Rumors Swirl Around Apple's New Products
SAN FRANCISCO -- A new Newton? A flat-panel iMac? How about authentic video footage of the Loch Ness monster?
Anything and everything is expected on Monday when Apple Computer Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs delivers the opening keynote at the Macworld Expo here. Unfortunately, the company known for its cool designs and tight lips won't comment on what it plans to announce at the show.
That hasn't halted the rumors and hype coming from Apple rumor mongers and the Cupertino, California-based computer maker. Early last month, Apple sent international journalists an invite to watch Jobs's keynote via satellite promising a
Roger Kay, an analyst with IDC often briefed by Apple on the company's plans, says he is in the same position as most, hearing more wild predictions than solid news. Apple is under its typical "veil of silence," he says.
"I do know that they had people working through Christmas and staying up late," Kay says.
Rumors of the release of a flat-panel iMac abound, and seem to be the most reliable. Taiwanese computer manufacturer Quanta Computer claimed in early December that it had won a contract with Apple to build more than 1 million of the sleek iMacs with the new design beginning this year, according to Taiwanese press reports.
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter financial analyst Gillian Munson has also taken the plunge with a prediction on December 4 that Apple will produce 100,000 new iMacs this month which "might" tout the flat-panel design, reigniting interest in the
But as Apple warns on its Web site for show goers to "count on being blown away" during the two-hour-long Monday keynote, many observers say Apple may not stop at the desktop. One Apple enthusiast site,
The techno gumshoes have posted still pictures and video clips of the alleged device on the Web site. While they claim to have no way of identifying the authenticity of the footage, they seem to be pretty sure it exists and pretty sure that it will make its debut on Monday.
Based on the rogue footage, the stylish device resembles Apple's new
Another rumor site,
However, Apple has touted on its Web site that the news that does come from the show will go "beyond the rumor sites. Way beyond." While it's hard to say how far beyond the company will go, new products are inevitable, analysts say.
USB Warburg analyst Don Young wrote in a research note last month after meeting with Apple executives that "there is a lot of management enthusiasm about the new product pipeline" at Apple.
Besides backing predictions of a flat-panel iMac release, the investment analyst says he expects Apple to heavily push new digital entertainment appliances. He also predicts "more wireless connectivity, more powerful processors/systems and [expects it to] expand the writeable DVD Superdrive to mass volume price points," according to his research note.
Partner software vendors are not being timid about what they plan to announce during Macworld. Connectix said it will show the latest version of the Virtual PC for Mac, which allows users of Mac OS 9 and the new Mac OS X to run Windows applications and run PC-only Internet services.
Cupertino-based ThinkFree plans to unveil the latest version of