Failed Predictions and New Predictions

In Apple, News, Tech on January 19, 2008 at 5:38:28 pm

So, Macworld 2008 has come and gone. Another year of “Boom!” is coming. If you’ve been living under a rock, or have stayed away from the internet (???), TV and newspapers, here’s a rundown of what Apple released at MW08 (I’ll be using that abbreviation, because I’m lazy):

1. New software for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The 1.1.3 firmware update includes the ability to add web clips to the home screen (for frequently accessed websites and web apps), reorganize the home screen, and use #2 on my list. The firmware is free. 5 apps (which were on the iPhone) are now available for iPod Touch users (like myself). The apps are Mail, Maps (with cool new features), Weather, Stocks and Notes. These apps cost $20, and are available on the iTunes store.

2. iTunes movie rentals are now a reality. $2.99 for library titles (“Die Hard”, “The Incredibles”, etc.), and $3.99 for new releases. You have 30 days to start watching a rental, and 24 hours thereafter to finish watching it. Not bad at all. New releases are available 30 days after the DVD has been released. Fox is also offering digital copies (for no extra charge) on some of its DVDs. You can buy a physical DVD, pop it into your computer, and iTunes will ask you if you’d like to copy the digital version of it to your computer. That’s pretty cool.

3. New Apple TV updates abound! There is a redesigned UI, so you don’t need a computer anymore. You can rent or buy movies, music and more from your sofa. I think this is pretty cool, and I’m thinking of buying my parents an Apple TV. Oh, and the new Apple TVs are cheaper, and for 1st generation users, it’s a free software update. One more thing about this is the addition of HD rentals. Unfortunately, you can’t rent HD movies on a computer, but you can on the Apple TV. Only $1 extra to get the movie in HD. Obviously, not all movies are HD, but some are and they look really good, apparently. I believe the HD movies are 720p, not 1080p.

4. Time Capsule is a wireless backup drive. Basically, it’s an Airport Extreme base station with a 500GB or 1TB hard drive built in. That’s really great for MacBook (Pro) users, because (assuming you’re running Leopard), you can backup wirelessly. That means that you don’t have to lug around a hard drive with you if you want to work outside, or downstairs, or wherever. It’ll do it wirelessly, and of course, automatically. $299 for the 500GB version, and $499 for the 1TB version.

5. A new laptop in Apple’s lineup. It’s called the MacBook Air, and it’s only 0.76″ thick at it’s thickest point (and a Jenny Craig-esque 0.16″ at its thinnest). It has an 80GB hard drive, or you can pay $999 for a 64GB solid state hard drive. I don’t think that it’s going to be a popular option, but it’s cool nevertheless. 1.6 GHz C2D processor as standard, upgradable to 1.8 GHz. 13.3″ glossy screen, all aluminium enclosure, and other cool stuff. Starts at $1799, which isn’t bad for a compact laptop. My sister even wants one…

So, that’s the wrapup. But I was really hoping to see new Apple Cinema Displays as part of the presentation. I posted my photo illustration of what a new one could look like a couple of weeks ago (link), but I have a better idea of what they may do.

I propose 2 lineups of displays. The first will be called the Apple Cinema Display. It will be available in 20″ and 24″ models, and will sport a glass display (glossy, of course), black bezel and an iSight camera. It will look something like this:

Consumer Cinema Display

(yes, I know that’s probably the 30″ model, but it was the best picture on Apple’s website for illustrating what I want it to)

Then, there will be a pro line of displays, called the Apple Cinema Display Pro, or Apple Pro Cinema Display, or some play on words like that. These displays will be matte (with the option of a glossy screen), and will be without the iSight camera. However, they will have closer colour calibration for designers and professionals, and will be available in 24″ and 30″ screen sizes.

Pro Cinema Display

Of course, I could be (and probably am) talking complete rubbish, but it’s nice to dream. My laziness dictated the design of these illustrations, so it’s largely based on the current generation of displays (obviously).

On the technical side, the response time of these displays should be in the 3-5 ms range. The ports on them will be largely carried over for the consumer models (2 Firewire 400 ports, and 2 USB 2.0 ports), but the professional range will have 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 Firewire 400 port and 1 Firewire 800 port. Maybe by the time these displays are released (hopefully at WWDC 08), USB 3.0 will be finalized and we’ll see hubs for those. Oh yeah, and the materials…



Maybe Apple will use matte glass in some way on the pro line.

Enough predictions. Bring on WWDC!


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