Translating Cringely

I’ve twittered my disappointment before, but I still can’t get past how a fairly experienced and well-connected pundit can continue to churn out such nonsense. I’ll try a Gruber-style translation:

We were led to expect more – a lot more [from the 14 October announcements]. And I am not talking about rumors. Back on July 21st in his regular conference call with industry analysts, Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said that Apple’s profit margin would likely shrink from 34.8 percent in the just-concluded quarter to 31.5 percent in the quarter ending in September.

I’m under the impression that announcing a product in mid-October can affect profit margins in July, August, and September, and that Apple shares my delusion.

I think the delayed product has everything to do with Apple’s desire for Blu-ray DVDs to die as a standard… The alternative Jobs would like to offer, of course, is full 1080p HD video distribution on iTunes…

Blu-ray and 1080p feel important to us pundits. Tech companies should make them top priorities even though users don’t care about them.

Snow Leopard is late, but then operating system updates are always late, no matter the vendor. This delay could be for any number of reasons and there are probably several, but one of them I can guarantee you has to do with H.264.

A product announced three months ago with a general release timeframe nine months away is already late, and I even know the particular feature holding it up. If Snow Leopard ships a day after 9 June, 2009 I will claim to have predicted it.

More than a year ago I made a big point of predicting that Apple would go to H.264 hardware acceleration, though I pinned it on a specific chip from NHK and NTT in Japan.

Please ignore that I repeated this claim as fact just two months ago, this time detailing pricing information. I will now go on to explain why, despite having all the facts completely wrong, I was still completely right.

So what happened to that NTT chip? I don’t know. Maybe it was too expensive and fell out of the plan. Maybe it’s in there still and Nvidia licensed technology from NHK and NTT to enable the new hardware acceleration (this is just a speculation – I’m not at all saying they did).

I haven’t heard of OpenCL, which makes use of GPUs instead of special-purpose coprocessors, nor did I notice its prominent mention in Apple’s Snow Leopard press release. I don’t see Apple’s inclusion of multiple GPUs in its new machines as an indication that they intend to rely on commodity processor and GPU technology for performance instead of proprietary coprocessors.

What if Psystar comes out on top and has the right to sell Mac clones based on the Hackintosh model? Then Apple will have to break that model by becoming more proprietary and therefore harder to emulate.

I believe that Psystar is a serious enough threat that Apple would completely redesign their computers to put them out of business. I think there are lots of users willing to pay for a computer that Apple explicitly tells them will not work.

Snow Leopard, I’m told, will make seamless use of as many cores as are available. It isn’t clear whether applications will have to be rewritten to take advantage of this capability, but I’m guessing they will have to be. This is just a guess, mind you, but is consistent with the sort of demands Apple likes to place on developers.

I don’t know anything about multithreading, and my ignorance of actual released information about Snow Leopard extends to the Grand Central parallelization technology. Apple could have solved among the most challenging and well-researched problems in computing—automatically multithreading single-threaded code—but they like making things tough for developers.

Imagine a single core in an iPhone, two cores in an Apple TV, 2-4 cores in a notebook, 4-6 in an iMac, and 8+ in a Mac Pro. Wait a year then refresh all those platforms by doubling the number of cores with no change in software.

I don’t know anything about processor design or software engineering.

Moving to its own microprocessors would maintain Windows compatibility (though possibly at some lower performance level), cut hardware costs by $200 or so, and make it that much harder for others to build Mac clones in the future.

The whole “Apple needs to run on commodity hardware!” meme was played out after the switch to Intel, so I’m starting an “Apple needs to build their own processor!” meme.

…maybe January MacWorld is better, anyway, if Apple can also introduce new Mac Pros for content creation and those rumored giant Apple displays (HDTVs) with their built-in Apple TVs.

I’ve been predicting imminent arrival of Apple-branded HDTVs for several years now. I won’t let it go. The best time to release a big TV is just after the Super Bowl, right?