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Cease Mac laptop purchases until Oct. 20

Earlier today, Apple sent e-mails to members of the tech press inviting them to an Oct. 20 event at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. But though these kinds of e-mails from Apple usually draw only unfounded speculation, this one is fairly easy to interpret.

First, the invitation's "Back to the Mac" title makes it clear we'll be seeing updates to Apple's computers.

Second, the fact that some of Apple's laptops haven't been updated in many months -- the once-promising MacBook Air hasn't been revised since June 2009, a shamefully long interval -- strongly suggests that the company will announce new Mac laptops.

So, if you were planning to buy a MacBook, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air soon, don't. Put your credit card away until next Wednesday.

The illustration on the invitation, a glimpse of a lion's head, implies that Apple will also preview the next release of Mac OS X, version 10.7. Apple names its OS X releases after cats, so presumably 10.7 will be called "Lion."

That's what I know. You're welcome to try to fill in the blanks in the comments with your own guesses, wagers, wishes and fears.


By Rob Pegoraro  | October 13, 2010; 4:18 PM ET
Categories:  Computers, Mac  
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Comments

The more interesting question is not whether we'll see 'speed bumps" but whether Apple will introduce any new "form factors" --e.g., a MacHelium (lighter-than-Air) with a smaller screen.

Posted by: ah___ | October 13, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The more interesting question is not whether we'll see 'speed bumps" but whether Apple will introduce any new "form factors" --e.g., a MacHelium (lighter-than-Air) with a smaller screen.

Posted by: ah___ | October 13, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Mactards are probably already lining up outside their Apple stores in anticipation.

Posted by: futbolclif | October 13, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

This might be deliberate misdirection. Maybe Apple's actually going to announce the Verizon iPhone.

:-)

Posted by: tomtildrum | October 13, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

bought a macbook pro this time last year, almost to the day, with snowleopard.

A whole year of being on the cutting edge? That was unheard of even five years ago. Seems to me that's the real story.

Posted by: summicron1 | October 13, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh God. Yet another rev. And Apple now forcing us to buy new upgrades to work with their OS. Great.

Posted by: swatkins1 | October 13, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Apple continues to enjoy the zeal with which so many MacTards willingly enslave themselves to their release schedule.

Posted by: OttoDog | October 13, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

What Apple should offer is built-in broadband in their laptop and subscriptions for service that blend into the (reported soon to be) Verizon network for iPhones.

Posted by: clkgtrss | October 13, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes Apple is FORCING the MacTards to enslave themselves.

Ottodog, swatkins1, futbolclif: too bad about your bitterness. Get a life.

Posted by: frantaylor | October 13, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

What frantaylor said.

I use both the Win and Mac platforms and I prefer my MacBook. If that makes me a 'tard, so be it.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | October 13, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

"Mactards?"

Well, after paying $125 for each version of Windows, from Win 3.1, W4W 3.11, Win 95, Win ME, Win XP, and Win Vista, I would say that anyone still buying Windows is the retard.

I bought a MacBook two years ago and it is still running strong, booting up to a full desktop screen in about 30 seconds. My last Windows Vista laptop took over 5 minutes to boot up and died after 15 months. If I decide to upgrade OS 10, it will because the operating system offers new features and not because I am paying Microsoft to fix all the bugs in their previous version of Windows.

The Wintards are the ones who paid MS $125 for Vista SP3, cleverly named Windows 7.

Posted by: hisroc | October 13, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

What does "built-in broadband" mean? If I am correct, then this poster must not understand that broadband is a connection to the computer and can never be built-in. They could include, however, a 4-G transmitter or one that would be compatible with T-Mobile. This would not be revolutionary, but would give the capability of being online by either wi-fi or cell phone type service. I wonder if putting it inside the computer would make it less able to reach cell towers. If they include a 4-G type card, then the next question should be: where can I attach an external antenna?

The buying public should be very careful in rushing out to get mobile broadband. Most carriers are selling it as a limited service that tops out at 5 gigs a month. This is enough for a good deal of ordinary websurfing, but I would guess you'd get only a few movies from NetFlix without hitting the limit. Some services are offering unlimited usage, but it seems likely to slow down during peak periods.

Doug Terry

Posted by: terryreport | October 13, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh I don't know the UNIX (BSD flavor actually) underneath really doesn't change much ... was kind of aggravated for the lack of support for UFS (read running Parallels/VM Fusion) to run other variations such as Linux or even, god forbid, Darwin ... not a big fan of must not have NIH file system support. HFS is not a favorite of mine ... fortunately, fsck_hfs works fairly well though ... yes and moving "server" functionality off of the desktop version ... sigh ...

Other than that it still works pretty much the same under the hood. The UI changes, their apps and associated db's change (read iPhoto, iCal, iTunes etc.) and that can be create serious problems for users attempting to migrate.

Posted by: periculum | October 13, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

I would sell my current nearly two-year-old MacBook Air and buy a new one with more RAM (Flash is increasingly a show-stopper), if I didn't have an iPad I use much of the time. Now, I have to weigh the decision more.

Broadband IN a laptop or other device limits one to using a single provider. Instead, I've opted for a personal Wi-Fi hotspot, the WiMax 4G iSpot from Clear. Costs $25 per month. It works with my MacBook Air in addition to my iPhone 4 and my iPad. Virgin Mobile also offers a low-price deal on a personal hotspot.

And, let's give AT&T some credit when it earns it. AT&T has the biggest array of free Wi-Fi hotspots in the world, making a broadband card or personal hotspot unnecessary much of the time.

Posted by: query0 | October 13, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Re: "MacTards."

This makes me chuckle. I grew up using Apple computers; I worked in industries as a young adult that used them almost exclusively. I now use a Windows laptop, but also an iPod touch ... and I see benefits (including cost) for both platforms. I might go back to a Mac for my next laptop. I might not. It's a product, people. Some people find its initial sticker price worth it.

Posted by: scrappledog | October 14, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

My MacBook has been collecting dust on my desk ever since I bought an iPad.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | October 14, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

If the news has anything to do with Apple, you can find it here in Mr. Pergaro's column. After everyone else has reported it.

But, really - who cares? With everything else going on in the news today, what difference does this make? It's a computer, for heaven's sake.

Posted by: timmdrumm | October 14, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Well since Apple and Verizon announced today that the iPad will be available at Verizon retail stores we know that's not the announcement.

Posted by: frank_s3 | October 14, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

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