Updating the Apple New Product Road Map for 2008

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
The Apple Juggernaut continues to roll along with incredible momentum and amazing new products. Trying to distinguish wishful thinking from actual fact in terms of what is coming and when is seldom easy, so i thought now might be a good time to invite the collective wisdom of AIs regulars to summarise our current beliefs.



iPHONE



The next major product release from Apple looks like it is going to be iPhone 2.0. Form all accounts, it sounds as if it'll be a 3G phone with 16-64 Gb of on-board memory. Hopefully, it will have GPS and the ability to input letters and numbers on its touchscreen display in horizontal mode as well as vertical. I expect the form factor to be identical to that of the existing model. This should launch at the WWDC in June.



MacBOOK PRO



A redesigned MacBook Pro is definitely in the pipeline. We all thought this was arriving February 26, but it looks like it will now also arrive around June when Centrino 2 launches (Intel Penryn processors combined with Montevina). Slightly faster processors on a smaller board will offer longer battery life, quicker speeds and less heat in a reduced package allowing for the enclosure deisgn to be thinner and lighter. I expect the design to be somewhere between the existing MacBook pro and the MacBook Air. (Read: 20 mm thickness and around 4.5 lbs in weight for 15" model, new key board and larger track pad) It should have three USB 2.0/ 3.0 ports, firwire, ethernet and DVD drive, WiFi, Bluetooth, and possibly including Blu-Ray.



MacBOOK



A redesigned MacBook should complete Apple's transition to an entirely aluminium laptop line-up. Latest rumours suggest this will be September. I reckon it will be nearer November - just in time for the holiday season. This too will include the Montevina/ Centrino 2 architecture. There has been talk of anodized versions aping the colours of the iPOD range.



MacBOOK AIR



This is due for a speed bump around September, with new Montevina chips providing an incremental boost in processing power but using less power and with a longer battery life. It should also get the option of a 128 Gb / 160 Gb SSD hard drive. When it gets these things, suddenly the MBA starts to look like a very attractive machine. Will it get a case redesign to address almost universal cries for more ports? Don't bet on it.





iPOD



Expect the entire range to migrate to solid state memory chips. iPod Touch interface design may even supercede click-wheel across the range. 64-128 Gb SSD models will be top of the line. September seems to be the usual time for this.



APPLE CINEMA DISPLAYS



New thinner designs incorporating LED technology have been due for some time. No real indication when these will arrive.



MAC PRO



Will receive ongoing speed bumps, but basic design will stay as it is. next big event with be Core 3.



iMAC



I don;t expect any changes to the enclose design any time soon, but this model will aslo benefit from incremental speed bumps with the next one day now.



_________



I think that wraps it up for the moment. i look forward to any info that supports or replaces these estimates. Of all these expected products, the most eagerly anticipated is surely the new MacBook Pro.



If it doesn't come when Montevina launches - it ain't ever coming. in which case, yours truly will be buying MacBook Air Rev A.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    olternautolternaut Posts: 1,376member
    .................................?



    And?..................And??

    Don't you make me use a 7 sized font on you!



    Oh to hell with this!



    *ahem* *clears throat*



    And...........MACTOUCH FTW!!! Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
  • Reply 2 of 18
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    What the heck is a Mac Touch? You mean the iPod Touch? I think that is included in the iPod family.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    No, he's pimping the tablet Mac idea again.



    Tailpipe: what, no mini love?
  • Reply 4 of 18
    hobbithobbit Posts: 532member
    Thanks Tailpipe, good summary.



    MAC PRO

    I'd see a bit more here. If indeed Nehalem debuts this year, we could see new Mac Pros in November. Alternatively Mac World 2009.

    The main new features will be DD3, faster busses, onboard memory controller and hyperthreading. All these together should easily double the performance for certain applications - with same CPU speed as today.

    It will probably be the biggest jump in performance from one generation to the next in a long time.



