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.