Latest Rumors Point to New Macs on the Horizon


Product rumors have been fairly quiet on the Apple front recently, but the tech community has begun exchanging whispers about new Macs due in stores soon.

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While the world waits for Apple to deliver its highly anticipated touchscreen tablet in early 2010, the nearer future most likely holds upgraded iMacs, Mac Minis, MacBooks and perhaps a new multitouch mouse.

Thinner, groovier iMacs
On average, Apple refreshes its iMacs every seven months, and the last batch of iMacs were released in March. History suggests that new iMacs should arrive any day now.

What’s new about them? Financial publication Barron’s cites research firm Wedge Partners, who claims the new iMacs will sport a “thinner, organic design, likely with smoothed or rounded edges.” That’s reasonable to believe: The current aluminum form factor hasn’t been changed for about two years. The previous white iMac lasted two years before receiving the aluminum makeover. So a new design for the next iMac would make sense. Also, a thinner, rounder design upgrade would be consistent with the look of the new aluminum MacBook Pros.

Corroborating the claim of thinner iMacs, a purported foreign Apple advertisement for a new iMac emerged on Google.nl, stating “iMac: Ultra Thin 20 & 24 inch models. From only €1099. Apple Store.”

Multitouch mouse
The iMac is rumored to be shipping with an extra bonus: a new multitouch mouse, which will presumably sport a touch-sensitive housing to do away with the roller ball on the current Mighty Mouse. Sources told AppleInsider that the new mouse would apply the multipoint touch detection technology seen in the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

A new iMac is the perfect opportunity for Apple to roll out a new mouse. Wired.com believes a multitouch mouse should function similarly to the unibody MacBook trackpads, which detect multitouch gestures. On new MacBooks, tapping the trackpad with two fingers triggers a right-click function, for example; this rumored multitouch mouse might copy this behavior. Also, for a mouse, we would expect a multitouch gesture to replace scrolling in different directions, and perhaps there will be special gestures that trigger Exposé commands as well.

New White MacBooks

Remember the MacBook? You know, that lone white notebook in the Mac family. Rumors say the MacBook will soon receive a design overhaul and be joined by additional models. Not much is known, other than that the new MacBooks will reportedly be thinner and lighter, and the internal architecture will be reworked. Financial blog Barron’s cites research firm Wedge Partners, who claims the MacBook redesign “is likely to be limited.” That’s vague, but we think many of us would consider thinner and lighter to be a “limited” redesign (i.e., not mindblowingly exciting).

Mac Mini

Last and definitely least, there have been scarce rumors about a new Mac Mini also launching with the iMac and MacBook. Apple’s treatment toward the Mac Mini has been inconsistent with its other products: The company waited 600 days before releasing the current Mac Mini, and the upgrade was only minor; it introduced no changes to form factor. Mac Mini customer feedback suggests the device is being used for niche applications including cheap server setups, digital music servers for audiophiles and replacements for Windows PCs.

From WIRED.com

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