    IPOD

    I'd love a 128GB iPod touch, but I don't think we'll be seeing 128GB this year. Simply because Apple will likely stretch the storage increase a bit. Where can they go from there? Is anyone (except me) actually interested in a 256GB iPod touch? And what about 512GB? A 1TB iPod touch? It gets ridiculous at some point. I'd say 64GB this year, 128GB next year with the final good bye to the iPod classic. And perhaps a 256GB iPod in 2010.



    The future of the iPod beyond 2010 will greatly depend on the types of applications users will buy once developers embrace the iPhone SDK.

    Will it be games? Media playback? Entertainment? Communication? Productivity? Internet? Others?



    NEW TOUCH DEVICE

    Most rumors seem to agree that something's in the works. But what?

    A bigger touch iPod with 640x480 screen and perhaps foldaway keyboard could easily be Apple's answer to the Eee PC.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    macroninmacronin Posts: 1,174member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker View Post


    What the heck is a Mac Touch? You mean the iPod Touch? I think that is included in the iPod family.



    I believe he means the MacBook touch?







  • Reply 6 of 18
    anthemanthem Posts: 47member
    thats a damn good moc up man
  • Reply 7 of 18
    The changes to the iPod line seem to be overly optimistic. I'm not even sure we will see a 64GB version of the iPod touch this year. I agree with the changes to every Mac product during 2008 though..the speed improvements for desktops and the speed and battery life improvements for notebooks with the new Intel chips are just too good to be ignored.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    Long post!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post


    Trying to distinguish wishful thinking from actual fact in terms of what is coming and when is seldom easy....



    Unless you have inside information it is all guess work and speculation.

    Quote:

    iPHONE



    The next major product release from Apple looks like it is going to be iPhone 2.0.



    iPhone 2 appears to be simply a software update. I suspect that the current iPhone will remain around for a while longer while the 3G unit takes its place in the market. Apple desperately needs a product line up no a single player in the field.

    Quote:

    ... I expect the form factor to be identical to that of the existing model.



    Don't be surprised to see a different form factor offering up a larger screen. This to be marketed along side the original. Think roll out screen.

    Quote:



    MacBOOK PRO



    A redesigned MacBook Pro is definitely in the pipeline.



    Sure it is, and it will be fantastic. Know how I know? Simple I just purchased one.

    Quote:



    MacBOOK



    I could see lots of interesting things happening to Mac Book but I have a hard time seeing it go Aluminum.

    Quote:



    MacBOOK AIR

    Will it get a case redesign to address almost universal cries for more ports? Don't bet on it.



    I won't bet on it, but if Apple can't address the universal cries from its customer base then what the hell good are they? Frankly Apple can't make everyone happy, but a couple of minor I/O tweaks could go a long way to making a better product.



    While we are on the subject of Laptops what Apple really needs is one or more models with built in WiMax or 3G. That would really attract people to the platform.

    Quote:



    iPOD



    Expect the entire range to migrate to solid state memory chips.



    Not as long as HDD have a price capacity advantage. With the advent of better movies and TV shows, capacity will be an issue into the foreseeable future with this hardware.

    Quote:

    iPod Touch interface design may even supercede click-wheel across the range.



    Well not the precise Touch interface we have now. I could see Apple turning the Nano into a full screen device with a virtual click wheel. The problem is scaling the Touch interface down to the point that it would work on a much smaller device.

    Quote:

    64-128 Gb SSD models will be top of the line. September seems to be the usual time for this.



    This is a much tougher call. 32 GB per chip should be possible by mid year, so two of these in Touch would make for 64 GB. The problem is the economy, if Apple wants to keep the selling prices high they need a compelling advantage over the other makers of such hardware.



    In any event I think the big addition to Touch will be BlueTooth. It just opens the device up to so many PDA/Pocket computer uses it is hard to believe that Apple will resist this modest upgrade.

    Quote:

    APPLE CINEMA DISPLAYS



    Who cares any more?

    [quote]

    MAC PRO



    iMAC

    [quote]

    Major design changes are very possible. Maybe more so additional models. In many ways though iMac is the model most in need of new guts. There is a lot that could be done with this platform to make it a better alternative to the Mac Pro.

