With Apple's Macworld keynote just weeks away, what is the company likely to launch at the annual event? We have an educated guess.iPhone nano
Mac Mini refresh
This is one rumour that has been hanging around for a while, suggesting that Mr Jobs could finally announce something in 2009. Chinese manufacturing sources - that apparently correctly predicted the launch of the iPhone 3G - say that from 20 December, manufacturing of approximately 60,000 iPhone nanos per day will begin. The new, non-3G device is supposedly the same height as the iPod nano but wider and thicker and will be sold at a competitive price. Maybe it's that $99 iPhone Walmart are reported to be getting ready to sell in the US?
Of all of Apple's computer line-up the Mac mini has been sitting patiently at the back of the class waiting for its turn like the loser waiting to be picked for a playground football team. Could Macworld 2009 be the Mac mini's turn for fame? Rumours already surfacing suggest so. An Apple corporate employee has already supposedly contacted Wired.com, but did not provide specs or say exactly what the upgrade would be. Likely improvements will be greener credentials, Intel Core 2 Duo processors, an Nvidia video card and possibly a lower price tag.
Apple is pretty much the only major laptop company not to enter the netbook market, apart from Sony who has also so far declined to enter the "race to the bottom". Fans of the Apple OS have long been hankering for a netbook rather than having to get down and dirty with an MSI Wind and a software hack. Will the Cupertino based company release a miniature 10-inch variant of their 13-inch MacBook? The smallest Apple has gone in the past is 12 inches with the G4, but small could be big in 2009.
DRM free iTunes store
Probably one of the most likely contenders for Steve Jobs' keynote at Macworld 2009. Expect either the launch, or details of the launch, to be revealed in the first week of January. Insiders are suggesting that we won't see massive amounts of new features as we did with the move from Tiger to Leopard, instead a heavy refinement of what is already available is supposedly on the cards. Could this be in preparation for a device with a smaller hard drive or lightweight spec sheet like a netbook?
No doubt at some point in 2009 Apple will finally announce a deal with the Beatles, but until that big whale is caught, Apple will probably announce that the iTunes store is moving completely DRM-free in an attempt to stave off attacks from Amazon and 7Digital here in the UK. Will Macworld 2009 be the time for the announcement? There is bound to be some mention of iTunes somewhere, but music fans can only hope.
Pocket-lint will be live at Macworld with coverage starting on Monday 5 January 2009.
What do you think Apple will announce? Have your say in the comments below.