WWDC 2003 Rumor Roundup (970s, PowerBooks, Panther, etc...)

The rumors have been flying as Apple's 2003 World Wide Developers Conference approaches.

With only a week left before the event (6/23/2003), MacRumors.com provides this Rumor Roundup as a summary of the major rumors circulating around the Mac Web. This roundup is subject to change... as last minute details tend to leak out in the days prior to the event.

So stay tuned, but in the meanwhile, here's what to expect...

The Processor Announcement

The first indication of something brewing appeared in August 2002 with a topic description for the 2002 Microprocessor Forum quietly appearing on their site. This blurb described the introduction of "a new 64-bit PowerPC microprocessor" by IBM at the October, 2002 conference. This description, as well as a description of a 160-instruction vector unit, spawned speculation that this new processor was destined for use by Apple.

When the IBM 970 details emerged in October 2002, it became clear that the new chip was perfect for use in future Macs -- with its 32-Bit PPC backward compatibility and Altivec compatibility.

Amidst rumors and speculation of the 970's future use, Apple announced that this year's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) would be postponed from May, 2003 to June, 2003 in order to provide developers a preview of Panther (Mac OS X 10.3). Rumors, however, quickly emerged that claimed WWDC's delay was due to the ongoing development of PowerPC 970-based PowerMacs.

PowerMacs

Most of the early rumors regarding upcoming PowerMac updates originated from MacBidouille.com -- a french news and rumors website. This MacBidouille rumor summary provides details of their reports as of May 7, 2003.

While initial reports indicated a demoing of the 970 PowerMacs at WWDC, later reports claimed that mass production of the 970 PowerMacs had begun with plans of immediate availability at WWDC. Another site (MacWhispers) also claims that 970 PowerMacs are currently in production. Contrary to both of these accounts, however, are reliable reports that 970 PowerMacs will not be ready for shipping by WWDC.

Even if not shipping, PowerMac 970 technology introduction and demonstrations are expected at WWDC.

Motherboard

Motherboard technologies in the new machines described by MacBidouille include Hypertransport, DDR400, USB 2.0, and AGP 8x. These specs have been corroborated by other rumors, as well as a CNet report.

Case

Hints of case designs have emerged, with the most detailed description arising from a cryptic Appleinsider report. The new machines are described as "silver and graphite in color" with "4 handles but they are thinner and less extrusive" and "the front of the machine is flourished by this mesh metallic surface".

PowerBooks

Speculation and rumors about 15" PowerBook updates have been ongoing since the introduction of the 12" and 17" PowerBooks in January, leaving the 15" PowerBook's design a bit dated in comparison. (PowerPage.org, Kodawarisan, Page 2). The most ambitious report comes from MacWhispers with claims that 970 PowerBooks are in production at this time. In contrast, MacBidouille expects a 2004 target date for 970 based PowerBooks and historically has been a more reliable source of information than MacWhispers.

Panther

Surpisingly few details about Panther have been leaked over the past few months, despite being the only confirmed product demonstration at WWDC. eWeek provided some details on Panther, describing features putting the "User at the Center" of the OS. Features confirmed/described include a Fast User Switching feature (MacOSRumors), Piles (Patent), and more database structures to the filesystem (MacBidouille).

Other features described by Looprumors include increased use of Metal, Themes, iChat 2.0, Safari GM, and other minor improvements... along with doubts that Piles will make it into the complete Panther.

Other Info

- WWDC's Keynote will be shown at U.S. Apple Stores with theatres. No word yet on a webstream.

- New iChat, and Apple Camera reports from ThinkSecret were pulled by Apple early this month. Similar features were confirmed previously, along with recent hints at a communication device.

- Special attention should be paid to the 1 Inifinite Cantina article -- as this article likely represents an accurate source of information.

Final Notes

With one week left before WWDC and the Keynote speech... it's best to remind our readers to have some perspective prior to the big event -- especially for new readers and recent switchers.

As a rumor site, MacRumors gathers and reports on the entire range of rumors and possibilities for the expo. While we try to focus on more accurate/reliable reports, rumors always tend to span the entire range -- from the mundane to the impossible. The actual truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Expectations should be grounded in realism... with a bit of hope for the unexpected. As with all expos, there will be groups of users pleased, ambivalent, or outright angry with the outcome.

Related Roundup: Mac Pro
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Don't Buy)
Related Forums: Mac Pro, PowerPC Macs

Top Stories

affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
maroon5memories

Apple Collaborates With Maroon 5 to Add 'Memories' Song to Photos App

Wednesday September 25, 2019 12:02 pm PDT by
Apple has teamed up with Maroon 5 to add the group's new song "Memories" to the Memories feature in the Photos app, allowing it to be used for photo slide show creations, reports Billboard. "Memories" will be available as a soundtrack option for a limited time and it is available to iPhone and iPad users running the latest iOS 13 and iPadOS software. Memories in the Photos app are created ...
qualcomm snapdragon x60 5g

iPhone 13 Lineup Expected to Use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 Modem With Several 5G Improvements

Wednesday February 24, 2021 8:10 am PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 13 lineup will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 5G modem, with Samsung to handle manufacturing of the chip, according to DigiTimes. Built on a 5nm process, the X60 packs higher power efficiency into a smaller footprint compared to the 7nm-based Snapdragon X55 modem used in iPhone 12 models, which could contribute to longer battery life. With the X60 modem, iPhone...
iPhone 13 Wi Fi 6E feature update

Wi-Fi 6E Explained: What It Could Mean for iPhone 13 and Beyond

Monday August 2, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 is widely expected to come with Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, and while it may seem rather nuanced to the average consumer, with only improved speeds and being "up to date" in the realm of Wi-Fi technology, it's actually a fairly significant improvement, laying the groundwork for much of what we know the future holds. To truly understand Wi-Fi 6E, MacRumors sat down for an exclusive...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived in October 2020 in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone...
m1 imac orange

New iMac Tidbits: Headphone Jack on Side, Ethernet Port on Power Adapter, Spatial Audio and WiFi 6 Support, No SD Card Slot

Wednesday April 21, 2021 6:38 am PDT by
Apple yesterday announced a completely redesigned 24-inch iMac with the M1 Apple silicon chip. The new iMac, the first major redesign of the Mac desktop computer since 2012, has several changes compared to the previous generation. In the aftermath of the event, a few new features and tidbits may have slipped under the radar, so we’ve compiled this list of some of the less-talked-about...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...