John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Apple R&D: The “R” Stands for Rumor

One of the investments we make is to introduce new products that initially cost more because they deliver an entirely new level of value to the customer. Then we ride the cost curves down with value engineering and volume manufacturing, leaving us far head of our competitors. We have some of these types of investments in front of us that I can’t discuss.”

Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, July 21, 2008

The media will gather tomorrow at Apple’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters for an invitation-only event–presumably about updates to its MacBook and MacBook Pro lines. And as with every Apple (AAPL) product launch, tomorrow’s has been preceded by feverish speculation about what form, exactly, those updates will take. Among the rumors currently making the rounds:

  • Apple will uncrate a new line of MacBooks whose cases are carved from a single brick of aircraft-grade aluminum.
  • Apple’s refreshed MacBook line will include a machine priced at below $1000, perhaps even as low as $800.
  • The new MacBooks will feature glass, multi-touch trackpads and LED-backlit displays.
  • They’ll swap out Intel’s chipset–not the central processor–for Nvidia’s MCP7A, which reportedly blows the doors off Intel’s G45 in the graphics department.
  • Blu-ray will be offered as an option on high-end models.
  • Finally, Apple’s new line of portables will include the unmatchable “state-of-the-art new product” to which Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer and COO Tim Cook referred earlier this year, and that product will be a tablet. Something along the lines of the “MacBook Touch” described by MacDailyNews back in July.

    Think MacBook screen, possibly a bit smaller, in glass with iPhone-like but fuller-featured multi-touch. Gesture library. Full Mac OS X. This is why they bought P.A. Semi. Possibly with Immersion’s haptic tech. Slot-loading SuperDrive. Accelerometer. GPS. … App Store-compatible, able to run Mac apps, too.”

An interesting spread of rumors, some quite likely, others improbable … and yet entirely plausible because, after all, it’s Apple we’re talking about. We’ll find out which of these proves true tomorrow at 10 a.m. PDT. I’ll be covering the event live, so be sure pay us a visit tomorrow.

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— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo