Cheaper iMac? Who Cares?: "With the largest International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) ever wrapping up yesterday, many in the tech press are turning their attention to this week's MacWorld, an annual event held in San Francisco that highlights the rabid nature of the Apple fan base. As usual, rumors are swirling around this year's MacWorld event, with many expecting a $500 iMac based on outdated PowerPC G4 processor technology. But anyone interested in such a device is missing the point: Apple conceded the PC market years ago and its line of Mac computers now constitute little more than a niche market. No, the news from MacWorld this year will be all about consumer electronics and what Apple can do anything to build on the success of the iPod before Microsoft's PlaysForSure cabal can crush it like a bug.
While Apple's historically secretive approach to new products has both served the company well and driven excitement for its trade shows, the company is going to have to do something particularly impressive to thwart the momentum now building for Microsoft's Windows Media-compatible digital media platforms. At the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2005 in Las Vegas last week, an amazing array of companies were showing off software, online services, portable devices, set-top boxes, and other products that build on Microsoft's platforms. Apple, despite being a leading player in the MP3 market with its successful iPod, was not at the show. And the only products at CES that were even remotely Apple related were a few white iPod add-ons that got buried in a sea of Microsoft-compatible products."
$.07 (my standard bet) is that Apple will go for both of the above -- cheaper iMac and new consumer electronics.