With Steve Jobs’ annual Macworld keynote only a few days away, Wall Street analysts, tech writers, and many of our readers have already made their predictions for what Apple’s chief will announce. Reuters sums up some of the consensus picks — a super-thin laptop, iTunes movie rentals, etc, and we’ll do the same on Monday.
In the meantime, here’s what we think you won’t see next week.
1) Blu-ray drives on Mac computers. When Apple updated its high-end Mac Pro line this week, they didn’t include Blu-ray drives in any of the models. These are the Macs that creative professionals who might actually need Blu-ray drives are likely to buy. So we think Apple won’t be adding Blu-ray to their Mac lineup next week.
2) iPhone Nanos. Apple’s six-month-old, $400 iPhone is still the phone to beat in the wireless business. Would Apple want to broaden its appeal even further with a smaller, cheaper phone — say, around $200? We have no doubt that Apple’s phone lineup will grow this year, including a faster, “3G” iPhone. But we don’t think you’ll hear about an iPhone nano on Tuesday.
3) A Mac tablet. We think an ultra-portable MacBook makes sense. Apple still hasn’t replaced the 12-inch PowerBook, and a thin, lightweight laptop with a real keyboard could sell well. The company’s multi-touch screen technology is compelling, but we’re not convinced that a touchscreen mobile device needs to be any bigger/more expensive than the iPhone/iPod touch.
4) Apple HDTVs. We’re big fans of using computer displays as bedroom TVs, whether through a video port and set-top box, or just playing digital movie files off a computer. And we think that’s as far as Apple needs to go with their LCD displays. There’s not much Steve Jobs could do to improve today’s HDTVs that would justify the Apple price premium. We think the company should — and will — focus on improving its Apple TV set-top box, which works with every TV, instead.
5) Jay-Z/Apple record label. This stupid rumour popped up last week, and makes absolutely no sense. Apple has no need for a label. It won’t happen.
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