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Eve of Expo: MWSF Rumor recap

With some 24 hours until Apple CEO Steve Jobs takes the stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco to kick off Macworld Expo, Think Secret presents a compilation of information we have received and reported over the last number of months concerning Apple’s anticipated announcements.

“iPhone” (90% chance) – Presented in quotes, because that is not the device’s name nor sole functionality, Apple is poised to rock the consumer electronics world tomorrow, the majority of which is gathered in Las Vegas this week for the Consumer Electronics Shows (CES). Recent word suggests Apple’s new device will deliver capabilities far beyond melding phone and music capabilities with a slick Apple interface and external case.

The New York Times reported Monday that the “iPhone” may be more capable than most have expected.

“Industry executives and competitors believe that Apple has developed the first of a new generation of devices that are closer to personal computers in pocket form, meaning that they will easily handle music, entertainment, productivity tasks and communications on cellular and other wireless networks,” the TImes wrote.

Think Secret sources have since suggested that the Times story accurately represents the direction Apple is seeking with the device. In addition, unconfirmed reports suggest the device is expected to be powered by a more capable operating system than one would expect in a fusion phone/media device, adding that Apple is working hard to make the new system a viable player in the system-on-a-chip segment, and may license the technology to third-party hardware vendors down the road in its attempt to break through in the space. Details of such plans are not expected to be discussed tomorrow, however.

While an announcement is expected tomorrow, an exact release date is less known. Sources have said production of the device is slated to start shortly or just recently started, suggesting a release down the road is most likely. At the same time, given the device’s global appeal and different geographical markets Apple will be entering, coupled with the logistics of negotiating terms with phone carriers, release dates may be staggered around the world.

Mac OS X 10.5 Details (95% chance) – On the heels of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates CES keynote Sunday, where new features in Windows Vista—set to ship in three weeks to consumers—were first demonstrated, Jobs is expected to further divulge new details of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, including, very likely, a more exact release date and price tag. Apple has previously said the new operating system, code-named Leopard, will be ready in the Spring.

iWork ’07 (85% chance) – The newest version of Apple’s productivity suite will feature a new spreadsheet application and significantly improved version of the word processor and document layout software Pages.

Recent tips point to a prospective release date closer to March, however, as sources report new features planned for release have extended development time. Accordingly, an announcement may elude Macworld Expo—announcements made there traditionally concern products ready to ship within 4-6 weeks—but given the keynote audience and significant portion of previous keynotes that have been composed of demonstrating new software, Jobs may still take the wraps off the new software.

Continue for more info….

MWSF, MAC World Expo, Mac World in San Francisco, OS X

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