Batting Zero; A depressing look back at our Macworld predictions - Macenstein

Batting Zero; A depressing look back at our Macworld predictions

Posted by Dr. Macenstein


If we ever needed a lesson in humility, Steve Jobs gave us (and a good deal of the Apple watching community) one this morning when he delivered his keynote speech. Looking back over our predictions, it is apparent the Psychic Friends Hotline won’t be calling US any time soon looking for advice. The funny thing is, we joking made our predictions in (what we thought) was an overly-cautious manner, sticking strictly to the things that everyone, and we mean EVERYONE, just KNEW was coming. Cases in point:

1) iLife ’07/iWork ’07, less than a week before Macworld, accidentally listed these apps for sale (along with a new 2007 .Mac). Then, once news hit the web, they changed the listings’ names from “iWork ’07” and “iLife ’07” to “Macworld announcements 2” and “4”. A day later, the listings were pulled altogether.

Surely we HAD to have THAT one right, right? Nope. Despite Amazon “announceing” them, then admitting they were not supposed to name them (but also mentioning they were coming at Macworld), and then pulling them altogether, thereby “confirming” Apple was pissed over the blunder… well, that one hurt.

Yet despite our very public shame, I don’t want to see too many of you jumping down our throats on that one. Pretty much the only comments we received were “DUH. Of COURSE iLife and iWork are getting updates at Macworld! It’s a given. This is not news”. Well, I guess the news is that we were all wrong.

2) Rumored display updates with built-in iSights

I called this a “no-brainer”, and apparently I was right. I have no brain. I will chalk this up to seeing rumors of new displays for months, combined with a 160 day or so lag between updates in the display line. It seemed reasonable to think this would happen. Also, Apple had recently discontinued its stand alone iSight lineup of cameras. It all seemed to fit.

So, why no announcement of them at Macworld? Who knows, but we were had again. We’ll chalk that one up to a rumor that is likely true, but Apple did not see a reason to debut at this particular event. Maybe next month.

3) Adobe will come on stage and waste 10 minutes of our life

Thankfully, I was wrong here too. We all love to know that developers support the Mac, but we can read about it, or let them tell us a WWDC. Macworld is for consumers.

4) True video iPod

This one hurt the most. I was so sure we were going to see that big, beautiful 16 x 9 iPod that I have dreamt about for so long (yes, my dreams are THAT lame that I dream about 16 x 9 iPods). And Steve really stuck it to me hard today. I was reading along on the website (like many of you, I would guess) looking at the line by line text updates as they came in. Here’s how it went down:

Steve Jobs says “Today, we’re introducing 3 revolutionary products”. (crowd holds breath… I hold MY breath, lots of breath holding going on.) “The first one, is a wide-screen iPod with touch controls” (crowd goes NUTS! and I go nuts! Finally!)

“The second,” continues Steve, “is a revolutionary mobile phone” (Crowd goes BALLISTIC, I go semi ballistic, as I am not that in need of a new phone, but I am impressed that they managed to deliver it so soon).

“and third, is a break-through internet communication device” (the crowd and I both go, “huh? scattered applause).

OK, so by now we all know Steve did NOT introduce a 16 x 9 iPod. He introduced a mobile phone. And yes, it IS cool, and I DO want one, but at the same time, I would rather have that 16 x 9 iPod. It is not just the $600 price tag, it is the idea that it is a
mobile phone, and as such, it is tied to things like “2-year contracts” and “$40/ per month additional data plans” to use the cool web features that make the iPhone so cool. I like the idea of having just one device with me that can do everything I need, but at the same time, having it in a cell phone feels sort of liek I am “renting” the deivce. I do not currently use a Blackberry. I do not have that kind of “On-the-go” life style the iPhone is aimed at. It almost seems like the iPhone is aimed at “pros”, not “consumers”, if there is such a thing a a professional cell phone user (and now that I think about it, there probably are more than I’d like to admit). Since I have Cingular service already, maybe I will eventually get an iPhone the next time I need a new phone, but I would have bought a 16 x 9 iPod today.


The only thing I predicted correctly was that the iTV would get its “real” name (Apple TV), and it did. But then again, Steve told us it was going to get its real name around now, so that doesn’t count. So in general, this was an odd Macworld; nearly 2 hours long, and only 2 products introduced. For what has traditionally been a consumer-oriented show, there were no iMac, Mac mini, or MacBook updates, no new versions of the consumery iLife and iWork suites, and no new iPods. Apple TV was pretty much the only consumer product unveiled today in the Stevenote, and while it is impressive, it will take some time to catch on. I will probably get an Apple TV before I get an iPhone, but I will get a 16 x 9 iPod before I get an Apple TV. I have become very patient in regards to the 16 x 9 iPod. I can wait.. until March maybe. After that, I may have to drive to Cupertino and start seeing what the damn hold-up is.

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