Steve Jobs stood on stage during the last Keynote, unveiled the sleek MacBook Air, and then in what seemed like a moment of triumph, told the crowd that they can expect similar things from all MacBook models in the future. And like that, the rumor mill kicked into high gear, prognostications ran rampant, and everyone assumed that meant that the MacBook Air form factor and solid-state hard drives are coming in the near future to the MacBook Pro lineup.
This particular rumor seems to have some legs, as well-connected individuals in the Apple news world seem to all be in agreement. Solid-state drives (SSD), Light Peak, and no optical drives seem to be on the horizon in Cupertino.
Everyone’s been speculating about SSD in the MacBook Pro lineup since the release of the MacBook Air, but Light Peak is something that’s gotten very little press time from the Apple echo-chamber that we live in, but it’s starting to pick up a little bit. Peter Cohen, Grant, and I even chatted about Light Peak potential in future Apple products in Episode 343 of our “daily” podcast over a week ago.
The technology is surely on the minds of geeks, and more particularly Apple geeks, because Light Peak is apparently a joint venture between Intel and Apple (which is open for debate, btw), and it’s been rumoured that Apple will have the rights and exclusivity to Light Peak in their products early on.
The rumor goes something like this: The National Association of Broadcasters conference will be happening in April, and Apple would love to have revamped MacBook Pros, Mac Pros, and Final Cut Studio announced and ready to ship by the time the conference rolls around. This would mean that an announcement in the spring (March – April) is a likely bet.
Personally, I think the form factor and SSD drives are a likely option if Apple manages to figure out how to get more hard drive space into the MacBook Pros. I don’t know one professional who hasn’t complained about hard drive size in the Air (64GB – 256 GB). Apple knows this, and probably has a solution up their sleeves (data doubler anyone?). We also know that a “kickass” release of Final Cut Studio is coming soon, according to a terse email from Jobs. But, Light Peak has remained off the radar, and there’s no real indication that Apple’s been thinking about adopting it just yet. The previous rumors seem to be safer bets this time around, but the inclusion of Light Peak isn’t exactly that hard to believe either. Apple has a knack for embracing innovation long before others manufacturers do, and early reports had Light Peak slated for release to manufacturers by late 2010.
So maybe Light Peak is ready to ship.