Buying stock in Macworld 2008.

Steve Jobs introducing the iPhone at Macworld 2007.

My GCal countdown says “1 day until: Macworld.” The time is almost here, and every Apple fan knows it.

But unlike last year, there’s no oh-my-dear-sweet-Jesus news waiting for us. At least that’s what everyone, like John Gruber at Daring Fireball, thinks:

And so what I’ve noticed over the years is that in the week or so prior to a keynote, if expectations are running too high, word somehow gets out, at least to the press. What made last year’s pre-Expo prelude so electrifying is that while speculation was rampant that Apple would announce a phone, there was no one — no one — saying “Well, that’s not what I’ve heard.” When, in the face of white-hot speculation, Apple goes totally silent both officially and privately, that’s when they have something big.

Things were dead quiet last year. And they seem pretty quiet again this year. Donning my Cupertino-Kremlinology hat, I can’t help but see last week’s week-before-Macworld debut of brand-new Mac Pros as a hint that their keynote announcements plate runneth over. But there’s a big difference this year — last year, speculation was running rampant about one particular thing, “the phone”; this year, not so much. The consensus rumors and guesses are interesting but not earth-shaking.

In a mild/medium/hot scale, where mild is a lame keynote that’s mostly a “state of the Apple Union” address and hot is a major new product along the lines of the iPhone, my gut feeling is that we’re looking at a medium — spicy enough to be enjoyable, but not one for the ages.

Meanwhile, over at AppleInsider, the Newton drumbeat goes on. They say “Newton 2.0″ won’t be coming at Macworld 2008, but it’s “remains a work-in-progress, according to people familiar with the matter.” I think the Newton 2.0 rumor is still pie-in-the-sky mythmaking, especially considering that Apple has two items that could serve as light-weight PDAs. The iPod Touch and iPhone may lack the handwriting technology, but they’ve got just about anything else you’d need.

Anyone want to place bets? I already have. I just plunked down about $850 for five shares of AAPL, courtesy of ING’s buy-out of ShareBuilder. Apple’s stock was over the $200 mark for the first time about a week ago, and now it’s dipped to about $172 a share. Well I’m putting my money where my mouth is, and investing in a company I have great faith in.

Even if this Stevenote isn’t as big as last year’s, my money says it’ll be enough to keep Apple in the spotlight.

5 comments.

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