Rumors everywhere! Macworld to bring netbook; updated Mac Mini

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This is more like it! Apple events always spur rumors, but the build-up to Macworld ’09 has been uncharacteristically quite – except for the iPhone Nano rumor from yesterday.  So here we go with some real Apple rumors.

First up is the tireless rumor about Apple producing a low cost netbook. This time around, the analyst isn’t claiming any insider information, just good ‘ol fashion speculation based on the current market and economic conditions. 

That’s why he believes Apple will introduce netbooks next year that, like the company’s iPhone, will exist in an Apple-controlled “closed system” where software is delivered via the App Store, device restore is done from iTunes, backup is available through an optional online service, most likely MobileMe, and peripheral and add-on choices will be limited.

If Apple produces another netbook – they already have the Air – the scenario described above seems most likely. Apple wouldn’t want to erode MacBook sales with a diluted notebook, and anyway to capitalize on the App Store’s success would be a plus, as well.

The second rumor involves an updated Mac Mini debuting at Macworld which, to me at least, seems more likely than an Apple netbook. There was a time when the Mac Mini was declared dead, but those rumors were brushed aside. Just like the netbook rumor above, Apple needs a more tasty, low price computer and the Mac Mini might be the direction Jobs’ will take. This rumor, however, comes via an Apple corporate employee who sent the tip to Wired.

Basically, expect the new Mini to be modeled after the latest Apple notebooks. The tipster claims it will have an enclosure constructed of aluminum, eco-friendly components, and DisplayPort connectivity. Plus, it will sport Core 2 Duo options and the same GPU found in the new MacBook. Sounds like a MacBook encased in a box, really.

Hanging onto any Apple rumor is a great way to set one up for a large disappointment, but the Mac Mini claims seem most likely. The truth isn’t that far away as Macworld starts right before CES on January 5, 2009. We can’t wait.

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