Future Macworld woes compound; CES pushing companies to follow in Apple’s likely footsteps

By on January 12, 2009 at 3:36 PM.

Future Macworld woes compound; CES pushing companies to follow in Apple’s likely footsteps

With continued rumors of Apple looking to hit CES next year after its confirmed withdrawal from Macworld had dealt the long-standing Mac expo a massive body blow, things may have just gotten worse. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has just poured a huge bag of salt in IDG’s open wound by announcing that next year’s CES will have a dedicated area for companies showcasing Mac-related products. In an email sent to CNET News over the weekend, CEA’s Jason Oxman stated:

[CEA] dedicated a special area at the 2010 CES to Apple-related CE manufacturers… We decided to create this special area based on discussions we’ve had with companies regarding 2010 show participation. We are pleased with the feedback we’ve received regarding this space.

Given that CES is the much larger show and Macworld in 2010 will draw far less interest considering Apple’s lack of presence, expect plenty of companies to jump ship following this offer. We would also expect CEA to offer a healthy discount to first-time exhibitors coming over from Macworld. With IDG’s Expo already in jeopardy, CEA may have just tied it to a tree out back.

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Axiotron introduces Modbook Pro; cue Barry White

By on January 7, 2009 at 9:53 AM.

Axiotron introduces Modbook Pro; cue Barry White

Behold what could very well be the sexiest piece of kit introduced at Macworld. Axiotron took the wraps off its latest OS X tablet endeavor yesterday at Macworld and caused inner conflict in nearly everyone who passed its booth. I can spend $5,000 on a tablet, right? NO, I need to pay rent! But the weather is great in California, can’t I make it on the streets? No, I’ll miss the premier of Lost! Wait, I can just watch it on the Modbook Pro… If you can swing it, Axiotron’s first Pro version based on the 15-inch MacBook Pro most definitely has the juice every Mac fan has been hoping for. 15.4-inch WXGA touchscreen display with finger and pen support, 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor (2.4GHz base), NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor, 320GB 7200 rpm hard drive or 128GB SSD, integrated GPS, handwriting recognition and plenty more – all wrapped in a 0.93-inch thick case. Basically, it’s 6.6 pounds of hot. Axiotron is currently offering a $400 discount for Macworld but we have to image if $5,000 is too much, so is $4,600. If you were already on board however, the discount is nothing but gravy.

[Via Macworld]

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Hasta la vista, Macworld

By on January 6, 2009 at 2:43 PM.

Hasta la vista, Macworld

There you have it Apple fans, Apple’s final Macworld keynote has come and gone. As expected, Steve Jobs was nowhere to be found – indeed due to health reasons as many had dismissed as false until Jobs’ recent letter was issued on Monday. Phill Schiller had some pretty big shoes to fill but he did a great job and even threw in a joke or two. As for the announcements, the only surprise was iLife ’09 and we think it was a pretty good surprise in fact. Apple looks to have made some great updates to its suite and we can’t wait to upgrade and start playing with all the new features. As far as the three other big announcements – iWork ’09, the new 17″ MacBook Pro and DRM-free iTunes – leaks did an ok job of covering each one to some extent. In terms of the massive list of rumors that weren’t made a reality today, this year’s Macworld had more rumors surrounding it than ever before so most were obviously destined to be squashed. We would have liked to have seen a refreshed iMac and Mac Mini, case manufacturers would have liked to have seen an iPhone nano and Apple’s board would have liked to have seen a more sustained and significant spike in Apple shares today. Hey, you can’t win ‘em all…

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Oh yeah, it’s 17″ MacBook Pro time

By on January 6, 2009 at 1:23 PM.

Oh yeah, it’s 17″ MacBook Pro time

Ok, Philly Schilly has finally gotten around to the new MacBook Pro now so we’ve got all the new details for you: How does Intel Core 2 Duo 2.93GHz Dual Core, 6MB L2 Cache, up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM at 1066 MHz sound to you? Oh yeah, good stuff indeed – and all wrapped in a gorgeous unibody aluminum case. The new rig is Apple Cinema display-ready and uses both NVIDIA 9400M and 9600M GT graphics chips just like the 15″ model. The glass trackpad is 39% larger and the battery supposedly lasts for a whopping eight hours with a 1,000-charge life cycle! The eight hour rating is on the 9400M chip, with the 9600M GT dropping it down to seven hours (still phenomenal) but we’ll believe it when we see it. Judging by the current MacBook performance, eight hours of juice on a single charge would be a thing of beauty. There will only be one base purchase option for the new 17″ Pro – ringing up at $2,799 for the glossy screen, 2.66 GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, 320GB 5400 rpm hard drive, glass trackpad, backlit keyboard and so on – and options such as the 2.93GHz processor, 8GB of RAM, 320GB 7200 rpm HD/128GB SSD/256GB SSD, anti-glare screen, etc will all be add-ons.

