Best five MacWorld Expo rumors

The Apple rumor-rama charges ahead at full speed.

Steve Jobs may not be coming to MacWorld Expo in San Francisco next week, but that hasn't stopped the Apple rumor-rama from charging ahead at full speed.

This year is Apple's last at the storied trade show, and many are hoping the little company from Cupertino will go out with a bang. They always seem to come up with something to satisfy their legions, and this year shouldn't be any different even with Apple Senior V.P. of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller delivering the keynote address. So as you get ready for Apple's presentation on January 6 we present you with the top 5 most current MacWorld rumors.

iPhone Nano: We first brought you this rumor about a scaled down, super cheap iPhone in July 2007, and not much has changed since then. The analysts still say it's inevitable, the critics say it's unlikely and the fanboys are panting over mock ups and screaming, "yes!"

However, this time there might be a little more to it. Vaja -- a company that specializes in protective cases for mobile devices -- briefly added an iPhone Nano category to its Website where you could pre-order a case for your non-existent Apple toy. Vaja has since erased mention of the iPhone Nano, but the slip-up has put the rumor mill on overdrive today. Also, iPhone Nano clones have already been spotted in Asia. I guess the knock-off kings were getting too impatient and forged ahead without their inspiration.

iMac Upgrades: The hot rumor today is that a new iMac will come out with a magnesium-aluminum alloy chassis, a new cooling system and a 65W, quad-core chip set. This one is an under-the-hood extravaganza and some say the new chip set is designed with Snow Leopard-the next version of OSX-in mind. The new OS is supposed to optimize multi-processor cores.

32GB iPhone: One downside of spending all that money on an iPhone is its low storage capabilities. A 32GB iPhone could change all that. There has been a lot of speculation that the $99 refurbished 8GB iPhone means Apple is clearing out its inventory to prepare for the 32GB. We'll see.

Picasa for Mac: Google is planning a big presence at this year's MacWorld according to the company's blog. Picasa is a good photo storage program, and a Mac version has been a long time coming. Who knows? Maybe they'll pull out Google Chrome for Mac while they're at it.

iPhone Elite or Pro: All right, this one is not so much a rumor, but a fantasy. Gizmodo's mock-up of an iPhone with a physical keyboard and a juiced-up camera has a lot of people applauding the concept again. But let's put this one to rest right now: "Once you've used this magical display, there's no going back--it's unbelievable." That quote comes from Steve Jobs at the All Things D Conference in May 2007. Apple put a lot of engineering and marketing effort into marginalizing the Qwerty keyboard, and it's doubtful the company would rethink this one. It's just not going to happen.

So, will this year's MacWorld Expo meet our expectations or will Apple surprise us and go off in an unexpected direction?

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Ian Paul

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