Rumored ‘MacBook touch’ could be Apple’s ‘killer app for higher education’

Apple’s rumored “MacBook touch” could be “Apple’s Killer App for Higher Ed” writes John Paczkowski for AllThingsD’s Digital Daily.

Consider this rumor posted to MacDailyNews:

Think MacBook screen, possibly a bit smaller, in glass with iPhone-like, but fuller-featured Multi-Touch. Gesture library. Full Mac OS X. This is why they bought P.A. Semi. Possibly with Immersion’s haptic tech. Slot-loading SuperDrive. Accelerometer. GPS. Pretty expensive to produce initially, but sold at “low” price that will reduce margins. Apple wants to move these babies. And move they will. This is some sick shit. App Store-compatible, able to run Mac apps, too. By October at the latest.

Paczkowski writes, “Sounds plausible, doesn’t it? Certainly, given the success of the iPhone’s multi-touch platform and its speedy extension to the iPod Touch, it doesn’t take take a leap of imagination to see multi-touch making its way into a Mac tablet.”

“Running with this a bit further, a finger-as-stylus touchscreen Mac tablet would make a hell of a nice counterpart to Apple’s new MobileMe service, wouldn’t it? It would make a great e-book reader too–if Apple ever gets around to adding a bookstore to iTunes. And if Apple were to link it up to iTunes U, as it undoubtedly would, the Mac tablet might even become higher education’s killer app. Especially if it arrives at market right before school starts, as it seems scheduled to do. A notebook, a textbook AND a MacBook–all in one,” Paczkowski writes.

Paczkowski writes, “Sound like “a state-of-the-art new product that our competitors just aren’t going to be able to match” to you? Does to me.”

More in the full article here.


  1. Hmm, as a college professor, I can’t see it making a big impact in education unless it has a full keyboard. In addition, only a few textbooks are in E-print so far, and most colleges are heavily invested in Blackboard or Moodle as online learning environments. If Apple really has a product like this and really wants to make a big impact in education, they’ll need to create a whole eco-system to support it and make it attractive enough for both students and institutions to switch.

  2. Forget the iTablet. Tablet PCs have never been popular and it just wouldn’t fit the Apple line. Any new MacBooks and MB Pro’s are going to look more like the Air only with more ports and maybe with some models losing the optical drive. People will scream just like they did when the first iMac lost the floppy drive. They’ll get over it. Laptops will stay laptops but will be lighter and more transportable.

    Think Nintendo DS. What’s hot on the new iPhone3G? Games with movement control. With the price drop the Touch stands out like a sore thumb…not an iPhone, not an iPod. Make it bigger and don’t be surprised if it has a slide out keyboard. Origami meets Newton.

    ‘Nuff said.

    Posted by Hank Lavagnini at July 26th, 2008 at 1:45 pm from the original article.

    I think he’s on to something here. But I see the ‘keyboard’ combining gesture, and simply being a full-sized i-phone keyboard. that way folks like me could actually type on it.

    This might the first global laptop as it would be so simple to select the keyboard for any language…

  3. interesting, i also spend all my time on campus, and i watch more and more kids in my classes record everything to laptops or ipods, and only jot a few notes down.

    if they made this, and i prefer the 8 inch screen size for this idea, and gave it a good built in mic, and gave pages (or a new app) the ability to take notes that referenced the time they where typed/written to the sound recording, and got mobile me playing all nice with it…….

    as long as it has a video out, and truly tiny weight (small than the MBA) it would be very nearly perfect for my use both teaching and taking classes.

    ….can we have it in stock before the first fall class please?

  4. If this does come out it will not be a big tool for higher ed this year as it would take some time for the system to develop the tools for it. This is not to say students wouldn’t jump on this ASAP, as they are quite often a few steps ahead of there Profs in the Tech department.

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