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Next in line at Macworld is a new version of iWork for the desktop and the Cloud

By on January 6, 2009 at 1:15 PM.

Next in line at Macworld is a new version of iWork for the desktop and the Cloud

Apple announced a new version of iWork ’09. Changes in Keynote ’09 include magic move, a feature that will automatically move and resize objects between slides, slick new transitions including text transitions, chart animations, and themes. Keynote will also communicate wirelessly with your Mac and allow you to view and control your presentation via your iPhone or iPod touch. Apple also announced changes to Pages, Apple’s word editing application. The latest version of Pages will include fullscreen view, dynamic outlines, and mail merge with Numbers which will connect your Page document with tables and lists in Numbers. Also, 40 themes for your creative pleasure. Numbers ’09 gets a refresh as well with new Table categories, 250 functions with a convenient function view, and advanced chart options (mixed chart types, multiple axis charts, trend lines, and error bars, etc.) Numbers ’09 also integrates with Pages ’09, charts or graphs pasted in Pages will link to the corresponding Numbers document and can be updated dynamically. Sweet! New templates for Numbers as well, the theme for the day it seems. i Work is available today and will set you back $79 for single user, $99 for the family pack, and $49 with a new Mac. If you don’t have Leopard, you can purchase the Mac Box Set which includes Leopard, iLife, and iWork for $169. If you prefer the cloud for your computing, Apple also announced the beta of iWork.com. Think Google Docs for Apple with online document sharing and collaboration. The Beta will be free but iWork will transition to a paid service when it launches. Available online today.

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Apple starts off keynote with iLife ’09

By on January 6, 2009 at 12:27 PM.

Apple starts off keynote with iLife ’09

Phil Schiller might not be wearing a black turtle neck but he’s still got some goods to dish this morning at the Macorld keynote. To kick things off, Schiller introduced a new version of iLife – iLife ’09. He showed off a newly updated version of iPhoto, featuring new “Faces” technology that will organize your photos of people, by name, using facial recognition! Select a photo and name a person once, then Faces will identify that person each time you add a new photo of him or her. Then there’s “Places”, which sorts photos according to where they were taken according to geotags. The UI features a map (street or satellite views) with pins representing the location of each photo in an album. Don’t worry if your camera doesn’t support geotagging of course, as you’ll be able to add locations manually within the UI.

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17″ MacBook Pro goes live before Apple keynote kicks off

By on January 6, 2009 at 11:55 AM.

17″ MacBook Pro goes live before Apple keynote kicks off

Oops! We’re minutes away from Apple’s keynote featuring Phil “I am not Steve Jobs” Schiller and we’ve already got our second major bungle. The team back in Cupertino apparently got a little trigger happy and let the 17″ MacBook Pro page go live a tad ahead of schedule. Woo! 4GB of RAM out of the box, 320GB+ hard drive, up to 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor… This baby is a killer! You’ve also got a Firewire-400 and a Firewire-800 port so none of those MacBook complaints are an issue for Pro users. Hit the read link for the live page and get ready for more Apple goodness coming any minute now.

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Apple Store goes down as keynote nears, iWork ’09 makes an early appearance

By on January 6, 2009 at 11:36 AM.

Apple Store goes down as keynote nears, iWork ’09 makes an early appearance

As is customary when Apple prepare to toss some fresh new goodies our way, the Apple Store has been kaput since about 10:00am EST. Last minute rumors continue to swirl but none of the big ones can be confirmed at this point – we’ll just have to wait a bit longer for Apple’s Macworld keynote, which kicks off at 9:00am PST / 12:00pm EST, to see exactly what Apple has in store. There is one safe bet however, likely inadvertantly revealed a bit early. iWork, Apple’s productiviy suite, will be updated to iWork ’09. It remains to be seen whether or not Apple will announce a Web-based tie in but as you can see in the screen clip above, iWork ’09 made a brief appearance on Apple’s download page before a quick correction reverted the entry back to iWork ’08. No information about the update was found anywhere else on the site. With Apple’s keynote kicking off in just under a half hour, we’re now on the home stretch. As always, keep it here for breaking news covering all of Apple’s Macworld announcements – you never know, Apple might still have a trick or two up its sleeve.

Thanks, Mel!

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iPhone tethering plan for AT&T to be announced at Macworld?

By on January 5, 2009 at 2:09 PM.

iPhone tethering plan for AT&T to be announced at Macworld?

Just about the only Apple rumor that hasn’t been touched upon in the blogopshere leading up to Tuesday’s Macworld keynote has been an iPhone tethering plan for AT&T. The lack of tethering has been an issue for many iPhone power-users since its launch back in 2007 and its addition would surely help boost the iPhone’s ARPU considering the plan has long been rumored to be somewhere in the region of $30/5GB (which is of course the same deal AT&T currently offers its BlackBerry users). Whether or not this rumor pans out is anyone’s guess but only one thing is certain: With this many rumors flying around, the Macword keynote is definitely going to let just about everyone down because there’s no way Apple will hit all of the bases that have been covered.

