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. Are we this desperate to drink the Kool-aid? It sounds like the play acting of little kids. Who gets to be the John Lovitz character, 30 years old and never kissed? Go outside and get some fresh air and work, be a functioning part of society.

  2. I’m still hoping for Apple to cool it with iTunes & YouTube on the Apple TV and just give me the desktop. Then I can access iT & yT if I want, and anything else on my computer I want. I imagine it’s wrong of me, but frankly I’m a bit resentful they’d piss around with the iT/yT limitation for so long. I had been imagining the iPhone/iPod Touch as devices which could/would run Leopard and stream it to a monitor of our choice, but became doubtful either of these devices would have the processing power. I will hope & not expect the new device will run a full Leopard & will stream our entire computing experience to the Apple TV. Again, here’s hoping!

  3. The device will fit into Apple’s new “3 Screens” philosophy (a mobile screen – iPod/iPhone, a personal screen – Mac, a family screen – AppleTV). This device comfortably complements the first Screen (mobile), with more complete computing offering than the iPhone/iPod version, without crossing over into the full-blown personal computing. Keep in mind folks, Apple’s core strategy has gently shifted towards delivering entertainment solutions. This means continuing their build-up around iTunes. The point is to engineer their entire product line into a seamless arc, from iPod Shuffle, all the way to AppleTV. Strategically, that would mean slowly converging user interface paradigm for these disparate devices into more and more consistent system that is transparent, regardless of the device. Ultimate result would be completely intuitive devices that work in the same way and give you your music, pictures and movies everywhere. In addition to that, you’ll have the rest of your (i)life on the devices where appropriate (E-mail, web, Pages/Numbers/Keynote, and the rest). You start with your music only (shuffle), add movies, photos and people (Nano), then the web and e-mail (Touch), then phone (iPhone), then more elaborate applications (Mac); AppleTV gives you the Nano (or Touch) for the whole family.

    The point of this entire process is as it has been from the beginning of the iPod – building the whole widget. The little new portable device would, if it ever is released, fit neatly between the iPhone and the Mac, adding room for more powerful apps than iPhone, and more portable computing than MacBook/Pro/Air.

    At this point, it is unlikely anything Apple builds would bomb. They’ve been having a hard time creating a thoroughly unsuccessful product lately (say, five years).

  4. I was watching an episode of Stargate:Atlantis the other night and they all had what looked like laptop screens without the keyboard/computer part. I know it’s fiction but i remember thinking how cool they were. If you like to work standing up and walking around that is.

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