    Quote:



    _________

    Of all these expected products, the most eagerly anticipated is surely the new MacBook Pro.



    Yeah sure rub it in. Just kidding as I'm very pleased with my new MacBook Pro.

    Quote:



    If it doesn't come when Montevina launches - it ain't ever coming. in which case, yours truly will be buying MacBook Air Rev A.



    I don't see AIR as the laptop to make the majority of users happy. It certainly has its place but do you really think that it would make you happy considering your lust for a MacBook Pro.



    In any event I'm expecting much more with respect to Touch and iPhone products over the course of the year. If Apples engineering is capable of implementing my imagination then they could have some really interesting Touch and iphone devices on the market this year.



    Dave
  • Reply 9 of 18
    mjteixmjteix Posts: 563member
    Good effort T'pipe, but... \

    Most everything is not based on facts not even on the current rumours:



    - Mac Pro: "ongoing speedbumps"? With what? Apple already uses the fastest DP Xeons, there are no faster DP Xeon announced/rumoured before Nehalem which should be available late Q4 2008, IMO that means early 2009 for Apple, not 2008.



    _ MacBook Pro: What will be available in June from Intel are "regular" cpus and chipsets: same size as the current Merom/penryn chips with TDP of 25/35W, the chipset will also be standard size. So if Apple uses those the the MB/MBP/iMac/Mac mini, they will not allow for a really smaller enclosure, and certainly not like the one you are suggesting for the MBP.



    -MacBook: I don't think Apple will wait until november to update their best seller to Montevina, my guess is like for the penryn update, both notebooks will be updated almost at the same time (june/july, august at the latest). If one notebook could get thinner it's the MB (because it will certainly use the 25W parts of Montevina that may need less cooling...)



    -MacBook Air: we don't know much about the Intel SSDs except the form factor: 1.8/2.5", the capacity (between 80-160GB) and the interface SATA II (the current MacBook uses a PATA interface). Most of all, we don't know anything about the pricing, so Intel offerings may be more expensive than the current 64GB SSD in the MBA...



    -iMac, no change in the enclosure OK, but a move to montevina, and a possible quad-core option for, at least, the 24" model is more than an "incremental speed bump" IMO.



    -What about the Mac mini?



    -iPod etc... let things go 32/64GB before expecting 64/128GB. The Classic is here for another year or so... Until you can get an iPod with 128GB of NAND for $250, 1.8" HDDs will be used in the larger capacities iPods, IMO.



    -schedule: if we look at yours, we see a couple of things in june, most everything else in september and (eventually a new MB in november, if not september). I don't think Apple will combine that many announcements in a couple of events (WWDC and Apple Expo Paris?). IMO Apple will keep delivering updates every other week of the rest of the year (or so).



    Here's my tentative schedule for the main updates:

    - june/july: MacBook Pro (Montevina), iPhone 2, (WWDC)

    - july/august: MacBook (Montevina)

    - august/september: Mac mini/iMac (montevina)

    - september/october: iPods (special event)

    - september/october: iMac (quad option)/MacBook Air (AE Paris)

    5 months, 5 main updates.

    ...

    - MWSF 2009: Nehalem Mac Pro, iApps 2009, AppleTV take 3, Touch thing, some sort of Mac OS X 10.6 preview (release expected mid-2010, just about when Windows 7 is expected too)
  • Reply 10 of 18
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacRonin View Post


    I believe he means the MacBook touch…




    That thing looks absolutely horrid. No matter how you look at that mockup it's awful. Excluding the color.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    dhagan4755dhagan4755 Posts: 2,151member
    Apple needs an inexpensive MacBook in 15 and 17 inch display sizes.
  • Reply 12 of 18
    tailpipetailpipe Posts: 345member
    A big thanks to those of you who added more detailed and accurate information.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post


    IPOD

    I'd love a 128GB iPod touch, but I don't think we'll be seeing 128GB this year. Simply because Apple will likely stretch the storage increase a bit. Where can they go from there? Is anyone (except me) actually interested in a 256GB iPod touch? And what about 512GB? A 1TB iPod touch? It gets ridiculous at some point. I'd say 64GB this year, 128GB next year with the final good bye to the iPod classic. And perhaps a 256GB iPod in 2010.



