Preview: 2006 Macworld Expo

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Jan
10

By: switchtoamac at: 3:29 PM on January 10, 2006 | Comments (0)

The 2006 Macworld Expo kicks off today with Steve Jobs's Keynote address at 9am Pacific/12pm Eastern.  The rumors and expectations surrounding the keynote have been picking up the past few days.  Here's a quick overview of the latest rumors:

Macs

We're likely to see the first Intel based Macs, specifically iBooks and Mac minis running OS X Tiger 10.4.4.  If announced, Apple would have released the Intel Macs a full six months ahead of schedule.

iPod

Most likely an update to the iPod shuffle.

iLife '06

The past two Macworld expos have seen the announcement of iLife (iLife '04 in 2004) and an update in 2005, iLife '05. This year holds the same expectations however there was a brief mistake on Apple's website last Thursday that hinted at iLife '06 and a new addition to the suite, specifically an application called iWeb.  iWeb is rumored to be a web design application with an easy to use interface with drag-and-drop capability.

Updates to .Mac

Apple has announced to it's .Mac subscribers that the service will be undergoing scheduled maintenance during Steve JOb's keynote.  This report has initiated speculation that updates will be implemented to the service.  There's been buzz that Apple will use it's iDisk service as a storage and delivery system for new content tied to the iTunes music/video store.

42" and 50" Plasma Displays

The rumored plasma displays are said to be powered by Intel's new Viiv technology and Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.4.  Prices are said to be $2599 for the 42" and $3299 for the 50".

My expectations
  • Intel based Mac mini and laptop at lower price points.  I wouldn't rule out an announcement of a totally new Mac model.
  • A preview of OS X Leopard 10.5
  • New low capacity iPod with screen to replace the iPod shuffle
  • New iPod accessories
  • Additions to the iWork suite
  • Changes to iTunes as a result of the new video capable iPods and content.  The term "iTunes" no longer applies to the content in the iTunes music store and hence, I expect Apple to eiter rename the application or unbundle the music and video content into separate products.
  • Promotional price for .Mac or free with the purchase of a new Mac

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