Apple needs to make a new PDA

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Gherkin, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. Gherkin macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Wasn't the Newton sort of a failed attempt at an Apple PDA?

    Apple needs to design a new one. Just think, the sleek, stylish, business look of the Powerbooks on a palm sized device. It would integrate into OS X totally linking with all programs and features. For instance, you could do specific things on the PDA like make those little stickie notes on the desktop (it would send them over when you iSync) and maximizing programs like GarageBand and iTunes (PDA version of iTunes? What if they made this thing with a healthy sized HD?).

    The possibilities would be endless if Apple put their creativity and tech behind a super advanced PDA like this. It could be a revolution in computing, and that's what the computer industry needs right now. All we read about anymore is "faster processors, more RAM." I want to here about new creative ways to use computers. Hopefully Apple can usher in the next generation.
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #2
    The Newton was a success everywhere except the marketplace. Its major problem was that it did much more than the competition, but at a much higher price than the competition. Palm ate its lunch. However, cell phones are now eating Palm's lunch. The PDA is dead. Cell phones now do everything that the PDA did and so much more. And, they are cheaper to boot. Exactly how does Apple make a profit selling PDAs in 2004?
     
  3. RBMaraman macrumors 65816

    RBMaraman

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    #3
    Oh no, here we go again.

    This topic has been discussed more than any other Mac topic in the history of the Earth.

    Steve has said numerous times that Apple will never make another PDA. He hates PDA's and see's them dying in the future. I tend to agree with him, especially with laptops getting smaller and smaller.

    Oh, and the Newton wasn't sort of a failed attempt at a PDA, it was a failed attempt at a PDA. Though, people still debate whether it was an actual failure. (Given time, I think it would have taken off if Steve hadn't discontinued development.)
     
  4. mvc macrumors 6502a

    mvc

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    #4
    Never mind the PDA, what about a phone ;-)

    Done to death, this topic is, but what's really needed is an all-in-one device the size of the iPod mini that is also a gsm phone/pda/mp3 player/fm radio/voice recorder/CF card reading 60gb photowallet that wirelessly connects to everything using Bluetooth, GPRS, and WiFI and can output straight to TV/Audio.

    I would buy one of those. Any traveller/photographer would.

    I am hoping for most of that functionality in the 4th Gen iPods coming up.

    Some Sony Clie models have most of this functionality, minus the harddrive basically, which renders them much much less useful. The iPod has the hard drive but not enough useful other features and software.

    Hello - Apple/Sony, get your frigging heads together! It's called convergence.
     
  5. Krizoitz macrumors 6502a

    Krizoitz

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    #5
    This horse has been beaten to a bloody pulp...
     
  6. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #6
    I think we're splitting its atoms now... ;)
     
  7. Gherkin thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I'm not just talking about a PDA though. This thing, if done right, would be just barely below the functionality of a laptop. There'd still be a market for a full featured computer in a laptop size though.
     
  8. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

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    #8
    PDAs are such a niche market though. Most people, if they need one, will only use one in their lifetime. How much "advanced" can an addressbook/planner get? Most people still use the pen/paper trick. I know modern PDAs can do more, but even then, that is even a niche-er market. I have a PDA, but I'll prolly use it until I can't sync it to my main computer anymore (like if I upgrade my computer and my old Palm software quits working with the new OS). I am also one of those freaks whose "scared" of cell phones so you won't see me using a PDA+Cell. But my days are numbered and I know this.
     
  9. wHo_tHe macrumors regular

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    #9
    Gherkin, definitely check out a Newton MessagePad 2100. The final Newton rocked and really was a small computer, not a PDA.

    Be sure not to sell it short just because it's now six years old. Many 2100s (and upgraded 2000s; they're identical) are still in use daily and still do things no other PDA can.

    I can't name one other piece of computer equipment which I still use daily -- and in really important situations -- that's even close to six years old.
     
  10. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

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    #10
    yea, and would cost 900.00...have you seen how much a handheld pc costs? (like some of the clamshell hp models, some of the subnotebooks in japan, etc...) its so damn expensive to get all those parts you want together you're reaching a (rapidly shrinking) niche market. laptops are more portable, pdas are bulkier, phone pdas are taking off...apple is smart to stay the hell away from that market.
     
  11. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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  12. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    #12
    I have a Tungsten T2 and it runs my life very nicely. Very good for carrying around excel sheets when I go price matching. I get daily use from the calender, to do list, address book for personal and business purposes. I even carry round photos and street maps when I travel to avoid losing odd bits of paper. And when traveling or at work it makes a great alarm clock and meeting reminder.

    Now that Palm has forecast to discontinue supporting the Mac I am hopeful that within the next 12 months Apple will have a new iPod out that will support many of these features. We shall see
     
  13. mvc macrumors 6502a

    mvc

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    #13
    Yep, the 4th Generation iPods sound like they are heading this way soon. :)
     
  14. mvc macrumors 6502a

    mvc

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    #14
    What you see as a minefield could also be perceived as an opportunity waiting for the right combination of cheaper/faster/smaller/lower power consuming hardware and inspired interface design. Sounds like Apple (iPod) to me, just a question of when.
     
  15. G5orbust macrumors 65816

    G5orbust

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    #15
    Good God... The Newton is not making a comeback.

    And no, just in case you were curious, Apple is not making a cell phone either.
     
