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Buying into the Hype

John Federico

Every year around this time, the hype starts to build around the possible product announcements at MacWorld. Also about this time each year is when I swear that I won't get caught up in all the speculation. Let's just consider it an immediately failed New Year's Resolution.

AppleInsider always seems to have the goods and they're usually pretty accurate. The latest appeared today, when AppleInsider began the rumor that Apple would announce iWork, a new productivity suite that would include the (also rumored) Keynote 2.0 presentation software and a word processor called Pages (formerly known as Document).

Finally, the really big news is that Apple will offer a new, headless G5 iMac for under $500 (or $600, depending on which rumor site you believe). Speculation has surrounded a headless consumer-grade Mac for years, which came to fruition via the G4 Cube. It wasn't well received.

So, why try again? The market is ripe for this type of Mac. With the success of the iPod, consumers are much more aware of Apple computers, their elegant design, their ease-of-use and their lack of viruses and spyware. The gating factor for completing the "switch" has been price.

If you're a consumer, you might decide to ditch your PC for a Mac if you didn't also have to toss your monitor in order to by an all-in-one iMac or eMac - the equivalent of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I might even consider getting rid of my wife's G4 Sawtooth and replacing it with one of these headless iMacs.

Update: Merril Lynch analyst Steven Milunovich thinks that the headless iMac could become the "iPod of the Living Room". (via MacNN)