Restyled widescreen iMac to push iMovie, MacOS X

And Apple lets slip on iPhoto

Mac Rumour Roundup Apple's next-generation iMac is due to be launched in July - at MacWorld Expo New York, we imagine - with widescreen monitors and touted as a MacOS X machine.

That's according to AppleInsider sources, at any rate. The new machine is apparently designed as the bee's knees video editing system - an approach Apple is currently using to promote the PowerBook G4, thanks to its wide LCD display.

Whether the new iMac will use the same LCD panel as the PowerBook isn't known. Since the iMac's launch nearly three years ago, there have been rumours aplenty that Apple was preparing a model with an LCD panel. Cost, we suspect, has been the main reason that the prototype has never been commercialised.

AppleInsider points out that Apple needs "something radical to spice up interest in the iMac line". Apple certainly needs to revive interest in the line, but with the current iMac such an icon, it needs to make sure it doesn't lose that compact, stylish all-in-one look that has become as instantly recognisable as a VW Beetle.

We reckon that's why Apple has always held back from shipping a version with an ungainly 17in CRT display. As the old Performa 5400 proved, it's very hard to make an all-in-one with that form-factor not feel like it's taking up ten times as much desk space as it does.

Still, three years on, maybe the time is right for a true 'iMac 2'. Certainly one source tells AppleInsider the changes to the new machines will be "bigger and more apparent than ever before".

Sources also say the new machines will sport a1 133MHz frontside bus, 533MHz and 633MHz G3-class processors, and Nvidia GeForce 2 MX graphics - all plausible extensions to the iMac family whatever changes Apple makes to the machine's styling.

Interestingly, they will also be pushed as MacOS X machines. Apple wants to prove that its next-generation operating system truly offers the power of Unix with the consumer friendliness of the iMac, so such a move makes a great deal of sense, and stresses the new OS rather better than simply bundling it with existing machines.

Steve Jobs said Apple's future success would be founded on solutions rather than systems, and the latest leaks from the company suggest his strategy is proceeding with vigour.

Apple is sponsoring a seminar on digital photography workflow this Friday, and the details for the New York-hosted event happen to mention a product called iPhoto.

An iTunes for pictures? iPhoto certainly sounds like it, and various Web sites have suggested it will allow users to get picture off a digital camera, do a little image manipulation and archive or print the results. Most of the comments on the software seem to be derived from extrapolating it's name rather than on data from sources, but given that 'i' name the guesses are likely to prove accurate.

AppleInsider also mentions a product called Studio in a Bag, which it describes as a workflow management tool for digital photography based on AppleScript and ColorSync.

Related Links

AppleInsider: Apple to introduce iPhoto and Studio in a Bag
AppleInsider: OS X iMac may contain widescreen

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