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Steve Jobs takes the stage at Apple’s Cupertino campus today for another one of his highly anticipated product launches. No mystery what this one’s about: “The spotlight turns to notebooks,” the invitation announces.
The chattering classes also seem to agree that at least one of Steve’s rollouts will be a laptop that sells for less than $1,000. That’s par for the industry, but a big leap down for Apple, which has always commanded premium prices for its machines.
OK. But exactly how cheap will it (they) be? How big will they be? Is Apple using a new manufacturing process? What about something truly mind-blowing?
Here’s the best guess from the rumour mill. If you want to find out in real time, check back here at 1 p.m. Eastern when we’ll be blogging LIVE from the Apple campus:
- aluminium Frame – MacRumors had supposed screenshots of the new frames of the laptops.
- New $800/$900/$1000 MacBooks – Duncan Riley thinks Apple will offer a machine that’s only a couple hundred dollars more than the original iPhone. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster suggests the other two prices.
- Updated MacBook Pro/MacBook Air – Munster says that the new Pros could be cheaper, too.
- No Tablet PC – Also from Munster.
- Blu-Ray – Digg founder Kevin Rose says that the new notebooks will support Blu-ray DVD drives, a recurring Apple rumour that finally makes sense now.
- NVIDIA Graphics Chips – AppleInsider says that Apple is switching all the MacBooks over to NVIDIA graphics chips, abandoning the current Intel ones. Some of the MacBook Pros use NVIDIA chipsets already.
- New manufacturing process, “brick” – Possibly our favourite rumour. 9to5Mac says that the castings for the new laptops are carved from a single block of aluminium using lasers and water-jet cutting, so it won’t need screws and be super light and super strong. This is also the least likely.