As you all probably know by now, there will be an Apple event on October 14th (it will be announced “officially” October 7th, but we know its coming). It is widely expected for Apple to update their MacBooks and MacBook Pros at this event. Mac Soda offers all of its predictions for the event.

MacBook

The MacBook has been trapped in a plastic enclosure throughout its life, seemingly begging to be placed into a nice, cool, aluminum shell. It will finally get its wish… sort of. The MacBook is going to adopt a lot of its looks from the aluminum iMac. While it will be aluminum on the sides and the front, the back will adopt the plastic backing from the iMac, to differentiate it from the MacBook Pro. While that description may not sound appealing, I think we can all trust Apple to pull it off. The enclosure will also be substantially thinner and tapered, as all of Apple’s products have been as of late.

The screen will migrate to a 16:9 aspect ratio, with a new 14.1 inch screen size, closer to the edges. The keyboard will adopt the MBA’s black, backlit (finally!), chicklet keyboard. While this is all fine and dandy, the real story is the trackpad. In order to prepare for a multitouch future, the new MacBook will gain a glass (or at least glass-looking) trackpad to accommodate much more advanced gestures. The possibilities are tantalizing. Whether this trackpad will have a screen or not is uncertain, but the odds say no.

As far as the guts are concerned, the MacBook will receive the Intel Centrino 2 processor. Expect similar speeds in Mhz, but better power management and a faster front size bus (1066). In a Mac Soda exclusive, we revealed the graphics card that will be used in the new MacBooks (click for more info). Also, there will likely be no removable battery

Other possibilities include HDMI output, a redesigned compact power adapter, iChat HD, and Blu-Ray (though that will probably be exclusive for the MacBook Pros).

As far as price is concerned, we believe the price will drop enormously: anywhere from 400-600 dollars. This will help explain the conference call quote “state of the art products at prices our competitors can’t match.” 

MacBook Pros

The MacBook Pro has been milking practically the same enclosure for the past 5 years. Today, its design is still the best in the industry, second only to the MacBook Air. Redesigning the best designed computer on the market is going to result in one amazing computer. The MacBook Pro will stay aluminum, will be even thinner than it is now, with the tapered edges Apple is currently fixated with. It also will add a magnetic latch, replacing the current, pain-in-the-a**, cheap push latch it currently has. The power button also will resemble the MBA’s, rather than the one it has now, that always, without a doubt, dents inward after enough use.

The MacBook Pro’s screen will migrate to 16:9 as well, with a 16 inch screen on the base model, along with an amazing 18.1 inch option (an option I am going to get!). Like the iMac, the screen with receive a black bezel. The MBP will also adapt the MBA’s keyboard, which should complement the design perfectly. I also expect better and louder speakers to be included, as Apple has seemed to be interested as of late in good sound quality. The trackpad will be glass just like the MacBook.

Inside this beautiful monster will house a processor from the Centrino 2 Platform, with an option for 4 cores. Internal memory will probably be expandable up to 8 GB, and the graphics card will improve as well, though the specific card was not revealed to us. For connectivity, I expect more USB and Firewire ports, alongside an introduction of a new faster Firewire standard. Also, Blu-Ray will be an option. Apple, despite how much they want digital downloads to win, will have to adopt Blu-Ray for its professional clients, and now is the time. It probably won’t be standard, but rather BTO.

Other possibilities, like the MacBook, are HDMI, iChat HD, and a redesigned power adapter. The battery may be removable, but odds are, no.

As for the price, expect a large price drop for the same reasons as I already posted.

MacBook Air

While I doubt we will see many physical changes to the MacBook Air, I am sure we will at least see the glass trackpad on the Air, along with spec bumps, and a major price drop. Expect the MacBook Air to start at from 1299-1499.

MacBook Mini

Did you see Apple’s stock yesterday? They don’t have a choice but to release this. As the Mac Mini is to desktops, the MacBook Mini will be to laptops. At 599, this is a computer that will be hard to ignore. It will boast 11 inch screen, just so that Steve can make fun of the other guys’ small screens, be fairly thin, made of aluminum, feature a relatively large keyboard, Wi-Fi, glass trackpad (maybe), good connectivity, a combo drive (super drive option), and an iSight camera. 

Another possibility is that the MacBook will be the low end model, seeing a substantial price drop (down to 800-1000 dollars). Whichever scenario comes to fruition, whether it be the MacBook Mini, or a large MacBook price drop, one thing is certain: with the economy the way it is, Apple can’t ignore the lower-end marker any longer.

UPDATE: Mac Soda believes there will be no MacBook Mini. Instead, we feel strongly that the MacBook will see a big enough price drop to qualify for the low-end market while still offering a high end product. This will probably be what Apple said at the conference call… “We’ll offer state of the art products at price points our competitors can’t match.” The MacBooks will see a 300-600  100-300 dollar price drop in the next revision.

Mac

This is not a prediction, it is a long-shot possibility. While we probably won’t see this at this event (more likely we’ll see it at MacWorld), Apple may finally decide to address their lack of a mid-size tower, and release, as I call it, the Mac. Fairly cheap, and enormously expandable, this combined with the MacBook Mini would complete the grid of computers Apple would like to ship (see below).

UPDATE: Mac Soda no longer believes this is Apple’s product matrix. We instead believe the MacBook will instead see a price drop, removing the need for a MacBook Mini.  

Overall, I think we are in for an exciting keynote. I’m in the market for a new MacBook Pro, so what they announce is what I get! 

October 14th can’t come soon enough…

I should have sold at 200. Apple stock today plummeted 23 points to a year-low amount per share of 105.26. The reason it dropped so dramatically can be attributed to terrible timing. Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty and RBC analyst Mike Abramsky both downgraded to equal-weight from overweight, leading Apple’s stock to take a dive. However, to make matters worse, Wall Street dropped 777 points on the news that the bailout plan proposed was voted against. 

I’m gonna take a break from Apple to address an issue I find extremely important. I believe the parties are slowly dividing America. Lawmakers are voting for the opinion of their party rather than their true beliefs. Today we saw this in full effect. Democrats voted against the bailout today, not necessarily because they didn’t agree with it, but because it was proposed by George Bush. They figured that because George Bush has made mistakes in the past, he has no chance of doing anything right, and subsequently voted no to the bailout that could’ve helped a ton of people. Case in point: read this comment from AOL.

“IF BUSH WANTED IT TO PASS, I AM AS HAPPY AS HELL IT FAILED.”

No thought as to what he was proposing, no consideration that perhaps the man America elected two terms in a row might do one thing right, simply a rejection of his proposal based on the current public perception that Bush is a complete, and utter, failure in every aspect of life. I feel sorry for Bush right now: no matter how much he wants to help the country at this point, I don’t think he can. I think he has reached a point, no thanks to the media, in which America will immediately disagree with whatever he says, without even considering what he proposes. I want to make it clear to everyone that I am not a Republican, or a Democrat. I am not pro-Bush or anti-Bush. I don’t believe decisions should be made based on pre-conceived notions regarding a party or person: every politician wants to help the country as much as the other. Bush is not a complete idiot: he may not be a good public speaker, but just because he has a Texas accent doesn’t mean he’s a dumb cowboy. Think back to things Bush has done right: think of the surge, the immediate reaction to 9/11. Yes, he’s made some mistakes, but he’s only human. Yes, he’s misspoken, but you can’t be prefect grammatically all the time. I find it extremely unfortunate that the bailout got rejected, because it shows that politicians no longer pass laws based on what is right for the country: they pass laws based on what is popular, based on their party’s opinions, based on not voting with the other party’s members. As a result of this, we saw today a bad sign of things to come. Unless Washington gets their act together, this may very well be the beginning of the end.

I apologize for the political rant, but I think it needs to be said.

iPhone Coming to Verizon?

September 29, 2008

See here. 9 to 5 Mac, one of the most trusted sources around, reports that they have heard the iPhone may hit the EVDO carriers… in 2009. If this is true, I will be ecstatic. With competition between carriers, we could end up seeing some amazing deals on the iPhone, from huge subsidies, to cheap monthly rates, which will ultimately only benefit the consumer. However, this is an anonymous mailing, and Apple did announce it was an exclusive deal they had with AT&T, so this may not be true for 2009, but still, the possibility is exciting.

