Apple Expo Paris 2004 Rumor Roundup [Updated]
With Apple Expo Paris this week, MacRumors provides this Rumor Roundup as a summary of the major rumors circulating around the Mac Web. As always, stay tuned, as last minute leaks and revelations are common. This roundup will cover what's expected to be released, as well as a few 'open' rumors that are still only speculation.
Apple Expo Paris kicks off August 31, 2004 with Phil Schiller giving the tradition keynote in place of Steve Jobs while he recovers from pancreatic cancer surgery. The speech starts at 10:00 a.m. CET (4 a.m. EDT, 1 a.m. PDT) in Paris at the Palais des Congrs. As far as MacRumors knows, there will be no live webcast of the event, and as of yet no word on a satellite broadcast either. Anyone planning to go to the show and willing to offer live updates from the keynote please contact us.
With Apple pre-announcing the redesign of the iMac to sport a G5, this is the most likely candidate to be released. Think Secret provided specs for 4 different configurations, with a range from an education model 17" screen 1.6 GHz G5 to a 20" screen 1.8 GHz G5. Sources would not confirm specific pricing, but did acknowledge that MSRP will probably fall in the same range as current iMac models -- between US$1,300 and $2,200 - but could venture slightly higher.
With the introduction of the education level iMac, the eMac is possibly going to be retired, representing the last CRT-based Mac. This may still prove to be incorrect, since that would significantly raise the price of the least-expensive desktop Mac option from $799 to around $1300.
Form factor has been a source of recent speculation and there are a few possible spy shots circulating the web. The design is expected to have the motherboard and relevant pieces and parts mounted behind the monitor in a vertical position, moving the guts of the machine off the desktop. Additionally, MacObserver points to the filing of a 'chameleon' patent by Apple suggesting that the body of the machine may be able to change colors to suit the mood of the user.
Teaser advertisements on the Internet for the Apple Expo Paris point to another use of the G5 processor, stating 'A SuperComputer On Your Desk. Next?' These presumably point to the new iMac, but could also lend credence to the rumors of a possible Apple Tablet/Wireless display that was previously patented.
With the introduction of the 4th generation iPod and the recent unveiling of the 'Apple iPod from HP', it seems unlikely that the iPod will receive any updates in Paris. The unknown factor is Time Magazine's rumors of as-yet undisclosed functionality in the 4G iPod that could offer options such as WiFi, wireless headphones, or Bluetooth compatibility. As of yet, there is no concrete information. Recently Apple Insider noted a job listing at Apple looking for an iPod engineer posessing the protocol skills for these functions, but didn't offer any more proof than that. Additionally, there are reports that certain resellers are awaiting colored versions of the iPod in purple, yellow & orange.
Recently a buzz came from news source The Register about Freescale, the processor division spinoff of Motorola, maker of Apple's G4 processor used in the current PowerBooks, iBooks, eMacs, and discontinued flat-panel G4 iMacs. Expected is not only a move to a faster processor, but also a move to a dual core setup, effectively producing the horsepower of a dual-processor system from a single chip. Since G5 processors are already in such short supply due to manufacturing issues at IBM (maker of the PowerPC 970 aka Apple G5), and heat issues play a significant role in the move to a portable, it seems a logical step for Apple to use these new chips until the move to a G5 PowerBook is practical.
Power Mac G5
No updates are expected to the Power Mac line in Paris, but it should be noted that there seem to be availability issues with the 1.8 GHz G5 processors, probably due to their use in the new iMac. Additionally impacting the Power Mac range, the 30" Apple Cinema Display should be shipping in mid-September, although availability of the NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL graphics card (required for the large display) has been pushed back to at least October 15th. Additionally, shipments of the 2.5 GHz Power Mac G5 have been slowly emerging, with many orders reportedly being pushed back to mid-September.
iSight Version 2[Updated]
Apple Insider claims Apple is working on a refined version of the iSight video camera capable of supporting higher resolution and frame rates than the current model. MacRumors has received numerous reports from resellers about the 'iSight Ver2' with its own stock number (M8817LL/B). So far, this is the only speculation, with other indications pointing to it simply being the same camera and internals but containing new mounting hardware for the new Apple aluminum displays shown at MWSF 04.
[Update] Think Secret reports that some customers have already received thier new iSight ver 2 and it is the same model as before with the new mounting hardware.