Former Apple employees make Macworld Expo predictions

Ahead of next week’s Macworld, The Guardian asked former Apple employees, and expert observers, to predict launches and strategy at Cupertino, California – and Steve Jobs’s departure.

The shortened version is in the print edition of the paper, but these are the full-length questions that were originally posed and the longer answers (some of which had to be shortened, or left out, in print).

The panel includes Chuq Von Rospach (17 years at Apple), David Sobotta (nearly 20 years), Mike Evangelist, Daniel Jalkut (former senior software engineer at Apple), Michael Gartenberg, Adam Engst (TidBits), Wil Shipley (Delicious Monster), Gus Mueller (Flying Meat), and John Gruber (Daring Fireball).

Full article here.


  1. Nothing reported in the Guardian Newspaper can be taken as remotely accurate. Those Bozos – like all British newspapers -‘just make stuff up’. I wouldn’t surprised if they didn’t interview anybody at all and that “Nigel” or “Simon” the reporter just pulled it all straight out of his ass.
    British media is shameful.

  2. Amazon is the big, big competition with Apple in the iTunes area.
    This is probably one of the reasons for the Apple stock drop. Sure people will still load their Amazon songs on their Apple iPods, but it reveals a potential big weak point in the Apple empire.

  3. Prof. Duck Plazmunt,

    That all sounds so very important until you consider that Apple breaks even or makes very slight profits on iTunes Store sales and that Apple makes large profits on hardware (iPod, iPhone) sales and that Jobs himself precipitated this with his call for DRM-free music.

    In other words, Amazon is no threat to Apple. Apple wants more services like Amazon that sell DRM-free content in non-Microsoft format(s).

    Likewise, Amazon has nothing to do with Apple’s stock drop which is tied to macro economic factors (general “worries” which conveniently seem tied to every major election cycle) and, frankly, many investors’ ignorance about technology companies. They can’t seem to figure out that the reason PC makers are doing so poorly is because of Apple doing so well.

    Apple created the climate which allowed for Amazon’s MP3 DRM-free service, the existence of which reveals nothing except that Apple’s wishes are coming to fruition.

  4. “Amazon is the big, big competition with Apple in the iTunes area.
    This is probably one of the reasons for the Apple stock drop.”

    The stock drop has little if anything to do with Amazon. You’re giving them way too much credit. The stock drop has to do with the US economy, and is affecting almost everyone, especially in the Tech sector.

    “Sure people will still load their Amazon songs on their Apple iPods, but it reveals a potential big weak point in the Apple empire.

    Not if the video, games and iPhone / iPod touch apps parts of the iTS takes off. The iPod brand (and soon the iPhone) is so ubiquitous now, I just don’t see any success for Amazon hurting Apple too much. The iTS has never been about content per se; it’s always been about the iPod, and now the iPhone.

    Besides, I’m sure the labels will find a way to screw up their parnership with Amazon too ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  5. @ Duck – you’re a QUACK!

    Then recent drops have NOTHING to do with Amazon.
    You must be one of these bonehead analysts everyone loves to quote – you know, the guys that know NOTHING about the market and/or AAPL?

    Go back to washing cars, post-service at the Kia factory…

  6. What’s amazing is, thanks to all the markets they’ve wandered into, how many competitors Apple actually has. This can be seen as a good thing . . .they have diversified, but it also means they have many people gunning for them. Think about it:

    The entire recording industry
    The entire movie and television content industry
    oh yeah
    and Dell.

  7. Doesn’t it seem odd and rather un-jobslike that Apple “hasn’t been able to get another label to offer their library w/o DRM?” I can’t help but wonder if Steve is going to announce that all tracks will be DRM free.

    I know that the music industry loathes the fact that a computer company (Apple, no less) has beaten them at their game and shown them for what they really are, but it is just bad business to hold that big a grudge against a company with the resources and foundations (iPod, iPhone, iTunes) that Apple has. Certainly not out of the realm of possibility, but they also should be realizing that iTunes is only going to get more prolific with each iPod and iPhone that is sold- very bad business indeed.

    Maybe just a pipe dream, but it is very out of Steve’s MO to be lagging that far behind on something that should matter quite a bit to Apple. It would be quite a coup- no one is talking about it and it would come out of left field.

  8. Regarding Amazon being a threat or not…

    Most likely the plan of the Music Label is to get the business away from iTunes over to Amazon. Once iTunes is decisively broken, they will go back to DRM using Microsoft.

  9. Steve will come out – looking stunningly dated (why, in a tech world where everything is instantly old news, does he keep doing this) and say…

    1. Mac sales are up, the Mac is better than the worst of the competition, and he has nothing new to announce about the most important product in the Apple world.

    2. He wants to show us some new toy, something thinner, something about tee vee, something about how much better the phone is than the one you already bought, something about how you can get deeper into tunes (no matter you can’t tell the difference, it’s all about what he says you can do instead of what you can really do and you go for it every time).

    3. That’s it.

    Now you can relax and quit worrying about whether your Moscone feed from MDN and dozens of others is fast enough to keep you from hyperventilating on Tuesday.

  10. You’ve got to believe that the portable / ultra / tablet whatever isn’t going to be an Apple version of what’s already out there. M$ and DULL have not been able to create that market beyond a very small niche audience.

    No, whats called for is an iPhone like shift. Combine iPhone capabilities ( ie. no modem necessary for data access; but AT&T;and wifi data delivery) touch sensitive screen, handwriting, lack of physical keyboard, all in a svelte form-factor. That would leave the present clunky wiindows or Win Mobile competition for dead.

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