It’s not this.

Official Predictions will be posted later today.

Looks Good, But…

September 26, 2008

What’s the deal with the dock in the trackpad? Everything else looked solid, except for that (and the fact that he had photobooth open, showing his Apple shirt).

Only 19 days until we know for sure…

via Macenstein.

Glass Trackpad is the Brick!

September 24, 2008

Not this kind of glass brick...

I was pondering the riddle of the brick today, thinking for a good amount of time: what is it? Is it a wireless USB hub? Is it a mid-sized tower? Is it a tablet? I couldn’t think of what it could be: and then it hit me.

What if the new MacBook’s glass trackpad, which came from the same source as the brick rumor, was the brick? 9 to 5 Mac’s source told them two things: that the new MacBooks will have glass trackpads, and that the event would be “all about the brick“. Connect the dots: the brick and the trackpad are the same thing! Maybe this glass brick could even be removable, and act as a front row remote as well, with a built in screen? More likely not. But whether this brick is removable or not, it makes perfect sense: the glass trackpad is the brick!

I’m Scared

September 22, 2008

See here. This is downright weird, horrifying, and disturbing all at the same time.

Seth Weintraub of 9 to 5 Mac and Computerworld was searching around the internet when he stumbled across the picture you see on the left. His sources told him next months event will be “all about the brick“. These are the same sources who said the new iPods would be “rainbow“, and who leaked last year’s fatty-nano spy shots. Seth is just as unsure as all of us are as to what exactly this “brick” is, as his source seems to enjoy giving out these cryptic messages, but thinks that this picture, real or not, is the best suggestion so far as to what this brick is. Other possibilities include a Mid-size tower, or “brick” (Mac Brick?), wireless charging (which would replace the power “brick”), and a small tablet or EEEPC competitor (MacBook Brick?). It is very possible all of these, including wireless USB are wrong, but these pictures sure look convincing, and so far I think that this wireless USB “brick” is the closest thing to the truth. This could easily be a photoshop mockup, but we do know one thing for sure: there will be some sort of a brick in the upcoming keynote.

That's funny... Eva Longoria isn't a PC (http://macenstein.com/default/archives/1381)

Microsoft released its latest advertisement, which is interesting in many ways. The most noticeable thing about it is that they are trying to portray Macs for the “hip” guys, while PCs are for normal, everyday people. It really reminds me of the Obama vs. McCain election. When Obama started to do really well based on how cool and hip he was, McCain tried to make it look like he wasn’t for the everyday person, and that the presidency isn’t about who’s the bigger celebrity: its about who has the experience to succeed. It sounds like Microsoft is completely taking this approach to the great effectiveness the “Get a Mac” ads have on people. This ad shows people from all walks of life who say that they are a PC. While I don’t agree with what Microsoft has to say, especially after Apple releases its EEEPC competitor , I think its smart to make people feel like they’re simply falling for a trend, or some cool fad, and not really thinking about which OS is more convenient for them. Again, I think Windows is terrible, but for longtime Windows users, this probably will make them think twice about getting a Mac. Just like voters will think twice about voting for Obama.

Side note, it appears Microsoft stole their latest ad idea from my “I am the Y” campaign I did for the YMCA.

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Alright everyone, listen up. Mac Soda has heard word that the new MacBook, due in the next few weeks, will incorporate NVIDIA’s new, MCP7A-U graphics chipset. According to exPreview,

“MCP7A-U is the top class chipset in the MCP7A family. Though it could be named as GeForce 9XXX, it will be come the first mainstream uATX mobo with DDR3-1333 support. Sources inform us the MCP7A-U will be the “fastest mGPU”, but who knows.”

Don’t be turned off by the fact its integrated. Other features this chipset boasts include low power consumption, and full HDMI support.

So there you have it: the MCP7A-U will be the graphics card of the new MacBooks (and possibly MacBook Airs).

UPDATE: Digg it!

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