RUMOR: Apple preps ultra-portable multi-touch wireless device

“I was first tipped on the existence of plans for a previously unknown Apple portable device, somewhat larger than the current iPhone, a few months ago. The device was described as having a touch screen and best suited to be gripped with both hands. A little later, another source provided a key piece of evidence that pointed to Apple working with the German company Balda on securing 5.2″ touch panels ( more than likely pre-production units ) for an unknown device. This tip was crucial in determining the approximate size of the device and where it best fits in the Apple product lineup. Balda is one of a handful of companies that design and manufacture ( in Xiamen, China) high scratch and shatter resistant, multi-touch capable displays for mobile handsets and is thought to have received orders for Apple iPhone,” David Sieger reports for Eye On Apple.

“According to my sources, the new device is more than likely based on Apple’s current portable platform ( ie. iPhone/Touch ) and once the SDK is released, a little digging inside the platform interface should reveal the extent of the platform’s capabilities and Apple’s plans for the portable multi-touch lineup. Moreover, 3G is part of the device specs with WiFi included as well,” Sieger reports.

“The mysterious device resembles less an Ultra Mobile Mac and more an upper model iPhone or a more capable next gen iPod Touch. In other words, the portable’s hardware seem to suggest not a fully capable and portable Mac but a device which depends heavily on wireless connectivity,” Sieger reports.

“Such a device is likely a year from introduction although, due to its 3G capability, may be introduced a full six months before being shipped ( similar to iPhone ) to clear the FCC hurdle,” Sieger reports.

More in the full article here.

45 Comments

  1. This will be a Wireless Media + Productivity + Internet mobile device. Lots of things can’t be done with laptop. For instance, during meetings, people take notes on paper… and those people actually happen to have laptops!!! This is just an example.

    So it will be:
    – A ultra-portable multi-touch device
    – Larger display than iPhoe/iPod Touch
    – With some kind of openable tripod for it to stand on a table if necessary

    It will allow you to do:
    – Note taking (Hand writting)
    – Document reading/basic editing (iWork document)
    – e-Book reading
    – Wireless Internet Browsing
    – Email
    – Video/Movies/Music/Photo
    – Sync wirelessly with other devices
    – Install other applications

    This device will allow you to do 90% of what you do with your laptop on the go. And lot of things you do during meetings, in the bus etc. This is the future of mobile computing. To do the rest, you’ll still have your desktop machine.

  2. A 5.2″ screen device, roughly an enlarged iPhone, would just about fit in the inside jacket pocket of your typical road warrior. A bit large for my shirt pocket, though. Fit nicely in my jeans … until I sat down.
    We’re seeing a form factor designed mainly for a fairly specific market, a market that includes most analysts (!), while ignoring most of the rest of the population. Got Skype? It could be your “iPhone”. As a status-gathering toy it certainly beats the iPhone in providing fodder during presentations … much easier to see the much larger screen at arm’s length.
    All that said, I’m sure it’s in Apple’s labs and much less sure it will ever see the light of day. Unless, of course, Apple consigns the MBA to the scrap heap after wringing every drop of free ink out of it.

  3. re: and the market for this sort of device is……??????

    Me!

    In other words people who run their own business who cant be bothered to plugin and turn on their laptops who need instant on mobile Mac tablet.

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