More Speculation and 'Sources'

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by MacRumors, Oct 17, 2001.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001
    CNet has an updated article regarding Apple's mysterious Digital Device. They revise their previous hints of a portable MP3 player... instead:

    Apple apparently is not planning to introduce a portable MP3 player, but something more sophisticated such as a component for a home digital stereo system, sources said.

    Take all with a grain of salt... the "musical" nature of this device is coming only from CNet. Most others have little idea what exactly is coming.

    Adding more fuel to the fire, Apple's CFO (Fred Anderson) is quoted with the following: For instance, next Tuesday we'll be unveiling a groundbreaking foray into the digital arena.

    A "groundbreaking" and "breakthrough" device... hmmm...
  2. iBug macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2001

    shhh, don't tell anyone.

    it's a smartphone on steroids. complete with pda, music and video.
  3. ThlayliTheFierce macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2001
    San Luis Obispo, CA

    Yes, yes, we've heard it. I remain skeptical. Can you say anything else besides that?
  4. csosalanz macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2001

    Could it be a a/v device? Something that could play music (iTunes) and display pictures and movies (quicktime). Which could have a link back to the iPicture trademark reported in june. Perhaps a type of portable digiFrame?... one can dream.
  5. Holaoha Guest

  6. prosaic macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2001
  7. jon2620 macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2001
    IEEE 802.11enabled portable thin client

    Recently, I read an article suggesting that Apple is developing an IEEE 802.11 (Airport™ in Apple-glish) enabled portable thin client, built on a low power-consumptive x86 chip (hello, Transmeta!). The device will allegedly simply run an OS X shell; the actual processing and storage will occur back at the family/office PowerMac. Hmm, does it seem plausible that Apple is slowly and slyly shifting from a "Single/Multiple-User PC" paradigm to a "Server Appliance/Thin Client" paradigm to anyone else? I wondered what Jobs meant by his obscure reference to the Macintosh becoming the "Digital Hub" for our new "Digital Lifestyles" over the next coming years in his second-to-last keynote address. It seems Apple might have to get on this new "tablet" bandwagon, as Microsoft surely seems to be pushing the notion--though MS wants your entire system on-board, and Apple's alleged strategy would enable much cheaper hardware than a standalone Tablet PC from "the competition" with its onboard storage media.
  8. Traveler macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2001
    I may be speaking out of my ass but...

    If I'm reading you right, your theory (while still vague) is about the most intelligent and well back idea out there. Along with Jobs' keynotes and the new gigawire patent the mystery device could well be a high concept PDA somehow equipped with wireless-airport internet/(some sort of comm. abilities) that works as a stand alone device running a stripped down version of OS X(writing app, email, address book, other cool sh*t) but also relies heavily on its interaction with a base computer (reasons unknown). If the device is "cool" enough(ie, everyone including non mac users will want one)then it would be a great marketing tool in that it would encourage non mac users who buy the PDA to convert out of necessity.

    Sure, there are a bunch of PDA's already out there and windoze even recently released their updated pda software, but it's all pretty mundane and unexciting. Seems to me the the market is still young and maleable and there is definitely room for a creative energy like apple to come along and blow the competition away with an entirly new physical design along with a faster processor, better screen and improved functionality. Companies like Palm and Compaq are restricted in their development because they are obligated not to sever ties with their previous devices. It's bad business to alienate old customers so they have to gradually phase in the upgrades. Apple, meanwhile, has nothing holding it back and everything going for it... for instance, they're light years ahead of everyone with wireless technology, they have a proven track record of taking risks by embracing cutting-edge technologies and they stand to take advantage of new technologies like organic-electric diode screens (oed) and IBM's latest chip update.

    I have to agree with whoever said that when apples comes out with something new they do it big time and they do it right. I'm thoroughly expecting to be wowed and if anyone can deliver the goods it is apple
  9. blakespot Administrator


    Jun 4, 2000
    Alexandria, VA
    Here's what it is...

    I believe it will be a set-top box / component that ties to your Mac via wireless ethernet or cabled ethernet and will play MP3's through your stereo, tied to iTunes showing the Tag info on an LCD panel AND showing iTunes visuals, etc. on your TV screen---and it will also play quicktime movies on your TV.

    I half want to wonder if there'll be any TIVO-like features, but that might be pushing it---I think it will be more of a slave to the Mac.

    jon2620-- obviously it's not an x86-based device.

  10. oldMac Guest

    It's the Bandai Pippen!

    Apple's been warehousing these for a long time... Now it's time to unleash them on the world. :)
  11. Traveler macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2001
  12. kingleon macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2001
    This might not make sense from a marketing point of view but it makes sense technically.

    Apple's current strengths:

    1. Quicktime
    2. Firewire (version 2?)
    3. Altivec
    4. OS/X
    5. iTunes user interface.
    6. iMovie/interfacing with digital cameras

    Steve Job's focus: "digital hub"

    If I were working for Steve and was asked "What could we do with what we have that would be a focus product in the home" I'd say:
    PVR (TV is a home focus - feed it back to the
    TV using Quicktime streaming video.)

    Capture closed captioning - review the text of
    newscasts or TV show.

    Firewire input
    (move home video into the PVR space)

    Cable/DSL Modem (options)/Firewall/Router
    (hey, its a Mac motherboard running OS X -
    the firewall/router is easy in Unix)
    iTunes interface for Internet Radio, TV Shows,

    Web Cache (ie: Squid)

    Audio input and output - attach to stereo.

    Most of the PVRs out there are running Linux.

    Ethernet or Airport is a question; CDRW/DVDR is
    too. I'd build it so that you could add these
    as options without opening the case - just slide
    them in.

