Mac Hardware Refresh Coming Soon

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It’s always a telltale sign that Cupertino is brewing a fresh batch of hardware when retailers are told that a particular model or line will no longer be available to order or restock.

It’s always a telltale sign that Cupertino is brewing a fresh batch of hardware when retailers are told that a particular model or line will no longer be available to order or restock.

The word has come down this week to retailers. Changes are coming this month (October 2009).

It’s hard to believe but there are actually people whose jobs are specifically to do this as well as comb over recent patent filings in order to predict what Jobs is up to next. Usually they’re pretty accurate too, although we don’t know anything 100% until it is released from Apple themselves as they like to play things close to the vest.

From these people we are expecting this round to be more of an aesthetic refresh unfortunately than a power boost. This is unfortunate because one would think that a company whose reputation and whose bread and butter have been based on being multimedia machines would now be abandoning dual core for their iMac desktops.

Instead, Apple has seemed to take a low-end approach to these machines internally while focusing on what are undeniably the most aesthetically pleasing machines on the market, leaving the power options in their Mac Pro line which can be configured with 4 to 8 cores. There will be some marketing stating that the machines are indeed faster but this speed increase is allegedly not hardware related but instead from the increased efficiency of OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard compared to OS X 10.5 Leopard.

Here is what the grand speculators are saying:

iMac:

  • The iMacs are expected to get a $100-$200 price drop for base models
  • A thinner aluminum case and aluminum keyboard are expected to replace the current design
  • An audio update is expected as well, perhaps dealing with 7.1 sound and HDMI
  • It is not known for sure but the LCDs may be updated to be LED backlit, simialr to the new CinemaDisplays
  • BluRay drives are expected to be available which would coincide with the HDMI and 7.1 update rumor
  • A redesigned and perhaps touch-sensitive mighty-mouse is also expected to debut

MacBook:

  • Nothing more than a case redesign as far as it is known. Smaller, lighter and thinner is all that has leaked. It’s expected that early next year the MacBook Pros will get the same treatment as the iMacs above
  • A slimmer and more efficient battery
  • A price drop – amount unknown

 

Mac Mini:

  • A new entry level model with less RAM, smaller hard drive and sub $500 price is expected. A price drop on the “higher end” model is also rumored.

Tablet:

  • Consider it a teaser. One would think they’d want it out by Christmas but all indications are that it will not debut until early 2010. What is early? We don’t know yet. Mr. Jobs may just drop a bomb on us and release it now
  • This is the one device that has people drooling – it’s going to be Apple’s next mega-popular device. The next iPod was the iPhone and this will be its successor in trendy must-have gadgetry.

 

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