Thursday, November 13, 2008

Freighted Silence

The death of the Mac Mini is much exaggerated. So says Lazarus himself, in a short e-mail to an interested fan. Steve Jobs' communiques are always accurate, of course, and always sent to some lucky writer. Someone whose questions are plangent, rare, and not-from-the-press enough, perhaps? It is unclear.

The "no updates through Christmas" press release is atypical, and so worthy of examination. If the iMac and Mac Mini are being "let ride" through the holidays, and the Mac Mini isn't dead, there must be something in the works for MacWorld SF. Even a quiet, Display Port/Core i7 update would be probably worth touting with a bit of a mention at a keynote.

That, or the Mini is to languish through the now-apostate "Festival of MacWorld Tokyo" period, and even until the spurned, but perhaps still meaningful, Time Of Apple Expo. I doubt it would merit a full media event as-is. Still, a quiet bump for a product that needs a total overhaul, and merits both a Jobs missive and eventual media event.

The outcry about the utter stagnation of the Apple TV as a hardware product must be muted, because we haven't heard anything about it.

I can't help but notice the similarity of the Mini and the TV. Apple's new chipset agnosticism gives them much more flexibility in the Mini/TV form factor, and so perhaps their hobby is slated to become a career. The PA Semi and Papermaster rumors fan the flames of wholly-custom OS X hardware to fill the niche. Remember, the first XBox was a PIII, and even Microsoft had to get away from their duopolist friend to make the G5-based XBox 360 competitive. (Sort of.)

MWSF seems primed to provide something in the monitor-less small Mac form factor. The need to defend the high-low end (pardon the construction) from ever-slipping Win/Tuxtel prices might yield a vastly different non-Intel chipset Mac Mini. Something with real graphics, the ever-elusive BluRay (it is MWSF, after all), and HDMI. Does this make the Apple TV a Mac TV, and a hobby no more?

And whither the Apple TV? What is the point? It will be on ice, like the Cube. It is premature, given the recentness of Apple's PA Semi/Papermaster it is too much to ask for a Super Apple TV running OS X on ARM already. But you can bet the iPhone grows legs and evolves off the hands of users and onto their televisions once the newest StrongARM is ready.

1 comment:

jellinek said...

So, what will be in my basement 2/7?