Revealed: Details of Apple’s Mysterious New Portable Device

December 24, 2007 at 2:41 pm 19 comments

Apple Ultra Mobile Mac

     I have been working on gathering more information about a new Apple portable device from several different sources during the past 6 months. I have pieced together the puzzle which portrays a picture of what can be perhaps best described as Apple’s rival product to the Intel Ultra Mobile PC ( UMPC ) initiative which has unsuccessfully tried to marry Microsoft’s Windows OS to a highly portable computing platform. 

     My strongest piece of evidence came from a trusted tipster about 4 months ago who described an image s(he) had seen of a mysterious touch screen device larger than the iPhone featuring one distinguishing button or depression on each side. At the time, unsure about the actual size of this new device, I reasoned that it could be a new generation of iPhone/iPod Touch or the much rumored Apple tablet. However, the device was later described to have been oriented horizontally on its long end, indicating that it was meant to be gripped with one hand on each side similar to a Sony PSP. This ruled out the Apple tablet which is, more than likely, a significantly larger device. It also ruled out iPod Touch since I have been previously tipped on the forward path of the iPod lineup by different sources, essentially confirming that touch screen iPods will not grow much in screen size.  

     Then about a month ago, another source revealed that Apple has shown significant interest in a 5.2″ 800 x 480 pixel touch screen design by Balda, a German company and the current iPhone screen supplier, and Wintek, an Asian component supplier. This second piece of evidence reveals the real purpose of this new device, an ultra mobile device occupying a position between the 3.5″ iPhone and the much rumored 7-10 inch Apple tablet. There was also a previous article I wrote which highlighted Apple’s sudden concern for flash memory supplies in 2008, despite industry predictions for next year which emphasize greater production and softer demand. This further confirms that Apple is working on a new device due sometime in 2008 that will put strains on the flash memory supply chain.  

     One thing not seen by any of my sources is a keyboard: it’s clear Apple will not be using a physical QWERT keyboard for this device, instead relying on its patented multi-touch screen as the sole interface for user input. This may be the reason why some have speculated that Apple may be on the verge of introducing a new generation of its famed Newton PDA. However, I firmly believe that the shrinking market for dedicated PDAs puts those speculations to rest, although various PDA functionalities may in fact be included in the final version of the device.

     This new Apple device, which could be an Ultra Mobile Computer, has not been sighted out and about the Apple campus or even in the area normally designated for testing new Apple products, suggesting that it’s still in the software and hardware design period. Once it’s physically spotted outside Apple’s secretive labs, we may see an actual product release of 6-8 months, closely following other new Apple product introductions.

     Above is a rendition of this new device based on what we know so far.

P.S.

The illustration above seems to have unintentionally irked a lot of people. Articles are often accompanied by a picture to make their point more clear to readers. As you read this post, it should become pretty clear that the illustration was meant to compliment the details that were revealed rather than become a focal point of the article. The article reveals hardware details and not the potential styling of this device.

D.S.

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19 Comments Add your own

  • 1. alexcrawley  |  December 24, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    This would be pretty cool, but must apple make every new product look somewhat like the iPhone ? I think they could do a better designing job, if they don’t then this, the iPhone and the iPod Touch will all look alike.

    Reply
  • 2. macinjay  |  December 24, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    It’s an intriguing concept: a device running OS X in your pocket, and not just a stripped down version like on the iPhone. Input for me would be a problem though if they are using multi-touch. It’s fine for the iPhone perhaps but won’t cut it on an ultra-mobile.

    Reply
  • 3. SteveN  |  December 24, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    “It’s the telephony, stupid!” If Apple can put functioning iChat and iSight into this gizmo for under $1000US, it’s pure disruption.

    Reply
  • 4. vagpod  |  December 24, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    This is going to be cool. Based on the far better OSX it will run much smoother than any tablet pc. I’ll have to agree with the comment of alexcrawley regarding the design though. Yes the iphone and ipod are successful design recipes but another product on those stylistic guidelines only brings monotony. Apple can excel on the design, I really hope they differentiate their styling for their tablet.

    Reply
  • 5. trademark registration  |  December 25, 2007 at 1:12 am

    Personally, I don’t like the design of the iPhone. It’s very boring, if you ask me. And the pic above looks almost identical. Cool concept; lackluster design.

    Reply
  • 6. fknoop24  |  December 25, 2007 at 7:48 am

    I love the iphone this looks interesting

    Reply
  • 7. web4u000  |  December 25, 2007 at 11:53 am

    yet another designer piece to drool for … very insightful post …. but just was wondering if it would come out as early as 2008 … if yes then guess we better tighten our belts startin now :D

    Reply
  • 8. eorse  |  December 26, 2007 at 1:34 am

    Does your source know if Apple will collaborate with Amazon for a better version of the Kindle? The Kindle (book reader) is a great market for Apple to tap into, and so it would benefit both Apple and Amazon. What are your thoughts?

    Reply
  • 9. David Sieger  |  December 26, 2007 at 11:23 am

    @ eorse: I think it’s best for Apple to improve e-book reader functionality within the existing iPod platform rather than introducing a new dedicated device. I also believe Apple doesn’t “collaborate” very well either.

    Reply
  • [...] Enlace: Revealed: Details of Apple’s Mysterious New Portable Device [...]

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  • 11. etavitom  |  December 27, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • [...] Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments [...]

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  • [...] Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments [...]

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  • 14. Derailing the Apple touchscreen UMPC fantasy | everygizmo.com  |  December 28, 2007 at 9:43 am

    [...] Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments [...]

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  • 15. Steve Ballmer  |  December 28, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    HAVE YOU PEOPLE LOST YOUR MINDS!
    Apple cannot possiblly make such a device!
    No one can! Just go with Vista, you’ll be ok!

    Reply
  • [...] Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments [...]

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  • [...] a new portable iDevice in 2008. The description of this new device matches very closely to what I’ve already revealed from my source to be an Apple UMPC ( Ultra Mobile PC ). Ihnatko [...]

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  • [...] memory upgrade wasn’t a total surprise ( Remember that my sources had revealed earlier that Apple is concerned with flash memory supplies in 2008 ) but it did come just 5 months after its introduction last September. I had also expected the 16GB [...]

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  • 19. Lachlan  |  June 13, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    Hehe, Eee-mac. Who copies who in this industry?

    Reply

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