  16. mvc macrumors 6502a

    mvc

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    #16
    Bet they are! ;)
     
  17. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    #17
    :D Well I think like the Cube, there would be buyers.

    I agree with other arguments put forward that unless Apple continue to innovate and offer the public what they want, other compnaies (ie Sony) will produce what they have and throw in enough other functionality to outclass them. No resting on laurels please.
     
  18. mvc macrumors 6502a

    mvc

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    #18
    That too!

    The CUBE ! Now there was another good idea about 5 years too early.

    So reinvent the same concept now, only in chrome/aluminium to sit nicely with the home theatre, stonking dual g5 3ghz processors with 8 x superdrive and a big mother hard drive connected (preferably wirelessly) to everything including your computer monitor/keyboard & mouse/TV/Tivo/DVD/iPod/Stereo/KitchenWizz!

    The Apple iHub™.

    Yours today for $19999 :p
     
  19. 5300cs macrumors 68000

    5300cs

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    #19
    I agree, get a 2100, it's a really nice machine. The handwriting recognition on it is spot on once it gets used to you.

    It was killed in 1998, yet there are still people developing for it. There is ATA support, WiFi support and even BlueTooth support being worked on now. It never ceases to amaze me what the Newton will do.

    But as long as Stevie is at the helm, forget it. It won't come back and they won't make a new one. The market is held by pocketpcs (yuk) and Palm. There is no room for a niche PDA and Apple would risk loosing a lot of cash.
     
  20. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Apple making a cellphone is a waste of time and money.

    If Apple were to make a new portable device, I think they should make the Type I Phaser. Follow that up with the iPhaser. Then the Type II Phaser. then the...
     
  21. noel4r macrumors 6502a

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  22. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    #22
    And dont forget to put in a digitial TV tuner! :D
     
  23. mvc macrumors 6502a

    mvc

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    #23
    Hmm, seems not everyone agrees, just got these results of the macworld.co.uk poll.


    What should Apple invent next? The world's best...

    Digital camera (62) 11%

    Telephone (156) 28%

    Games Console (32) 6%

    Mouse (63) 11%

    Keyboard (8) 1%

    Speakers (7) 1%

    Backup system (26) 5%

    Personal transport device (44) 8%

    Home Cinema (109) 20%

    Other (tell us) (48) 9%



    So it's Cellphones, followed by Home Cinema and a long way back to the rest - its all about convergence now.

    Cellphones will eat the iPod just like they ate the PDA, unless the iPod type devices become more broadly useful, preferably by including a phone.

    The end result of all this convergence won't be a just a phone anymore, but it certainly will have to be able to be used as one. It's the ONE device you HAVE to have, so it will be the device that engulfs the others as the technology becomes available.
     
  24. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

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    #24
    APPLE WILL NOT MAKE A CELLPHONE (at least not anytime in the conceivable future)
    1) the market is oversaturated with phones and companies.
    2) There are 5 major cell phone companies; do you want to switch companies if apple can't support all of them?
    3) How do you propose apple will market and sell this phone? In the stores? Would they invite cell phone kiosks in? Without the explicit support of the cell companies they arent going to get anywhere in selling a cell phone, and they'd have to play ball their way. That would mean a kiosk probably in apple stores that would be hawking the phones to you.
    4) Price. Convergence phones are really really expensive. The way they become more affordable is generally rebates and new signing bonusses that cover some chunk of the phone; nothing in apple's strategies shows they are willing to subsidize that much.
    5) Compatibility. Is it going to run a modified OSX? Who is the market? Mac users? Windows and Mac users? Standalone phone users? Even combined the marketshare of peopel who would buy that phone would be tiny, and barely worth the r & d.

    I could be wrong, but those are some hefty obstacles, especially when the CEO does not seem like such a fan of the pda, convergence or otherwise.
     
  25. mvc macrumors 6502a

    mvc

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    #25
    Same state of affairs hasn't stopped PC's overwhelming Mac's, despite eroding profit margins for all. It is this sheer competition that will crush the iPod in the same manner if they don't act to evolve the product.

    This is an objection that only really exists in America. Basically there are two - three major systems worldwide, and many phones now support all of them seamlessly allowing global roaming with no particular concerns about being locked to specific phone companies at all. Sony Ericsson do great tri-band phones s700, s900 that look a lot like the sort of thing we are headed for.

    Once again this is not how phones are sold globally, they are an off the shelf item from many commodity electronic & appliance outlets in other places with no connection at all to the specific companies that might service them, and I suspect it will become increasingly like that over time in most places, even in the US. You buy a phone you like that also works with the company you like. Usually you have several options of company for any given phone. The US lags far behind most of the western and especially eastern world regarding cellphones.

    All Cellphones are always catastrophically expensive for the first 6 months, and then the exact same item becomes cheaper and cheaper until it becomes practically a giveaway. So this objection is no real objection over time. Apple has no fear of high prices anyway, but they will have to work harder to produce a superior product that doesn't just get commoditized and purchased purely on cost.

    iPods run an OS of their own that can be accessed by PC and Mac. So do most phones available now. There are no major compatability issues here if Apple doesn't want them to exist for marketing reasons.

    The real issue is not if this is a desirable move, but really that it is inevitable. Cellphones will eat the iPods marketspace over time, just as they ate away at the PDA.
     

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