April the 17th 2004
Hardware updates coming soon, here's all you need to know
Although financial results were very good once again this quarter, due mainly to iPod sales, it's definitely time for Apple to bring us new hardware. I have received a lot of hardware-related information since early March and here is a summary of the most verified information.

More and more sources are confirming that Apple is about to update its consumer portable computers (the iBooks) by the end of this month. Some rumour sites and some anonymous sources are claiming that the Powerbook line will also be updated. That information is conflicting with my sources who have recently claimed that the PowerBook line will most probably be updated as late as WWDC though. As for the new PowerMacs, it looks like Apple is ready to launch them soon as well.

Possible hardware specifications of this new hardware have also been provided by some sources :

The iBooks should reach 1.25 or 1.33Ghz for the top of the line, include more RAM and more hard disk space for the whole line. Faster graphic chips have been mentioned but which graphic chip wasn't precisely noted.

Whenever they come, the PowerBooks will most probably stick to the G4 processor, include at least 512Mb of RAM and bigger hard disks for all models. According to recent Motorola documents, the PowerPC 7447A can reach clock speeds up to 1.5Ghz, so we can expect a speed range from 1.33Ghz to 1.5Ghz. As for the graphic chip, sources had mentioned the GeForce FX 5700 as a good candidate for the high end models. Most rumours I received had most -- if not all -- of the Powerbooks sporting DVD-R (Superdrives) as standard.

PowerMacs are expected to see a speed bumps but there are probably no big surprises expected, Apple will not deliver a 3Ghz PowerMac G5 by summer 2004 as Steve Jobs promised us last year. Performance range is expected to be from mono-2Ghz to dual 2.5Ghz (with two processors in the middle-end model as well). The new PowerMacs are also expected to have faster graphic chips. The nVidia GeForce 6800 is mentioned by lots of sources. This is one of the chips that will probably be an option for any BTO PowerMac and maybe the standard one for the high end model. Some sources noted that some re-design (not necessarily apparent), will be made to the PowerMacs. As on every update, more RAM and bigger hard drives are expected as well.

Apparently, these updates should improve Apple's computer sales but they'll hardly reach the iPod figures and that's not so bad after all ;). Apple may lower the price of the iBook or/and the PowerBook but it might only concern European pricing -- as the price difference between Europe and the US is significant. As you see I do not have any reliable information on the iMac. It's something I found a bit suspicious; Could the next generation iMac surprise us?

April the 9th 2004
Follow-up on the Hellenic support for Mac users.
Some months ago, I supported a petition started by a friend of mine, Dimostenis Kaponis, addressed to Apple and Mac software developers asking them to bring descent support for Greek to Mac OS X. One year after that petition, which is not the first, it looks like Microsoft finally heard the call of the Greek Mac community. As ThinkSecret mentions, Microsoft Office 2004 will support the Greek language, as well as many other languages that are currently supported by Mac OS X, but only through its Unicode framework.

Unofficial sources informed us that Apple has started work on improved support for Modern Hellenic as well, including fonts and a polytonic keyboard throughout. We are uncertain whether this work is completed or indeed is even in an advanced state. We do not expect Apple to release a Hellenic localization of the OS in the International version in 10.4, but that'd definitely be a pleasant surprise.

Currently, complete Hellenic support can only be added to OS X via a semi-official patch by the Hellenic IMC (Rainbow Computer S.A.) or by a free patch called XGreek. Both solutions are riddled with bugs and incompatibilities with several applications as well as Apple's Software Update.

April the 1st 2004
The rumors I did not publish : IBM investing in Apple, Apple Expo 2004 to be cancelled, Longhorn for PowerPC and more...
Like last year, for April Fool's Day, I'm going to enumerate some headlines that could be posted this year if it had been accurately verified. Some of these rumours are crazy and unbelievable while others are credible but not verified. You to judge :

- Apple and IBM commitment to be financially reinforced.

I really hesitated to publish this one as it had only been partially confirmed by some reliable sources and very well argued by the initial ones. I've even composed a full posting in case I receive further confirmation.

- Apple to include Windows emulation into Mac OS X.

Many many unreliable sources claimed it!

- Apple Expo 2004 to be cancelled again, due to terrorist attack fears.


- DELL to follow HP and include iTunes with their PCs.

Looks like our friend Michael wanted to express his secret dreams through an anonymous post ;).

- Apple in talks to buy Discreet.

Would be a good move indeed! C'mon Steve!

- Microsoft developing Windows Longhorn for PowerPC.

Let them release it for Intel/AMD first ;).

- Adobe to stop developing its software on the Mac platform.

Actually, I've been told that Adobe's Mac revenues increased 3 points during the last quarter, so I think doing this would be really silly, at the moment.

And to finish, here is a macosXrumors rumour!

- macosXrumors is considering changing its name and take a "general mac rumours" oriented direction.

No comments...

I hope you enjoyed reading this. Some of these rumours are a bit more serious than others. I'd like to clear that this posting is not intended to encourage you to send me unfounded rumours. There's no contest running here! ;).