What will the upcoming "Stevenote" bring? For the uninitiated, the Stevenote is the keynote speech Apple CEO Steve Jobs will deliver at the MacWorld Expo later this month. The Web is rife with rumors.
For Arik Hesseldahl of Business Week, the most likely new product will be a subnotebook Mac that possibly uses the new low-power Silverthorne chips from Intel. Joining CNBC and others, Hesseldahl surmised that a new MacBook Mini might feature a flash drive instead of a hard disk.
"Already the world's largest consumer of NAND flash memory after SanDisk," he wrote, "Apple is in a better position to popularize solid-state storage in mainstream computing devices than any other vendor."
3G iPhone Coming?
As the iPhone was announced at last January's MacWorld, few observers would be shocked if Apple sought to keep the popular device's momentum going with the announcement at MacWorld of a 3G iPhone.
Jobs and Apple's U.S. partner, AT&T, already have indicated that it is on the drawing board. The addition of GPS functionality to the iPhone is another possibility.
Chris Hazelton, an analyst with IDC, said there is a good chance a 3G iPhone will be announced at MacWorld. In addition to citing word from AT&T and Apple that a 3G version is on the way, he pointed to reports that carriers in Japan, where 3G is big, are interested in launching the iPhone.
A major guessing game has been where Apple will choose to deploy its multitouch interface technology, which allows users to make images larger, for instance, just by moving two fingers apart on the device's surface.
Some observers say that Apple is intending to release a tablet computer with a multitouch interface. CrunchGear.com is reporting that the migration of multitouch functionality will happen first on the trackpad rather than on the screen, and that a multitouch touchpad will be offered in all new laptops.
IDC's Hazelton said that, while he expects multitouch to "trickle up" to other Apple devices, he does not expect it will migrate to a touchpad. That would be a bit of a backwards step, he said, because multitouch on the iPhone's screen finally has made Web surfing more tolerable on a portable device.
Apple and Video
Dave Zeiler of the BaltimoreSun.com said he believes that video is the next horizon for Jobs, who, like Alexander the Great, is looking for new territory to conquer.
"Expect video to be the centerpiece of Jobs' Jan. 15 keynote," he wrote in a column on Thursday. Apple has shown "that it often can succeed where others have foundered," he said, and "solving video over the Internet is exactly the sort of challenge that Apple relishes."
One possible video angle has been a deal for an iTunes movie-rental service with 20th Century Fox, reported by the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and other outlets. The reports indicate that an official announcement will be made during the Stevenote.
There's also a video war in which Apple, like Alexander the Great, can make a difference by taking sides. The war is the one between the Blu-ray and HD DVD. AppleInsider.com cites American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu as saying that Blu-ray drives are coming to Macs.