Rumors, Damn Rumors, and Apple Rumors.
Or so it seems most of the time. Almost no other tech company (well, maybe Microsoft gets some juicy rumors going every few years or so, and maybe some hardware manufacturers like AMD/ATI, nVidia, and Intel) becomes the subject of so many rumors. Most likely, it’s just the effect of being as secretive of a company as Apple is with regard to upcoming product releases. But I digress. The most recent rumor is what has me interested . . .
Perhaps it is what is not said that is more exciting than what is actually stated. Apple’s chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer, said in a quarterly financial results call that Apple will make a key “product transition” that will cut into profit margins to shut out rivals (link to Apple Insider story). While that certainly isn’t good news for Apple stockholders (who recently felt a blow to their stocks after Apple failed to meet performance expectations for the second quarter), it’s great news for people like me.
I’ve been mulling over the possibility of upgrading my 5 year-old Powerbook G4 to something current-gen. But I’ve always found some reason to hold off. At first, it was to see if Apple was going to bring back the 12″ form factor for their MacBook Pro line. That didn’t happen, but the MacBook Air did. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the type of laptop I wanted/needed.
Next, it was waiting for the release of case redesigns slated for the WWDC 2008. That didn’t happen either. In fact, very little involving Mac happened at WWDC 2008. It was all about the iPhone. So once again, I found myself waiting. And this time, it looked like it would be waiting an entire year for next WWDC (2009) when Apple would be able to release a notebook based on Intel’s upcoming Nehalem architecture. Frankly, I don’t want to wait that long.
About 6 months ago, I stopped using my laptop really at all (after recovering from a hard drive crash). And just a week ago, I sent my long-time laptop in a UPS box to a new owner after selling it on eBay. So, as the lore of Cortez goes, I’ve burned my ship, and have to continue on to a new laptop. But another whole year?
That’s why I’m hoping Apple’s mysterious “product transition” will be a refresh for the MacBook and/or MacBook Pro lines in which they will possibly get a new enclosure (the MacBook Pro’s have used the same essential enclosure design as the Powerbook G4’s of 6 years ago). But more importantly, they might get the new Intel chipset code-named “Montevina” that is slated for release next month. That would bring a more power-efficient and wi-max capable chipset to Apple’s laptops, and possibly spur a form factor shift.
Time will tell, but it looks like a combination of new features and a lower price point might be enough to entice me to finally buy a new Mac. 🙂