitable "xMac" rumour will rear its head.

I mean, it's been pretty kickass this year with totally redesigned laptops, an all-new display design, all-new mobile phone device... Boy, Apple's got to deal with big expectations in a bad economy. 2009 will be time for them to bring their A++ game. Personally, I can't wait. A reason to wake up in the morning, if nothing else.

6GB RAM in a MacBook Pro with 512MB VRAM. For example, that's what 2008 brought us. Alongside iPhone3G madness, yeah, 2009 will be a year to watch.

I honestly pray for Steve's health and for him to be closely involved with Apple for at least a few more years during the economic and political storm. And I hope he continues grooming and developing talent.
post #36 of 107
So how does the nVidia 8800 card in my 24" iMac compare to the new Macbook Pro's?

Nevermind, I found out here: http://barefeats.com/mbpp05.html

It is still faster.
post #37 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

It would be a crappy MWSF 2009 if it was just updates to existing lines . . . The tablet rumour will be making the rounds, along with Apple HDTV/OLED, Apple 30" LED Cinema Display, and the inevitable "xMac" rumour will rear its head.

I hope I'm wrong. An OLED display would be a sexy enough feature for another Apple product debut, so that seems reasonable. The 30" LED sounds within reason as well. As for the much-rumored "xMac" . . . I hope they do blow me away.
post #38 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

So how does the nVidia 8800 card in my 24" iMac compare to the new Macbook Pro's?

Nevermind, I found out here: http://barefeats.com/mbpp05.html

It is still faster.

Thanks, I feel better now. Since I also recently bought a 24" 3.06 GHz iMac, it's good to know that all that "extra" money I spent for the upgraded graphics wasn't "wasted."
post #39 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

It's anyone's guess why it's taken so long for Apple to get with the program on the hardware H.264 decoding front.

It's anyone's guess why Apple's support for H.264 was always half-assed. They got in early, but just supported the basics. I'm not sure Quicktime can play back High Profile even now.
post #40 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post

It's anyone's guess why Apple's support for H.264 was always half-assed. They got in early, but just supported the basics. I'm not sure Quicktime can play back High Profile even now.

No, I'm pretty sure it can't. Certainly you can't encode High Profile with any of Apple's tools. You have to get third-party plugins for Final Cut if you want to author High-Profile stuff. Apple's H.264 implementation is also pathetically slow for both encode and decode (although it has improved since introduction; hopefully Snow Leopard's QuickTime X will deliver breakthrough performance).
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