Macworld San Francisco 2007 Rumor Roundup

With Macworld San Francisco (MWSF) quickly approaching, MacRumors provides this Rumor Roundup as a summary of major rumors circulating around the Mac Web before the big event. (Previous MacRumors MWSF roundups: 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, and 2002.)

While Apple's popularity continues to rise, the media coverage for Apple rumors reached an all time high this year.

Apple Phone (or Not?)

The one rumor that has received the greatest exposure is, of course, the Apple branded phone (formerly the iPhone). Talk of an Apple-branded cell phone has been ongoing for years, however.

In 2002, when asked directly "Will there be an iPhone?", Steve Jobs replied "One never knows. We don't usually discuss products we haven't announced." In 2003, when questioned again about an Apple phone, Steve Jobs stated that they did not "feel they could add much value to current cell phones."

The Apple Phone rumor flickered to life again in February 2006 when research group UBS said "not to rule out an Apple-branded cell phone later this year". PiperJaffray made a bolder statement in March 2006 with a 75% chance of a iPhone in the next 12 months. Similar claims came from a J.P. Morgan analyst that "chatter about the [Apple Phone] is all over the food chain".

What finally triggered worldwide attention can be traced back to this Commercial Times report that Taiwan's Hon Hai has received a 12 million unit contract for the rumored Apple phone to be released in the first half of 2007. While regular MacRumors readers might realize that these Taiwanese supply reports have been wrong in the past, the proposed time-frame correlated with an earlier ThinkSecret report also pointing to "early 2007" for the release. As well, a reliable MacRumors source provided a description (and artist rendition) of what one of the existing prototype phones looked like at that time.

The first detailed specs came from Kevin Rose who had been previously known to have some inside information. Other (conflicting) claims/specs are also listed here:

- 2GB ($249), 4GB ($449), Slide out keyboard, "cool" OS, All Phone providers (Kevin Rose)
- 4GB ($599), 8GB ($649), Metal, Cingular Wireless, Full screen LCD, Virtual Click Wheel (Morgan Stanley analyst)
- GSM/EDGE device only (ThinkSecret)

While many news outlets are pointing towards Macworld San Francisco as the launch date of the Apple Phone, none of the more credible rumors have specifically pointed to Macworld as the launch day for the device:

- 1st half of 2007 (1, 2, 3, 4)
- Not at Macworld SF (1)
- January (1)
- Macworld San Francisco (0)

While nothing would preclude Apple from announcing a phone at Macworld for a later launch, the evidence for a Macworld launch remains mostly speculative.

Mac Pro

Appleinsider suggested in October that an 8-Core Mac Pro was ready to launch as early as November 2006. While this did not take place, an upcoming 2.0GHz quad-core chip due in January will be priced at a reasonable $690/chip, similar to the current 2.66GHz dual-core Woodcrest that is currently offered in Mac Pros.

A recent Macscoop report claimed that the 8-core Mac would be on track for a January release.

iTV

Apple surprised many when they revealed the iTV in September at the "Showtime" media event. The $299 device offers a living room appliance that interfaces your media content to your television. A brief overview was provided, but the final shipping product was not promised until the first quarter of 2007.

Many expect Apple will provide more details of the iTV at Macworld.

Leopard

Leopard was first previewed in August, revealing Time Machine, Spaces, Core Animation, and more.

Over the following months, only a few additional features have been revealed, and no word of the "secret" features Apple has held back from their public preview.

The latest minor feature revealed has been the use of XAR for Leopard's package format.

Apple would likely demonstrate Leopard again at Macworld San Francisco, but the final release is not expected until "Spring 2007".

New Displays

Some sporadic reports of new displays have been distributed, but have been tainted by claims that they represent a coordinated effort to intentionally spread false information to rumor sites. As such, these rumors should be viewed with some skepticism.

iLife '07

Unlike most Apple updates, the iLife suite has seen regular yearly updates released at the Macworld San Francisco expo. iWork '07 has been said to include significant updates to Keynote and Pages as well as the introduction of a new spreadsheet application code named "Lasso".

Video iPod, and Others?

Surprisingly, little attention has been given to the rumored full Video iPod despite clear evidence that Apple has been considering such a form factor. The latest word has placed the device in the early 2007 timeframe.

Three new iPod models were said to be in the works for 2007, but not necessarily at Macworld.

Summary

Surprisingly few Macworld San Francisco specific rumors have emerged this year in the months leading up to the event. This final week, however, always represents a busy time for rumors with last minute leaks common.

If you would like to meet up with other MacRumors members, this thread lists others going to the event.

No live Quicktime stream is typically available for the keynote event. Instead, we will provide live coverage of the event at MacRumorsLive.com. The keynote takes place at 9am Pacific time on January 9th, 2007.

Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Neutral)

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