Today Steve Jobs will speak to his minions in what is the geek equivalent of Mecca, Christmas and the FA Cup final all rolled into one. Yes, it's Macworld time again -- and speculation on the show's announcements is as rife as the Novovirus superbug.
Last year's show brought the Jesus Phone, a product that has since gone on to consume the lives of every Apple fanboy on the planet. This year we expect yet more surprises, but what will they be? The return of the ? A mind-controlled interface? an Apple videogames console? A dramatic change of wardrobe for Jobsy? Here we bring you a list of the most likely candidates, plus a funky little Macworld bingo game, courtesy of (rules explained later for the hard of thinking).
The biggest rumour in the mill is the fabled 'MacBook Air'. Nobody's actually sure what this will turn out to be, but analysts and fanboys expect one of three possibilities. The first is a brand new ultraportable laptop with an 11-inch screen and solid-state hard drive. Alternatively it could turn out to be the fabled , which we reported on late last year.
The MacBook Air could also turn out to be a slightly tweaked version of the current MacBook. Wikipedia yesterday posted a document purporting to be a rough outline of Jobs' expected presentation. According to this document (which has since been removed) there will be a new super-slim 13-inch MacBook with a backlit keyboard, solid-state hard disk, and a 20mm thick aluminium chassis -- similar to that used in the MacBook Pro. There's also the likelihood of a conventional MacBook with added WiMax wireless capabilities, which admittedly isn't very sexy.
We also expect announcements on the desktop PC side of things. There was a new line of Mac Pros announced last week, featuring two quad-core 3.2GHz processors for those that demand extreme performance. We expect Jobs to announce that Blu-ray drives will be an optional extra for these big daddies some time soon. Look for a refresh of the , too, which should sport faster, more energy-efficient CPUs.
On the handheld front, El Jobs may also unveil a new 3G-enabled version of the iPhone. This would be great news for anyone that's fed up with the iPhone's lacklustre Internet access speeds over Edge networks, but it may also be bad news for those who cherish battery life. We're also hearing that the next generation of iPod touch/iPhone will be able to synchronise wirelessly -- which is a real no-brainer if you ask us.
The final rumour worth mentioning is a link-up between iTunes and YouTube. Currently, users can download YouTube videos directly to , iPod touch and iPhone, but this functionality is lacking from the iTunes music player. If implemented, users could start synchronising YouTube footage across iTunes and iPod touch/iPhone handhelds.
So that's that. We advise you to stay tuned to CNET.co.uk for actual, factual coverage of the event. But in the meantime, why not play some Macworld 2008 Steve Jobs Bingo. Just fill out the card as Jobsy makes his announcements and yell "Bingo!" when you complete a line. Click this link to download the image. -Rory Reid