Apple speculation reaches fever pitch ahead of Mac-focused launch

Ahead of today's Apple press event, more speculation as to what will be unveiled at the Cupertino launch is hitting cyberspace.

The launch, described as Mac-focused by Apple themselves, is widely expected to be an update of Apple's consumer desktop iMac range.

MacRumours states that they have been reliably informed about the pricing for the new iMac models.

"We've received word that price points for the new 'Good', 'Better', and 'Ultra' iMac models will fall at $1199, $1499, and $1799 price points."

"No details beyond this are available, and it does not exclude the possibility of other configurations."

This compares to the current line up of iMacs which ranges from 17- to 24-inch models with prices of $999, $1199, $1499 and $1999.

More unlikely, but Apple's Mac mini product, not "refreshed" for a long time and described as "unloved" by Apple aficionados, is certainly due for some attention.

9to5Mac speculates that it could be repositioned as a low-end ultra-affordable eMac-style option.

Other rumours say it may get dropped from a more ambitious line up, but this would leave Apple with no offerings in the sub-$1000 market so seems unlikely.

It is suggested that Apple may also demo the new iLife and iWork software offerings and may reveal more about the Leopard operating system to drum up interest ahead of its October launch.

Fresh rumours are coming in to indicate that, due for a long overdue upgrade, Apple's online suite of services .Mac might get refreshed.

Eagle-eyed Apple watchers have noticed the following announcement on the .Mac site:

"Due to scheduled maintenance, .Mac members might be intermittently unable to access some .Mac services from 10am to 12pm PDT on 08/07/2007. We apologize for any inconvenience."

This message, the timings of which coincide with the press event, and the fact that Apple's .Mac service has been criticised for being expensive and out of date and would suggest an overhaul is a given.

Other, more unlikely revelations being talked up are the new iPods and a super lightweight and portable MacBook.

You never can tell so stay tuned and we'll bring you updates later this evening.


>