Macworld San Francisco 2006 Rumor Wrapup: Winners and Losers

After each major event, MacRumors provides a wrapup of rumors to reveal the sources of the most accurate and inaccurate information. Readers are encouraged to read our Macworld Rumor Roundup which was written prior to the actual event.

Last week, Steve Jobs took the stage the stage at Macworld San Francisco and introduced a number of new products including iLife '06 with iWeb, iWork '06, an Intel iMac, and the new MacBook Pro. The keynote was viewed live by over 100,000 people simultaneously through our AJAX webcast system.

iLife '06, iWeb

With surprising regularity, Apple itself is the inadvertent source of leaks about upcoming releases. This year, Apple's website revealed updates to iLife '06 as well as the new iWeb application.

Intel Macs

While the first Intel Macs were widely rumored to be released at the MWSF Expo, readers should remember that Intel Macs had only been promised by June 2006. Apple does not typically beat their estimated timeframes, but the rumors proved to be true. However, with the increased media interest in Apple, there has been an increase in speculative reports from analysts which resulted in an amalgam of disjointed rumors.

In this particular case, the first Intel Mac rumor turned out to be the most accurate. Appleinsider reported in November that the first Intel-based Macs would make their debut at Macworld SF in January. They reported that contrary to expectations, the iMac and PowerBook would be the first Intel-based Macs to be released. The Intel iMac was accurately described as being "based largely on the design and feature set of the current iMac." Apple was also said to be working to ship a 15" Intel PowerBook "around February", complete with built-in iSight. Indeed the 15" Intel PowerBook did arrive as described, though rebranded as the "MacBook Pro".

The accuracy of Appleinsider's report gives further credence to other claims made in the same article. According to the same report, Apple's Intel-based Mac mini will "debut closer to the Spring" -- the same time the company revamps the iBooks with 13" widescreens.

Meanwhile, (traditionally accurate) ThinkSecret's confident reports that the Intel iBook, Intel Mac mini, and a new iPod shuffle would be released at MWSF 2006 entirely missed their mark. These inaccuracies have then cast doubt over other details of the reports, including claims of iBook price drops, as well as the intriguing concept of a Mac mini media center with DVR capabilities, an iPod Dock, and Front Row 2.0.

One More Thing...

It wouldn't be a proper Macworld Expo keynote without the genuine hope of something outrageous and unbelievable. Prior to June 2005, "Apple switching to Intel" frequently occupied that role. In the past, readers have also fruitlessly pined for
the iWalk, Mac tablet, and iHome products.

This year, PowerPage confidently reported on an Apple 42" and 50" Plasma Display with Viiv technology, but has since backpedaled. Of course, no such technology was introduced, and as such PowerPage retains a relatively poor rumor accuracy record.

Optimistic readers, however, may choose to believe claims that Apple did not release everything intended, and that perhaps more was originally planned.

Curiously, while Kevin Rose's 11th hour report of a 15" Intel Macbook, iWork/iLife '06, Photocasting, iPod FM receiver, and OS X.4.4 with new Widgets was exactly on mark... he also mentioned a "New remote of some type". Most likely, this simply refers to the iPod FM receiver/remote - though it is curious that this would have been mentioned twice.

Rumors to Watch

iBook Revisions - est. 2nd quarter 2006.
Intel Developing Next PowerMac for Apple? - est. 3rd quarter 2006
New iPod Products from Apple - boombox?

Intel Mac mini To Evolve Into Digital Hub?
Final Cut Pro 6, Final Cut Extreme, Xserve RAID

Mac Viiv at Macworld Expo 2006?
Light-weight Stylish Mac Laptops in 2006

Related Roundups: iMac, Mac Pro, Mac mini, MacBook Pro

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