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Steve Jobs announces he is ailing but will remain on as Apple CEO

By on January 5, 2009 at 9:40 AM.

Steve Jobs announces he is ailing but will remain on as Apple CEO

In an unusual and curiously-timed press release that leaves us scratching our heads, Steve Jobs has informed the Apple community that he is suffering from a hormone imbalance that caused his drastic weight loss. He is currently under treatment for the condition and will remain in place as Apple CEO without interruption. He also provides his reason for skipping Macworld this year. He wanted to spend more time with family instead of feverishly prepping for a Macworld keynote. Hit the jump for the entire press release and we wish Steve all the best for a speedy recovery.

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Fake image of new Mac mini might not be fake

By on December 21, 2008 at 12:26 PM.

Fake image of new Mac mini might not be fake

So Macenstein received an image from an anonymous tipster that supposedly depicts Apple’s upcoming Mac mini refresh. Presumably, the image is of an on-screen ad or a slide that would, in theory, be displayed during the Mac mini announcement many still expect to come next month. Macenstein posted it with skepticism, the blogosphere immediately dismissed it as fake and it probably is. That being said however, the reasoning most blogs are using to dismiss it isn’t exactly firm – at all. Firstly, the marketing blurb, “The world’s smallest desktop computer.” Many dismissed the phrase as missing Apple’s common word play but in reality, Apple uses simple bold statements quite often in its marcom. In fact, this slide lines up pretty well with early MacBook Air slides. The second item of contention is the groove around the perimeter of the mini, above the CD slot. While many jump to the conclusion that this is a fold up display, that’s not what we’re getting. To us, it looks like a venting system. Anyone who has used a new MacBook or MacBook Pro knows that these things can get hot – fast. As the new Mac mini will be made of aluminum, whether or not the image above is real, it stands to reason that Apple would need to cool a device that stuffs all of its guts into a package so small. Sure the image above could be fake, but if you think it’s because of the blurb or the groove you might want to think again. On the other hand, if you think it’s because some anonymous guy sent it to Macenstein, well, you’re probably right. If it is fake however, don’t expect it to be far off from the real deal.

[Via Boing Boing]

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Stevie’s not sick, he just wants to do his own thing

By on December 17, 2008 at 12:03 PM.

Stevie’s not sick, he just wants to do his own thing

Yesterday Apple threw the world a curveball by announcing this would be its last year at Macworld, and Señor Jobs would not be making his standard keynote speech. Speculation immediately ensued, obviously, as the announcement offered nothing in the way of an explanation. Jobs’ health, longevity with the company and motives were all called into question and Apple refrained from issuing any further elaboration. The most likely of all the speculation however, can be found in a report from Jim Goldman of CNBC where he postulates that Apple’s move is in fact politically motivated. First addressing the rumors of health-related motivation, Goldman asserts:

I can tell you that sources inside the company tell me that Jobs’ decision was more about politics than his pancreas. Sources tell me that if Jobs for some reason was unable to perform any of his responsibilities as CEO because of health reasons, which would include the Macworld keynote, I should “rest assured that the board would let me know.”

He goes on to state, in essence, that Apple would simply rather do its own thing. Apple’s special events undoubtedly garner just as much attention from media as Macworld, so why wouldn’t the company keep 100% of the of the focus on itself? As for IDG, organizer of the annual Macworld event, this remains a massive body blow. Apple’s annual announcements account for a huge portion of the fanfare Macworld sees and Apple’s decision will likely affect the event tremendously. Regardless, Apple don’t need no stinking expos is Apple’s attitude and the fact of the matter is – it’s true.

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[Image Credit]

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Apple sees its last MacWorld sans Steve Jobs keynote; sad day for fanbois

By on December 16, 2008 at 5:56 PM.

Apple sees its last MacWorld sans Steve Jobs keynote; sad day for fanbois

Perhaps it’s a sign of things to come, but Apple has announced that its presence will no longer grace the Macworld Expo after January 2009. What was speculated earlier about Steve Jobs’ keynote is also true — he will not be delivering his usual keynote speech. Instead, Philip Schiller, SVP of Apple’s Worldwide Product Marketing, will be giving the opening keynote. This is going to be rather interesting since Steve has quite a presence when addressing the crowd and announcing new products (one of the new rumored products is a refresh of the Mac Mini line and possibly an Apple “netbook”). We’re not quite sure why there has been a sudden change in plans. It could be health-related or that Mr. Jobs will be slowly handing the reigns over to equally capable hands as he has mentioned several times before. With the recession going on, other companies, such as Adobe, are shrinking their presence at Macworld. Regardless of the direction the famous expo heads, we’re going to miss the exciting announcements and speech from our favorite turtle-necked CEO and we wish he would have at least finished the tradition by delivering the final keynote.

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