    NEW TOUCH DEVICE

    Most rumors seem to agree that something's in the works. But what?

    A bigger touch iPod with 640x480 screen and perhaps foldaway keyboard could easily be Apple's answer to the Eee PC.



    Remember Bill Gates once said that 512K not Mb or Gb or Tb, but Kilobytes, ought to be enough memory for anyone?



    I am sure as memory capacity increases, we'll find appplications that will use it. in my mind, movies on iPhones will be the next big thing. Given that a movie takes up around 1Gb of space, you can't store too many with current hard drive capacities. I have a video library of some 100 DVDs, I'd love to be able to carry them all around with me on a laptop or iPhone.



    I'd still like to hear whether anyomne seriously thinks that Apple will redesign macBook Air and when the first revision to it will take place.



    I'm also hearing conflicting reports on when Montevina-equipped MacBooks and MacBook Pros will debut.



    Finally, sorry for omitting details on the Mini and getting it wrong with Mac Pro. Thanks for details that put this right. i know nothing about MacTouch, otherwise it would have been described in detail. | see it as an experimantal model not a combat ready system. We really need something more substantial to go on, but for sure it seems Apple is investigating losts of options.



    One more thing...



    If we're truly going to see a Greener Apple then it will need to make its macBooks out of aluminium and with LED screens. i am sure i read somewhere that Steve J had said all MacBooks WOULD be made from aluminium instead of plastic. let's hope so. aluminium is so much more attractive and durable than plastic. Has anyone noticed how tacky a well-used MacBook looks?
  • Reply 13 of 18
    dhagan4755dhagan4755 Posts: 2,151member
    Tailpipe,



    As I type this message on a MacBook Air, I can't conceive how Apple will be able to further "thinnify" the MacBook Pro and keep the optical drive, which will hopefully next time be Blu Ray. The reason I say this is because of the keyboard. I recall the whole debacle of the 4x SuperDrive when the MacBook Pro first came out. The problem was that Apple could not find a thin-enough SuperDrive that would transverse the keyboard. As I ogle this Air, I see that problem will still exist. I'm not an engineer though...



    I see no one's responded to my comment that Apple needs a cheaper 15- and 17-inch laptop. I am going to go here — but you can get an almost comparable 17" Dell Inspiron for almost $1,000 less than the 17" MacBook Pro. Sure, it's mostly plastic and not aluminum. Yeah, the backlight might still be CCFL, but it's 1900x1200 and 256MB 8600GT graphics. Tit for tat, sure, but it still doesn't justify Apple's $1,000 premium. Apple's not competitive here at all any more. I work for a school and the most common question I hear during budget season is why do Apple's 15-inch laptops cost so much when you can get a Dell for $700 less? Why is 13-inch the only consumer option?



    I think some of those concerns trump the re-design issues you say Apple is mulling.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post


    Tailpipe,



    As I type this message on a MacBook Air, I can't conceive how Apple will be able to further "thinnify" the MacBook Pro and keep the optical drive, which will hopefully next time be Blu Ray. The reason I say this is because of the keyboard. I recall the whole debacle of the 4x SuperDrive when the MacBook Pro first came out. The problem was that Apple could not find a thin-enough SuperDrive that would transverse the keyboard. As I ogle this Air, I see that problem will still exist. I'm not an engineer though...



    I see no one's responded to my comment that Apple needs a cheaper 15- and 17-inch laptop. I am going to go here — but you can get an almost comparable 17" Dell Inspiron for almost $1,000 less than the 17" MacBook Pro. Sure, it's mostly plastic and not aluminum. Yeah, the backlight might still be CCFL, but it's 1900x1200 and 256MB 8600GT graphics. Tit for tat, sure, but it still doesn't justify Apple's $1,000 premium. Apple's not competitive here at all any more. I work for a school and the most common question I hear during budget season is why do Apple's 15-inch laptops cost so much when you can get a Dell for $700 less? Why is 13-inch the only consumer option?



