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2012 Predictions: Macworld's annual forecast of the year ahead

Macworld Staff | Jan. 9, 2012
At the end of every year, we take the requisite look back, and the end of 2011 was no exception—we reviewed the year in iOS, the year in Mac, Apple’s financial performance, the year in quotes, and Macworld’s most read and most loved and loathed stories.

I believe that before construction of the new Apple Spaceship campus gets fully underway, Tim Cook will be walking around the grounds of the former HP campus hunting rabbits. A shot will miss its mark, and then up from the ground will come a bubblin’ geyser of printer ink. He will then load up his beat-up old 2011 Mercedes SL5 AMG and move to Beverly Hills with his delectable niece and his doltish nephew.

Arnold Kim, founder and senior editor,

Last year’s score: Mac OS X, 0.75; iOS, 0.75; hardware, 0.5; pie, 0. Total = 2.0/4.0

Mac OS X: Retina-display support. Boom. No one’s actually ever seen one, but we just can’t stop thinking about a 300-dpi laptop screen. It’s so exciting because it would be something new in the Mac product line that’s not just an incremental improvement. Beyond that, I don’t think we’ll see much in the way of major OS X changes. Apple typically follows an every-other-year release cycle for the Mac OS and we just got Lion in 2011.

iOS: I said it last year, and I’ll say it again: Apple is working on some kind of massive custom-mapping solution for iOS. The pieces are in place already. Apple’s acquired companies, hired engineers, and basically said it’s working on mapping and traffic. I suppose this feature could be more than a year off, but mapping and directions remain one of the big discrepancies between Android and iPhone, so I think it has a high priority at Apple.

Hardware: I fear the poor Mac Pro is doomed. It’s not something I say lightly, as I’ve long been a Mac Pro user—nothing would make me happier than a killer desktop rig from Apple with a beautiful, new industrial design. And it seems just a few years ago that a redesigned Mac tower was the ultimate in drool-worthy rumor mongering. Now we all drool over a new iPhone, and I think Apple is well aware of that shift. The company isn’t one to cling to the past, and I think the time of the Mac tower is coming to a close.

Pie-in-the-sky-wish: A brand new Mac Pro with radically different industrial design and lower price tag. It will finally incorporate Thunderbolt, a few PCI slots, easy to open interior, and a sub $2000 price tag. It will revitalize the Apple desktop market and show Apple’s commitment to professionals.

The Macalope, pundit-skewering mythical beast

Last year’s score: Mac OS X, 0.5; iOS, 0; hardware, 1.0; pie, 0. Total = 1.5/4.0

Before offering this year’s predictions, the Macalope will point out that a generous interpretation of his predictions from last year would be that he was about half right. [As you can see, we judged it as 1.5/4.0. Hey, put down the antlers, my friend.—Ed.] So, feel free to pick between flipping a coin or reading what he thinks will happen this year.


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