Apple ‘iDevice’ closer to reality than first thought?

Did our very own SteveJack come closer to hitting the nail on the head than almost anybody first thought with his article, “Is Apple building ‘The Device?'” We originally ran his piece in our “Opinion” section on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 and many comments then said there was too much technology described to fit into a “Newton or a bit smaller” enclosure. Now we’re not so sure. If SteveJack ends up being close to the mark, we’ll stake our winning claim in the great “Guess the One More Thing” MacWorld San Fran 2003 contest. If not, we’ll still wish SteveJack was right.

This is an excerpt from SteveJack’s original article:

“iChat is rumored to be getting audio and video capabilities in addition to its current text messaging. Basically, you’d be able to chat with sound and pictures; iChat would become, quite simply, a videophone. It is not much of a technological leap to imagine a device running this new iChat, that contains at least a 20GB hard drive, a color screen and uses both Inkwell and a thumb-keyboard. This device, from Apple, capable of utilizing wireless GSM/GPRS networks, with SMS ability, could also run iCal, Address Book, iSync, and incorporate Rendezvous technology. I mean, Apple is obviously laying the foundation for something special with iSync and Rendezvous, and I don’t think it is just for the standard-issue ‘Digital Hub’ Macintosh desktops and portables.

This device, able to be made today with current technology, would easily be ‘The Device.’ Running Mac OS X or a mobile variant, it would allow the user to communicate via text, audio, and video. It would snap digital photos and organize them, do email, and browse the web. It would sync automatically with your desktop or portable Mac. It would run Sherlock for web services. With its large hard drive inside, and its included FireWire port, it would absorb the iPod by playing AAC / MP3 audio and interface with iTunes, but it would also play feature-length MPEG-4 movies, too, in full color. It would have the AM/FM tuner that iPod lacks, too. It would incorporate Inkwell for jotting down notes, interfacing with the device or sketching ideas. It would have built-in Bluetooth, which would allow for, among other things, short-range personal broadcasts; your own radio/TV station and any number of websites in your pocket. McDonald’s Drive Thru’s would accept payments via Bluetooth from “The Device.” And, of course, it would have the basics like any PDA; your date book, to do list, calculator, etc. I figure a form factor about the size or a Newton or a bit smaller would do the trick.

This would be ‘The Device.’ iDevice

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