    I think some of those concerns trump the re-design issues you say Apple is mulling.



    I'll bite.



    I don't know why Apple would make the MB or MBP any thinner. That only gives buyers a reason not to choose the MBA. That product exists solely based on its form factor. That is its distinguishing 'spec'. If Steve has his way and optical drives are made obsolete, then maybe one day we'll get a 15" MBA to supplant the MBP.



    I would agree that Apple should release a 15" Macbook. I'm not so sure about a 17" Macbook. I don't think Apple can or should race to compete with Dell on every 'spec'.



    My 2 cents.



    PS, how do you like the MBA?
  • Reply 15 of 18
    hobbithobbit Posts: 532member
    Apple's product range was always about upselling customers to a better option.

    Unlike Dell which is about offering everything to everyone.





    Certain features are deliberately missing to make users buy another, more expensive, option if they want that very feature.

    I don't think this will change any time soon.



    If you follow this logic, you will understand that there will not ever be a 15" MacBook.

    At least not until there is another equally important feature only available on the 15" MacBook Pro.



    The bigger screen is the one biggest argument for upselling users to a MacBook Pro. It's not the graphics card, not the bigger hard drive, etc. It is the bigger screen. Period.



    And I'm pretty sure Apple did the maths. If they offer a 15" MacBook they would sell x more MacBooks, but loose x/2 upsales to MacBook Pros (those who were willing to reach deeper into their pockets than originally planned in order to get a bigger screen).

    As long as Apple's profits on x/2 MacBook Pros > than their profits on x MacBook's it is clear that they'd rather forfeit the 15" MacBook model.

    So don't get your hopes up.





    The only way I can see a 15" MacBook happening is when resolution independence finally gets out the door and Apple offers a 96 dpi 15" MacBook (at 1152x870) and a 200dpi 15" MacBook Pro (at 2560x1600).

    But I'm still not convinced that's enough difference, and I don't know whether a 15" 200dpi 2560x1600 screen actually exists.
  • Reply 16 of 18
    tailpipetailpipe Posts: 345member
    Dear DHagan,



    There is without doubt scope to make the MacBook Pro thinner, but not much thinner. You can lose 2mm on the lid; this a space saving enabled by use of thinner LED screens. There is also scope to reduce the main encolsure by about 3 or 4 mm. To gether these two reductions will allow for an overall reduction of about 4-5 mm. This would create a noticeably smaller and lighter MBP. I have heard that Apple is indeed working on such a machine.



    MORE INFO ON MACBOOK TOUCH



    There is no doubt that Apple is working on some kind of tablet device - in fact, I believe some third-party vendor already offers such a version of the MBP. The MacBook Touch, however, sounds as if it will build on the iPhone's touch screen abilities to offer a machine that truly changes how we interact with laptop computers.



    Of course, it will have a traditional keyboard for those who need such an input device, but handwriting recognition and speech recognition have become technologies that work reliably enough to be incorporated into mainstream user-friendly devices.



    Imagine drawing a presentation in PowerPoint by hand and then having your MacBook Touch convert it into a stunning set of charts automatically. It would save an immense ammount of time and hassle. The same is true for Excel. While hand-written meeting notes would automatically become formatted word documents.



    I think that few of us have any idea how revolutionary such a product would be. It will change the way we work. I imagine that it will be available in multiple screen sizes, from a Newtonesque 7-inch PDA to a 13-inch laptop-type machine. In short, macBook Touch will represent a fourth product line after traditional computers, iPods and the iPhone.



    The downside is that I don't expect anything to ship before June 2009.



    In my mind, what makes Apple the world's most innovative company - the reason why i waste hours on this website - is that it constantly questions whether a computer has to still be a computer. The iPhone is a computer that also happens to be a telephone. It doesn't start to get really interesting until intel ships a chip with the same computing power as the human brain.



    Maybe Apple will be the first company to ship a humanoid robot that can cook, clean, do our taxes, act as a private secretary, nanny to our children, physician and tennis partner. It ain't here yet, but it's coming...