    No keyboard - network to PC/Mac with a simple
    browser interface like a laser printer.

    USB port for printer?

    Open it up for developers to create add on value.

    Just my 2 bits worth.

  13. oldMac Guest

    The Bandai Pippen was a failed joint venture between Apple and Bandai (Japanese toy maker).

    Basically, it was Apple's 1997 version of the XBox.

    Apple designed it and Bandai was manufacturing/selling it for a very short time (about 40,000 units worldwide) before the project was killed.

    Underpowered, overpriced, etc. It basically was a cross between a game console and Web TV.

    Not terribly unlike a Coleco Vision that was upgraded to an Adam. :)

    (If you don't remember the Pippen, I'm sure you won't remember that!)
  14. Traveler macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2001

    Thanks for the rundown on Pippen. Never really bothered to focus on the ins and outs of apple until recently, but now that I'm hooked it's certaintly interesting and addicting. And you're right.... I have no idea what either Coleco Vision or Adam are!
  15. DaveGee macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2001
    Re: Here's what it is...

    Why not? The Airport Base Station is...

  16. DaveGee macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2001
    Re: Thanks

    Oh my God... I just started feeling very old... Pong, Atari, InteleVision, ColecoVision (I had em all) and I even remember a time when we went OUT to play after school... Ghost in the grave yard, touch football, horse... now those 'games' has great graphics! ;)


  17. Traveler macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2001
    Don't Feel so bad

    Pong is an ageless classic. I brought my atari to college with me. Kick the can, Manhunt... fuggetaboutit. I was a master. I just don't happen to know what Colecovision is.
  18. DaveGee macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2001
    Re: Don't Feel so bad

    Ahhhh I feel YOUNG again!! You 'pre date' me when I just figured you 'post dated' me .... I had Pong in grade school and Atari in early Jr High. Yep that makes me an '80s' punk. ;)

    Mental note, one should never assume.

  19. Traveler macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2001
    Not Quite...

    I graduated college this year... brought my atari but mostly because of it's retro novelty. Sadly, it was practically an antique when my uncle gave it to me... he was one of ms. pacman's original creators. Although I have to admit I still feel a certain zen like concentration sweep over me when I run the score up on asteroid until the counter stops keeping track at 999,999
  20. fallt macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2001
    Feeling old...

    Don't feel old Dave, I also remember when playing after school involved going outside (outside... really?!@#$%^!) and enduring an hour's worth of what certainly felt like sub-zero Scottish temperatures. =]

    As far as memories of Pong go... for me it was really Defender that got me hooked (closely followed by DonkeyKong on the original GameBoy).

    Last, but not least, while we're on the nostalgia trip, for me it was a Sinclair ZX Spectrum (I have one, complete with manuals, tapes (!), etc. sitting right here beside my iMac).

    Getting back on topic, I was about to buy a Harmon/Kardon CD/.mp3/CDR duplicator/player: 30/230

    If Apple were to produce something like this that pulled the audio out of the computer-space to a separate hi-fi component which was served via Airport, well... that would make sense. Apple have, after all, collaborated successfully with Harman Kardon in the past (soundsticks, etc.).

    Just a thought.
  21. ThlayliTheFierce macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2001
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Not so sure

    I'm skeptical about the set-top box thing. Apple would be advertising to a very specific clientele, namely those with a modern (post-Airport) Mac, a stereo system, and the technical know-how to put it together. When you realize that Apple has 5% of the market, and half of that is education, you realize how small this number is. I think it will be something broader, like a media-pda (mp3, video, pda features), but one that really nails exactly what people are looking for. If they came out with this for < $400, I would buy one. I would not buy the set-top box any time soon, though, if ever.
  22. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    set up box or handheld

    either is taking the emphasis off the computer and it will be interesting to see how many non desktop items apple will get themselves into and if this will increase their revenue and net profits as a company
  23. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    ThlayliTheFierce, I agree with you... I feel like Apple will be targeting a broader market then some of those described here.

    Also, I think multi-combo functionality devices are also unlikely... not a very exciting ("groundbreaking") thing....

    A few thoughts...

    I don't think it will try to be a digital hub itself... Apple's been pushing the PC as the center of your digital world... so any product that decentralizes that would be going against Apple's theory.

    I think it will likely be more mass appeal... not sure if it will be OS X/Mac only... or will only benefit from having it around.

    So, there's digital audio, digital video, ebooks.... what about digital pen?

    :) Anyhow... just tossing that out ... I personally would be most happy with an Apple PDA.

  24. acidsteve macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2000

    I personally beleive, it is a Airport/wiresles networking device of a volume or some kind, which shows of each computer in a range of 22MBS or even faster which Gigawire?. It then does it with iTunes for music, and burning cds ect. I also think that you might be able to hook other devices to this "hub'" which will communicate to all other macs in that area, such as a video camera, sound editing hardware, zip drives ect.
    But who knows, it could just turn out to be a airport with a music player and a cd-rw..with a firewire port?
    But since Apple has added gigabit ethernet and airport built in, it might help for portable products too, even though these features are used anyway.:)

    This new product could come out to rock the Apple world, it could be a multi million dollar profit to Apple's behalf and spread new devices into the PC market and do what Firewire did,become standard in all pcs.

    Lets see on the 23rd.
  25. Guest who Guest

    New device

    I've been told that the new device is essentially a Kerbango ethernet internet radio with firewire interface, pcmcia for airport card, and possibly an E-Magic midi interface. Just think - wireless midi via airport.. A mic may also be contained in the unit.

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