Apple Predictions for Macworld Expo 2006

Macworld Expo 2003
Macworld Expo 2003 where Steve debut the 12″ Apple Powerbook

Since I’m heading to Macworld Expo 2006 in less than a week’s time, I’m anticipating what Steve’s going to unleash upon his rumor hungry mob of Apple fans. There are lots of rumors going around, so here’s what I make of them…

rapidweaver_iconiWeb: Web as extension of desktop
There’s already been one accidental leak on Apple’s web site about iLife ’06 and something called iWeb. Appleinsider claims that iWeb is a new Web design application with “easy drag-and-drop capability for a variety of Web-optimized content and media types.” To date the easiest and prettiest web design tool I’ve found is RapidWeaver, so perhaps Apple has something better up it’s sleeve.

ipod shuffleiPod Re-Shuffles
I think the iPod shuffles are cool in a minimalist utilitarian way. Of all the iPods, we might see something new in this product line. Some believe it will get thinner (like the iPod nano), while a few believe it will come with a screen (e-ink is cheap and gaining ground)

mac miniMac mini Reloaded
Mac Rumor believes that we might see a Mac mini with built-in DVR, an iPod Dock as well as an updated Front Row media application (in other words, a full media center). We might not see everything go in the Mac mini, but I strongly believe that Apple will finally have their iTunes music store fully realized as an audio/video on demand solution for the living room.

widescreen ibookIntel iBooks
ThinkSecret has a strong inclination towards Intel iBooks hitting the scene next week. The new iBook is expected to be a widescreen model with a 13.3″ screen 1280×720 screen, using low-voltage 1.5GHz Yonah Intel chips. While many already know that the iBooks are due for a product update, I love the 12″ Powerbook and do feel quite betrayed that Apple left us out of the last Powerbook revisions. I only wish for a small Powerbook with the qualities of my Sony Vaio TR3A: Intel-powered, sleek widescreen body, built-in camera, and super long battery life.

I really hope for an Intel Mac laptop to appear since it would not only would it be faster than current machines, but longer on battery life as well. In the mean time, drop me a comment if you’re going to Macworld. Maybe we can meet up at one of the geek parties on Hess’s Event List!

UPDATE: If you’re going to Macworld, don’t forget to check out the 2006 Worldwide Newton Conference, which takes place from January 13 – 15, 2006 at the Warwick Regis Hotel in San Francisco. The conference registration fee is $40 though…

UPDATE 2: Also check out Macworld’s Party of the People where your invite only requires that you bring your Macworld Expo badge (serious!)