Some Apple fans think Apple will merely be lowering prices but others think Apple will actually introduce a brand new product that will cause panic and pandemonium among its competitors. TUAW reportedly received information that points to changes among Apple TV marketing material and a September 30th webcast.
Pure speculation. Simply rumors. It'll be a couple of slow weeks between now and mid-October, when Apple is most likely to offer new Macbooks. But for speculative purposes, it would make sense for Apple to merge it's "hobby", the Apple TV, which has been met with limited success to be it kindly and the Mac in creating a consumer-class Mac that let folks use it as a computer, gaming machine, and as an Apple TV.
What would be the sole purpose of the "Mac Hybrid". (Apple, please feel free to use this. I mean it. Go ahead.)
- Do what Apple TV cannot do alone. In corporate Apple TV into Hybrid will allow more "Apple TV" to be sold. In stead of thousands, millions of Hybrids will allow Apple to truly move into homes, if not living rooms. That is right, there is that much pinned up demand for a midrange Mac. Mac Mini has not been upgraded for almost 1.5 years now.
- A stealthy way to build a console without actually entering the console war. It'll be more expensive than Xbox 360 and PS3 but those two cannot claim to be a real computer now, can they?
- More integration with iPod Touch and iPhone. Provide app developers with a larger market. Give the Mac Hybrid to use apps will Apple's walled garden App Store to expand "its perimeters". In fact, this feature should be extended to all Macs. It's my belief that Google will eventually develop an Android virtual environment to do just that.
- Limited upgrade options. Apple will offer limited upgrade option here but it could really get a lot of hobbyists interested in using a Mac that runs both OS X and Windows. Gamers are just as fanatical as hardrest core of Mac users. Win their loyalty and you've got another regiment of army that will do anything for you.
My core demand for such a machine is added integration with iTunes material and Apple's mobile platform. The seemless ability to use apps on these Macs on TV will go a long way in allow developers and consumers more flexibility, not to mention it'll help take away some heat Apple is taking from developers regarding their NDA impementation.