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View Full Version : Mac Nano?


Ollie Lee
Sep 29, 2005, 02:39 PM
The recent move in the iPod line from hard drive to flash, mini to nano, got me thinking about where smaller and smaller technology could take Apple.

First there was the iMac and iPod. Then the iPod Mini and Mac Mini. Now we have the iPod Nano...

Just the naming pattern suggests the Mac Nano.

So what could we expect from an impossibly small Mac? An even smaller Mac Mini? Or a sleeker, sexier, smaller New Newton?

A smaller Mac Mini seems quite plausible. Some might say the current model is small enough, but plenty of people would have said the same about the iPod Mini. Many users would hope that the next generation of the Mac Mini would address two main concerns or shortcomings: the lack of mouse and keyboard, and the lack of a screen. However, such a small Mac with a bundled screen and keyboard would begin to resemble a laptop (albeit not as portable and with wires). Given that such a machine would be a consumer and not a pro model, there appears to be some overlap with the iBook. So perhaps a more mini Mac Mini is not the best vehicle for the next generation of small technology.

So what about a New Newton? The principle is fairly obvious, but again there are some issues about overlap with other concepts and/or existing product lines. Do Mac users need a fully loaded PDA? Are the current 12" Powerbooks and iBooks the optimum for functionality and size? If so, a stripped down PDA could emerge as the long discussed iPod Video. The utility of such a device has been debated extensively, and Apple have sent out mixed messages about whether or not they intend to pursue a 'vPod' or 'iFlicks' movie store. Ed Zander may have been way off the mark with his "screw the nano" comment, but he was right in one respect: "people are going to want devices that do more than just play music". Is convergence the key?

Or is the most obvious new Apple product not really a new product? Rather than a redesign of a product line, could we see flash memory and other advances being used to simply trim iBooks and (to a lesser extent, as pro users will demand pro performance) Powerbooks? Samsung has recently announced their intention to produce 32 GB flash drives in the near future, and this is just 8 GB short of the bottom end iBook. When one considers that flash drives require less power and that the Intel switch should provide some portable processors requiring still less power, then it is likely that a smaller / lighter battery is sufficent, which should mean smaller / lighter laptops.

There certainly are a multitude of possibilities that Apple could develop with flash based devices. While the technological improvements that would allow such developments are by no means exclusive to the Mac Maker, I believe that their relentless pursuit of combining functionality, style and performace should produce some fantastic products in years to come.

Lacero
Sep 29, 2005, 02:40 PM
Maybe for their new subcompact laptops? PowerBook nano. :D

carl201167
Oct 1, 2005, 04:21 AM
well, I'd love a "handtop" sized mac. A wi-fi device for email on the move, watching movies etc. Like a PSP I guess but from Apple

aswitcher
Oct 1, 2005, 04:56 AM
well, I'd love a "handtop" sized mac. A wi-fi device for email on the move, watching movies etc. Like a PSP I guess but from Apple

Throw in enough grunt to handle MS Word and I would be waiting with bated credit card

mfacey
Oct 1, 2005, 05:22 AM
Dropping cell-phone functionality in there would seem the most logical thing to do to me.

Apple would never make a pda. Those have just about reached the end of their life cycle. Smartphone would be the way to go.

DarkNetworks
Oct 2, 2005, 06:00 AM
Yet another Mac Nano...

Abstract
Oct 2, 2005, 06:14 AM
"Now introducing the iPod Pico: Have We Gone Too Far?"

question fear
Oct 2, 2005, 09:05 AM
1) The problem with the smartphone market would be working with the wireless companies. Granted, they have iTunes on a motorola, but moto makes the phone itself. Can you see Apple making a smartphone and selling it through cingular? Smartphones are not generally purchased outside of the cell provider store since they need to be activated, account info updated, etc. I don't see Apple making a shiny new toy and not selling it in their stores, nor do I see Apple investing in cell phone plan retail in their stores either.

2) The pda/handheld market is struggling. Apple would have to have something so compelling and cross-compatible that it would make the average end-user flock to it, as well as businesses. Earlier this week, PalmOne dropped Palmsource as their operating system on the Treo smartphones in favor of....WINDOWS MOBILE. What this means for Apple, and any other company trying to get into the PDA business, is that they would need to get to the corporate end-user and convince them an Apple OS on a pda would be better. And why listen to Apple now? Especially when many of their staff probably have treos and blackberries and ipaqs, and that's where their IT folk are focused...And really, if the (arguably) most successful (at one time) PDA operating system has lost to windows what was once it's flagship product, Apple would be crazy to break into that market.

Yvan256
Oct 2, 2005, 09:59 AM
2) The pda/handheld market is struggling. Apple would have to have something so compelling and cross-compatible that it would make the average end-user flock to it, as well as businesses. [...] And really, if the (arguably) most successful (at one time) PDA operating system has lost to windows what was once it's flagship product, Apple would be crazy to break into that market.

