I made a resolution last week not regurgitate rumours from tech sites and blogs. Hardly a day goes by without some new bit of crystalballing which sometimes can upset the Applecart. Yesterday, for instance, we read that the manufacturing bottlenecks could delay the next-generation iPad until June and the iPhone 5 until September. These reports, emanating from a Taiwan-based research firm, were given widespread credence. Maybe it's just coincidence but Apple stock retreated 3.4% yesterday. Apple have stuck religiously to their announcement timetables over recent years and any hint of trouble seems to start the jitters. Now, according to TechCrunch and others, these rumours are simply untrue.
So what can we infer about Apple's intentions over the next 30 days? What does seem pretty certain is that a range of new MacBook Pros will be announced tomorrow. I'm pretty excited about three strongly tipped developments:
- 16 GB SSD nSATA drives on all models to store the system
- The introduction of Intel's Light Peak interface
- Option to replace the SuperDrive with SSD on the 15 and 17in models
MacRumors has more on all this, plus details on HD screens for all models, lighter weights and better battery life. But I am particularly pleased to see the increasing emphasis on SSD technology and the possibility of the range-wide addition of a small system SSD. It will dramatically improve start-up and system access times and is a step in the right direction towards SSD dominance. The ability to replace the now almost redundant SuperDrive with a second, SSD, main drive is also very welcome.
Light Peak, Intel's new optical cable interface will have an initial bandwidth of 10 Gbit/s and a future scaling to 100 Gbit/s by 2020. Light Peak is envisaged as a single universal replacement for SCSA, SATA, USB, FireWire and PCI Express and it's importance cannot be overemphasised. Significantly, Intel have called a meeting to introduce Light Peak tomorrow, possibly to coincide with the Apple announcements. Apple could thus be the first manufacturer to adopt the technology and this could explain their reluctance to get involved with USB 3.0.*
As for the iPad 2, the technosphere is now expecting an announcement by Apple on March 2. This had been suggested last week but yesterday's rumours of delay had put it in question. Now it's back on the agenda.
Meanwhile, something else from MacRumors that is a little less substantial but particularly interesting to me since I'm in the market for an iMac. The iMac range is just about ready for update and there are now suggestions that the new models will come soon after the launch of the MacBook Pros. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one since I shall be first in line.
Here endeth the rumours for the day.
* Late breaking news: Light Peak will be known as ThunderBolt by Apple.