    Sorry for the digression.



    Mr H, please tell us more about your experience with the MacBook Air.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    dhagan4755dhagan4755 Posts: 2,151member
    I feel like Apple's aware of the consumer issue with their notebook display sizes, but hasn't done a thing about it - yet.



    If you look from a consumer's perspective, they like choices. The iMac comes in two sizes: 20- and 24-inch. The iBook used to come in 12- and 14-inch models. MacBook: 13.3-inch only...WTF?



    Regardless of the up-sell Apple is still going to be making money - tons of it. The MacBook is very attractive. And notebooks comprise more than 1/2 of Apple's computer sales. I am sure that MacBook attraction will grow when clad in aluminum, if what Tailpipe says is true.



    Apple needs to offer the only 13.3-inch MacBook at $999. From there, Apple needs to offer a 15.4-inch MacBook model with 1280x800 resolution and integrated graphics at $1,199. Black 15.4-inch MacBook at $1,399. The high-end 15.4-inch MacBook Pro model should be dumped and configure-to-order only. The stock 15.4-inch model MacBook Pro price should be dropped to $1,599. The 17-inch MacBook Pro should be the one that drops most precipitously in price - $1,999. The 13.3-inch Air should be offered at $1,599, with a 15.4-inch Air version offered at $1,799. That would be extremely competitive IMHO.



    OK, the Air review from me. The MacBook Air arrived yesterday at work just before the end of the day. It's not mine personally, it's the school's purchase. It was cold when I took it out of the package. I wanted to let it warm up before turning it on for the first time. It didn't matter that it was turned off, however, as it still captivated everyone that saw it, touched it, and fawned over it. What really struck me was how everyone coveted the thing and marveled at the design.



    The reaction was so interesting and varied: the lady I work with in the office loved it but wasn't sure about the black keys until they lit up when I dimmed the lighting. Everyone lamented on the lack of ports and optical drive, and seemed willing to make those trade-offs, and not too concerned with the $1,699 education price tag, although less expensive would be preferred.



    Interestingly, a lot of the people said they would wait on buying one because they believe Apple will come out with a model that has a larger screen. They liked the thinness but wanted one with a bigger screen. I slid it into an interoffice envelope just like Steve's keynote and took it around to show folks. Yeah, I am a dork!



    It is slick. The display is impressive. Today, showing it to more people with it turned on, the quality of the display got a comment from each person that touched it. Each person also commented on how un-flimsy it was. And it is solid.



    The hard drive is faster than I thought it would be considering it's the same kind used in an iPod. I have heard people complain about the speed of their iPods, but that might be a problem with the iPod software than the actual drive. As the drive becomes more full with data the speed of the drive will become slower, and thus, noticeable and perhaps less tolerable.



    I don't have an opinion of the battery life as it's only on its second charge and I didn't really pay much attention to how it drained today since it was in the hands of many people.



    There's nary a thing to fuss about. I'm sure newer versions will address the initial computer's shortcomings - whatever they may be. Again, I am concerned that Apple doesn't truly listen and react positively to customer feedback as the display size - of all things - seemed to be the only sticking point that would hold back one from buying the MacBook Air.



    Overall I think Apple's marketed this right. Having this on-hand for the jack-of-all-trades it was intended for only helps me evangelize more people. I love it.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    tailpipetailpipe Posts: 345member
    Despite the hype surrounding the iPhone and its imminent upgrade to 3G and version 2.0 software, it is still a relatively insignificant driver of profits for Apple at this time. Obviously, the more Apple develops the iPhone, the more critical mass it will gain. Given the momentum that iPhone 1.0 has already achieved, and much to the annoyance and surprise of RIM, Nokia and Samsung, Apple is right to focus on it.



    But Apple's core MacBook and MacBook Pro line-ups generate the most net income for the company. We don't just need updated models, but entirely new ones. Is it me, or does the MacBook Air makes the rest of the line-up suddenly look very dated? Plastic enclosures seem so yesterday.
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