Rumor Wrapup: iMac, Keyboard, iWork, iLife. iPod Details? [Updated]

With yesterday's product releases, we've seen the conclusion to several long running rumors.

iMac

We first heard of new iMac designs back in March of this year with Appleinsider claiming that iMacs would see "striking new industrial designs".

Meanwhile, we heard of possible "brushed aluminum" iMacs in June with initial predictions by ThinkSecret and 9to5mac suggesting a WWDC release. iMacs, of course, were not released at WWDC, but ThinkSecret and 9to5mac later pinpointed August 7th as the likely release date for the iMacs. 9to5mac added that the iMac keyboard would be "razor thin" with "media controlling functionality".

Appleinsider first described what was to be a new "super slim" external keyboard based on Apple's laptop keyboards. In what was the biggest leak in recent history, actual images of the iMac keyboard were leaked onto a Chinese forum in late July. Discussion of the keyboard generated the usual debate. Most significantly, however, this represents the first time Apple has let leaked images stand without any efforts to surpress their distribution.

iLife '08 / iWork '08

Very few recent rumors about iLife/iWork were available prior to their release. Many had expected these updates at Macworld San Francisco in January. [Update: ThinkSecret did have a number of reports from last year that contained accurate information: Pages 3, Keynote 4, iWeb 2, iWeb 2b ]

First indication that Apple would skip the '07 designation altogether came from Apple themselves with an accidental web description which revealed "Keynote '08". [Update: Appleinsider hinted at the '08 designation first in early July]

Of note, Thinksecret's early spreadsheet screenshot does appear to be from a preliminary version of Apple's spreadsheet application. Apparently, Apple has been planning "Numbers" for some time now. In June 2005, Apple applied for trademark protection for the "Numbers" name.

Finally, a last minute rumor from 9to5mac did pinpoint iWork '08 with spreadsheet for an August 7th release.

Summary... iPods Soon?

Based on their circulating rumors, it appears clear that newcomer 9to5mac.com has access to legitimate sources of information on Apple's upcoming products. They were the first to describe the use of aluminum in the new iMacs and also provided some accurate descriptions of the keyboard. Their reports weren't perfect, as they also expected that the 17" iMac would remain, and a few other inconsistencies.

Most useful, however, is that their predictions for upcoming iPod revisions now have more credibility. Their most recent report claimed that iPod nanos would use the shorter proportioned design as well as the leaked UI videos. More intriguing, they claimed that a full-screen touch iPod is coming at $299 and $399 price points. Though they initially expected an August 7th release for the iPods, they are now hinting at a September release.

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Caution)

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