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Where's the Hardware?
June 5, 2014 - Dave Hecei
It seems strange to have a major Apple keynote address and not have any hardware in it. No iphone, no iPods, no MacBooks, and of course, no minis. This years WWDC keynote was all about OS X, iOS, and developers. This does make sense since WWDC stands for Worldwide Developers Conference. So where's the hardware?
Only a few weeks ago, Apple released updated MacBook Air models. This update was minor, only a small increase in the same processor family. Apple also lowered the price of the MacBook Airs by $100, a nice bonus. The weeks before this years WWDC keynote were rumors of new iMacs, MacBook Pros, and minis. The mini is now the oldest model in their lineup. The mini was last updated October 2012. That's a long time ago, for computers.
New hardware from Apple can come at any time. The last MacBook Air is testament to that. There are certain times of the year that Apple seems to use for releasing new hardware. For the last few iPhones and iPads, September seems to be the time. This year, Apple looks to be releasing the next iPhone (the iPhone 6?) most likely the end of September. If this holds true then new iPads should be out in October.
For new Macs, it's anyone's guess. There are rumors that Apple could be releasing updated, and lower priced, iMacs soon. There are all new chips coming from Intel by the end of the year. It is entirely possible that Apple will wait to update the rest of the Mac line until then.
The other hardware lineup is also ripe for updating. The Apple TV is also getting quite long in the tooth and with some of the new developer tools shown at this year's WWDC, a beefier Apple TV, with its own App Store, is something to look for. Of course this is all wishing on my part and has nothing to do with reality.
Then there is the iPod. You may be shocked to know that Apple still sells four different iPod models. There is the iPod Touch, which is an iPhone without the phone. Then there is the Nano, the Shuffle, and the Classic, which is the only surviving iPod with a spinning hard drive (160GB). Now that Apple has purchased Beats for $3 Billion (yes, that is a B), maybe there will be a new surge in the mobile music players. Apple did make an interesting announcement Tuesday, the day after the keynote, about a new Made for iPhone program. One spec was for the use of the Lightning port to connect your headphones (preferably a set of Apple Beats headphones). This could allow for much higher quality music playback, something that is piquing interest in the industry and with users. The iPod were last updated September of 2012.
Hardware is coming. Sooner or later is anyone's guess. It seems that a new iMac and mini would make sense if they came out in the next few weeks. MacBook Pros will greatly benefit from the new Broadwell chips coming this Winter from Intel, which means you may have to wait until December for a new MacBook Pro.
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