What Apple won't announce at 'Back to the Mac' event

Speculation is rife, but it's safe to say what the fruity company won't announce tomorrow.

In the world of Apple, 2010 has been the year of mobile. The iPad has become such a household name it's amazing that it was only first announced 10 months ago. It's hard to imagine using an iOS device now without multitasking. And let's not forget about a little something called iPhone 4. There was in fact so much activity on the Apple mobile front, you might have forgotten they were once a computer company. That's why Apple's special media event being held tomorrow is aptly titled "Back to the Mac"- to remind us that "Hey, we still make computers too!"

There has already been plenty of speculation about what Apple WILL announce tomorrow, so here are a few of the rumors that we won't see materialize.

iPhone 4 revision b/iPhone 5/iPhone CDMA (Verizon)/iOS 5

It's pretty well established the Verizon iPhone is on the way. I just don't think tomorrow's event is the venue to announce it. The point here is to refocus Apple's energy back on its flagship product, the Mac. While we will probably see some iOS-related integration into OS X 10.7 Lion as well as some iOS-like UI additions, don't expect any new mobile hardware to emerge just yet.

New iPad/iPad 7"

The iPad already has a major update on the way next month via iOS 4.2 and once again, to really drive it home, tomorrow's event is a Mac event. Don't hold your breath for that Retina display, front-facing camera iPad. January might be a different story, however. Also, Steve Jobs recently completely debunked rumors of a smaller, 7" screen iPad in the works. Judging by his tone in debunking the 7" iPad, it won't be announced tomorrow, it won't be announced ever.

iLife '10/iWork '10

With only two months left in '10, it looks like Apple skipped this year for major releases of its media and productivity software suites. The good news is, the last time they skipped a year was 2007 which then made way for iLife '08 and iWork '08: arguably the biggest updates to the suites since their initial releases. iDVD and iWeb on the iLife side are in particular need for updates, so hopefully tomorrow we will see a whole lot of new desktop software (as well as a new versioning convention- something about iLife '11 looks and sounds funny to me).

Desktop Macs

Both the iMac and Mac Pro were bumped-up this past July, the Mac Mini this past June- so I wouldn't expect any updates there. That leaves MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air- all potentially due for updates, especially the latter two. Apple's server hardware XServe is also due, though tomorrow might not the place for that, either.

Mac OS 11

Judging by tomorrow's event poster, the OS X product cycle, and common sense, it's pretty clear Apple is planning to announce the next incarnation of OS X, 10.7 Lion. I don't know who started the rumblings of OS 11 or why, but let's just go ahead and stop that now, mmkay?

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Mike Keller

PC World (US online)
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