Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Apple’s January 27 agenda: The iSlate, iPhone OS 4.0, and iLife 2010

Apple tablet mockup (Chris Messina 001)
Sources speculated to FoxNews on Monday that Apple’s January 27 event will include three things: A tablet, iPhone OS 4.0, and iLife 2010. According to the network, a rumored fourth-generation iPhone will not be part of the event, contradicting Korean’s market sources claiming that an improved iPhone will launch during April/May rather than the usual June/July timeframe due to the supposedly strong pressure from Google’s Nexus One. Clayton Morris, author of the FoxNews piece, wrote the following:
I spoke to a source at Apple this morning, before the invite hit my inbox, who said the event would likely focus on three projects: The tablet device, iPhone 4, and a new round of iLife 2010 software. While we won’t see new iPhone hardware just yet, we will see the next-generation software.
Note that January 27, 2010 also marks an anniversary since Apple began shipping iLife ‘09, the current version of its digital lifestyle suite. Apple boasted new iLife features at the time, such as Facebook integration, facial recognition, and photo geotagging in iPhoto, advanced editing capabilities in iMovie, and celebrity playing lessons in GarageBand, to name a few.
Readers should note that Apple has a habit (and a history, too) of re-shuffling event agendas last minute. The iPhone maker is also known for spreading false rumors itself to retain the surprise factor. Apple issued press invitations Monday morning via email, confirming it will be holding a media event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on January 27 at 10am Pacific. An obligatory tease included the “Come see our latest creation” tagline.
Read more at FoxNews.com
Apple tablet mockup (John Kruemp/Gizmodo)
Apple tablet mockup: John Kruemp/Gizmodo

Christian’s Opinion

This report builds upon the previous FoxNews piece by the same author that corroborated earlier Financial Times’ event findings. If Apple’s event is about “all things mobile” as FoxNews suggested, then iPhone OS 4.0 is a given, as is an accompanying SDK that should enable developers to write next-gen software for the iPhone platform. The iSlate announcement, however, is up for a debate because nothing is certain until Steve Jobs pulls one out of his pocket. Considering how big media put their credibility behind those iSlate rumors, I think Apple does have a new portable device up its sleeve that will take the iPhone platform to new places.
The iLife claim doesn’t surprise me. After all, the digital lifestyle suite is up for an update. I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll see a tablet-optimized iLife version because it’d turn the gizmo into a content creation device – an important distinction between a tablet and a smartphone. I also expect the iWork to follow the suit. If the New York Times is right, Apple’s tablet will run a multitouch-enabled iWork version optimized for its gesture-based interface.
I kind of expect a 4G iPhone announcement and a camera-enabled iPod touch upgrade. Strangely, Morris’ report makes no mention of a rumored Core i5 MacBook upgrade, the perfect fit for “all things mobile.” On the other hand, Apple could update MacBooks via a simple press release. Should there be important architectural changes, Jobs might give MacBooks a few minutes of air time come January 27.


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