That's the problem (and solution) right there: the whole "PDA OS" line of thinking was required ten or twenty years ago, but not anymore.

Apple can (and should) bring a "PDA" that's more along the lines of an old iBook: G4/1GHz (or Celeron D/1GHz, whatever), 512MB RAM (no upgrade slot), 20GB/1.8" drive (perpendicular), 800x600 touch-screen display (are OLEDs cheap/good enough yet?), small full keyboard, wi-fi, bluetooth, webcam, etc. Kind of like those palm-top sized PDAs from Sony (the small laptop kind, not the Palm kind).

The problem with PDAs is (and always was) that they require special software. If Apple can bring a PDA that runs the same thing as your desktop/laptop (even if it's slower), the whole mess disappears.

question fear
Oct 2, 2005, 01:28 PM
That's the problem (and solution) right there: the whole "PDA OS" line of thinking was required ten or twenty years ago, but not anymore.

Apple can (and should) bring a "PDA" that's more along the lines of an old iBook: G4/1GHz (or Celeron D/1GHz, whatever), 512MB RAM (no upgrade slot), 20GB/1.8" drive (perpendicular), 800x600 touch-screen display (are OLEDs cheap/good enough yet?), small full keyboard, wi-fi, bluetooth, webcam, etc. Kind of like those palm-top sized PDAs from Sony (the small laptop kind, not the Palm kind).

The problem with PDAs is (and always was) that they require special software. If Apple can bring a PDA that runs the same thing as your desktop/laptop (even if it's slower), the whole mess disappears.

Your idea is compelling BUT it would be expensive AND would only appeal to mac users. Unfortunately, that means you're taking a device that would appeal to a small segment of the population, and slicing that down further. In addition, the biggest market for pda-type devices like you described are business users, especially travellers, but how many of them use macs at the office?
PDAs haven't been killed by the software problems, they've been killed by the lack of a need for them in their current form. while a small pda with a full word processor, wifi and a keyboard would be great, if it costs as much as a laptop and only syncs with macs, that's as bad as a pda with special software. Besides which, apple has been trying for cross operating system compatibility on their peripherals, why backtrack that drastically on that much of a gamble?

G5Unit
Oct 2, 2005, 01:31 PM
Check this out (http://gprime.net/video.php/ipodflea)

RobHague
Oct 2, 2005, 03:02 PM
Hmm, id rather have a larger Mac Mini that was more expandable ;) like say you could put another graphics card into it (like a sort of Cube i guess). That would be nice, a Mini with an AGP/PCI-E slot. So you can upgrade the graphics or add something else.

Ah the G4 Cube. I remember that system was teh first time i saw a Mac and thought "OMFG I WISH I COULD AFFORD THAT" :D unfortunatley for me, while i could maybe have been tempted when it came time to buy a new system the G4 Cube ceased production by Apple :(

MacFan25863
Oct 2, 2005, 03:04 PM
Apple has said they don't plan on putting OS X OEM on stuff like dell computers....but what about a live version of X that fits on a flash drive? You could have your entire Mac in your pocket...plug it into any computer, and your mac will pop up, doesn't matter if its x86 or PowerPC. They could market it as an extension of your mac...when you are home, you use your computer, sync it with your iLive, and then whenever you sit down at another computer, your own desktop pops up.

illegalprelude
Oct 4, 2005, 05:57 PM
I personaly dont care for something small. i have a powermac G5 and hell, if that hting I had to be bigger so i could have more Firewire/USB and rooms for other graphics card, then bring it on

Spock
Oct 4, 2005, 07:05 PM
I want a flash based Mac Nano shaped like a Apple logo!!!

mkrishnan
Oct 4, 2005, 07:25 PM
I want a flash based Mac Nano shaped like a Apple logo!!!

:D

Actually, though, I have to admit I am excited about the idea that there could be a flash-based notebook computer sometime soon.... That would be very interesting to me. :)

Dr. Dastardly
Oct 4, 2005, 07:34 PM
I would love a pocket PC Mac. If they could incorperate a phone in there all the better but for all the tape they would have to slash through I doubt that that would be much of an option.

It would have to be about the size of a smart phone. I don't see a 10" lappy thing working out because that is just to big. It would HAVE to fit in your pocket before anything else or no one would buy it.

I get the feeling that the iPod will be the evolution of all this. Seems like some people say that if only it had video then it would be the end all for all their digital needs.

October 12th anyone. :p

Spock
Oct 4, 2005, 09:56 PM
I would love to have a new flash based Mac, I remember booting my Classic from the ROM it ran pretty fast. I would love to not hear that clicking from my Powerbook