We have to admit we love this idea.
We have to admit we love this idea.
Out of nowhere it seems Wired’s Brian X Chen is saying that rebellion might be afoot in Cupertino:
Rakesh said he believes Apple isn’t preparing to simply give Jobs the boot. He said it’s more likely that Apple has developed a new executive team, which will gradually transition Jobs out of his role as CEO. "It won’t be Jobs staying at home, and starting next day the new guy comes," Rakesh said. "It’ll be a transitional overlap — over the next six months — until the next team takes over."
Similarly, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster on Wednesday distributed a note saying his firm believes Apple is getting ready to shift management roles. "Yielding this year’s Macworld keynote to Phil Schiller, along with the participation of Tim Cook and Phil Schiller at the October event is, in our view, a clear message that a leadership shift is underway," Munster said.
Oh really? Got any real evidence?
Several Apple employees contacted by Wired.com have reported that they haven’t seen Jobs since the company announced the CEO would not appear for a Macworld keynote. Jobs generally isn’t very visible in public, but the employees said they haven’t seen him on campus recently, either.
So, let’s get this straight. A few of Apple’s tens of thousands of anonymous employees haven’t seen Jobs since Tuesday? That is two whole days.
Come on guys, we expect better. We called up some Apple employees who said that Jobs has been seen with some mysterious Tina woman and that’s why he’s not sitting next to you at the cafeteria.
Mac Minis and iMacs will see updates at Macworld, it is almost certain. It seems that Apple is quickly moving its whole lineup to NVIDIA chipsets in order for the new models to take advantage of the GPU crunching abilities of Snow Leopard and the Open CL specification from the Khronos Group. The whole portable lineup currently is running NVIDIA chips. Snow Leopard is widely rumored to be shipping ahead of schedule and we’ll likely get some sneak peeks at Macworld.
A few sites falsely reported that iMacs would recieve updates in November. Some of those same sites have been reporting that the Mini had been EOL’ed in 2007. Not true it seems.
Today, Insanely Mac Forum member (via MR) found further evidence (also Wired Magazine) in the form of some strings that indicate that Minis and iMacs will be getting the NVIDIA chipsets as well. This isn’t groundbreaking as Steve Jobs said the whole Mac lineup was moving to Mini DisplayPort shortly which is, so far, only the realm of NVIDIA.
More than likely, the iMac refresh will only be internal. The iMac represents the direction other Apple products are driving towards (Cinema display, iPhone) and hasn’t changed since the plastic/Aluminum crossover. There also isn’t much to change on the Mini unless major features are changed (like 3.5 inch Hard Drive).
Intel is planning to launch three 65W low-power desktop CPUs targeting small form factor (SFF) PCs and all-in-one PCs in the middle of January next year, according to sources at PC vendors.
Intel will launch the Core 2 Quad Q8200s (2.33GHz/4MB L2), Core 2 Quad Q9400s (2.66GHz/6MB L2) and Core 2 Quad Q9550s (2.83GHz/12MB L2) with prices at US$245, US$320 and US$369, respectively in thousand-unit tray quantities. These CPUs will have the same specifications as standard CPUs with the same model number, but will see their TDP drop from 95W to 65W.
It would make sense that the Mac Pros would also see updates to Intel’s Core i7 line of processors and new NVidia chipsets. This would give Apple’s whole lineup the ability to take advantage of Snow Leopard’s OpenCL GPU optimization features.
Predicting the future is never easy, and with Apple it’s a special challenge. Apple always delivers far more, or far less, than people expect. They are experts at evolutionary change, like the new Macbooks. However, they are also experts at revolutionary change. The iPhone stands as a shining example.
Recently, Apple’s moves in acquiring PA Semi bought them a great deal of expertise in embedded systems, low power processing, and more generally in the area of SoC semiconductor design. As recently discussed, Apple possesses a lot of ARM design capability for a company that isn’t an ARM licensee. So, it is a reasonable assumption that they are.
The reasons to believe this are compelling. With the upcoming ARM Cortex processors in dual and quad-core configurations, ARM is going to be pushing out of the top end of their traditional performance envelope, and challenging Intel’s Atom for the netbook performance crown. More interestingly, ARM already thrashes the Atom on MIPS/Watt performance, and we know this is so important to Apple that Steve Jobs spent several minutes discussing it during his 2005 WWDC keynote – it was their primary reason for switching to Intel processors.
Now we have a new datapoint: Apple has taken a financial stake in Imagination Technologies. This is interesting for many reasons. Imagination has expertise in high performance graphics processing on small power budgets – something Apple desperately needs if they intend to bring high performance graphics to an ARM device for netbook or embedded use. The iPhone is passable, but it doesn’t have the performance to be a mainstay game platform, to do much with 1080p HD, or make for a pleasant OS X desktop experience.
Imagination Technologies is also a member of the Khronos Group, yes, the same people who recently finalized the OpenCL specification that is a big part of Snow Leopard.
From this we can start to draw reasonably safe conclusions about the device Apple would be designing, and its capabilities would betray its possible usage in future Apple products. What can we conclude?
Apple seems to be designing a high performance, power efficient, ARM-based SoC. It likely has high performance graphics, and an exceptional power envelope. It likely has the performance to support OS X natively, with comparable performance to current dual core Intel-based laptops.
This device seems almost overpowered for iPhone use. It would be a nice fit for a proposed netbook, where it would provide good performance, long battery life (days not hours), and an amazingly small thermal and physical footprint. It would also be very comfortable in the AppleTV, where it could reduce manufacturing cost and product complexity, and increase the AppleTV’s capabilities.
The greatest new product potential I see, when looking at the direction Apple has taken their core business over the last few years, is in selling devices that are tied to revenue streams that Apple controls. I’m referring, of course, to iTunes and the App store.
An AppleTV and a Wii have basically identical hardware requirements, and their functions support each other amazingly well. This new, proposed device would enable such a system to be built for less than $200. If you’ve used an iPhone, an AppleTV, a Wii and a DVR, you could see how these things coming together would be a Good Thing™.
The buzz, though, is about an Apple netbook. What does this proposed chip allow? If we take both design paths, the options are a giant iPhone with a touch-screen or proper keyboard, or the thinnest, lightest and ‘funnest netbook ever!’
What do you think?
From 9to5mac.com/toys comes the news that AT&T is now selling refurbished iPhones for $50 off of retail. That beats the deep $2 discount that Walmart will save you. Subscribe to get all of the latest Apple shopping news.
With activation of new voice and data plans, AT&T Wireless has several refurbished models of the iPhone 3G on sale, with prices starting at $149.99. With free shipping via overnight delivery, each is $50 off and the lowest total price we’ve ever seen for that model of 3G iPhone. Sales tax is added where applicable. It features compatibility with AT&T’s 3G network, built-in GPS navigation with Google Maps, enhanced enterprise support, a 3.5" touch screen, at least 5 hours of talk time, and more. Note that a $36 activation fee applies. The deals:
Note: Orders placed before 5 pm ET on December 19 are guaranteed for delivery by Christmas.