- 13 Jan 08, 09:33 GMT
Another year, another Macworld, and all eyes will be on the Moscone Center, in San Francisco, for Steve Jobs' keynote speech on Tuesday.
And the question everyone is wondering is: what surprises does Jobs have in store?
As always the rumour mill is in overdrive, so let's look at some of the more potent:
A 3G iPhone
The iPhone's lack of 3G has been the most obvious problem in need of remedy. But I would be very surprised to see a hardware upgrade for the iPhone, especially as the software development kit for the phone has yet to be released officially.
A boost to the flash storage of the iPhone is not out of the question - but I'm guessing it will all be about the software and not the hardware of the phone. Expect demonstrations of some very cool new applications.
An ultra-lightweight Macbook Pro
There have been lots of reports of Apple releasing a high-end Macbook Pro with flash storage and no optical drive. If true, this could pitch Apple into the sub-notebook category, possibly a 12-inch machine with a solid state hard drive.
I wouldn't be at all surprised to see this. Apple's skill has always been in knowing when to enter a market and while other firms have been doing the real innovation in this area - see the Asus Eee PC at the cheap end or Sony's Vaio TZ series at the expensive end - this could be the moment for the firm to take the plunge.
There have also been reports of the Macbook Pro range getting Wimax on board. Intel is certainly pushing Wimax very hard so it would not be a huge surprise but my instincts tell me it's still a little premature.
It's almost certainly too early for a new iPod but a boost to the flash storage in the iPod Touch would certainly be welcomed.
Apple TV movie rentals
There has been a lot of talk about iTunes getting movie rentals and with Apple's TV system languishing as a forgotten product this could be the boost it needs.
You only have to walk into an Apple store to see how the product has been relegated. Typically, there is a single Apple TV device tucked away in the corner, with nobody using it.
It would also make sense for the device to be opened up to third-party developers. The Apple TV is really a computer and if Apple themselves can't spare the time to develop new applications for it, then they should let the community do it.
There is a real movement towards uniting the TV with the web - see Dave Winer's Flickr Fan - and the Apple TV could be that device to bridge the gap.
With Microsoft and Sony constantly improving the Xbox 360 and PS3 through software updates, the Apple TV is becoming neither media centre device nor internet-enabled hub. It needs some attention - and quickly.
So these are my thoughts. I'd welcome yours.
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