Touchscreen imminent

Discussion in 'Hardware Rumors' started by Wry Cooter, Jul 12, 2002.

  1. Wry Cooter macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2002
    I saw about five different stories today on people selling Mac Kiosk solutions with touchscreen input as part of the software package. The odd bit was that there wasn't much talk of the hardware solutions, although at least one vendor sold whiteboards.

    Tie this in with Inkwell in Jaguar, and it seems very likely that the idea of an iTablet, or at least an iMac with built in touchscreen is probably one of the unexpected announcements at MWNY, as every focuses on notebooks and towers.

    This would be away to revive the bottom end form factor, and I see it as happening a couple of possible ways. The 'mira' concept, or old CRT iMacs with touch screens. The 'mira' concept, and iTablet, portable LCD screen with ipod sized HD storage, airport, CPU, etc right behind the screen, with bluetooth mouse and keyboard optional cost. Or a revitalization of the CRT iMacs, with touchscreens included built in at the OS level, to get more into the vertical niches of public info kiosks, cash registers, et al. And both could fall below the price point for current iBooks and Luxo Jr iMac G4s.

    Am I being re****lemus? We'll see next week
  2. drastik macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2002
    I think well see a tablet long before we see a PDA or something of that nature, I think the markets ripe for a tablet and the cost points could be kept low. I would love to have a slightly thicker 15in LCD tablet, a use for all those LCD mintors that are probably on their wayout. The thing already has USB ports. I think that if you culd buy these cheaply enough, somebody qwould have tried to build one by now. Anyway, apple couls do it right, and that form factor is lovely. Heck, I might buy onbe with a G3 in it.;)
  3. AlphaTech macrumors 601


    Oct 4, 2001
    Natick, MA
    Touchscreen kiosk systems/hardware that are made to run on Mac's is old news. I remember seeing the hardware offered more then a few years ago.

    I think it's more then just a little stretch to think that Apple will make that part of their systems for consumers, even power consumers. It's an option for information kiosks, since that means they get the stability of a Mac, without needing a mouse and keyboard (to get drinks spilled all over or stolen).
  4. dongmin macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2002
    What's so great about a touchscreen, other than for kiosks? Isn't it easier and more efficient to interact with your computer via the keyboard or mouse? Why would Apple bother with developing a touchscreen system for their imacs when there are already solutions out there?

    A tablet is a whole another animal. It's basically meant to be a beefed up PDA or a slimmed-down laptop. The idea here is portability.
  5. Wry Cooter thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2002
    Since some prgnosticators are guessing the Flat screen iMac is going to 17 inches, maybe apple will have some 15 ich panels to salvage and put into a tablet. Although if anything appeared to me to be encased in lucite in a non recoverable fashion, its the Luxo Jr screens. But didn't they have a small standalone LCD monitor as well? As much as I might like desktop space, they never hit a yummy pricepoint for me.
  6. dongmin macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2002
    I don't think they need to go up to 15" for a tablet. I'd like to see more of the iBook form factor, a 12" screen with 1024x768 rez. If you haven't noticed, the iBook is basically a letter sized notebook (actually slight wider). That size screen is more than fine for surfing the web or writing email or getting QT streams. I'd argue for even a smaller form factor to make it even more portable and to decrease costs.
  7. KingArthur macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2001
    Marion, Ohio
    I agree with AlphaTech....

    My mom use to have a touch screen mac laptop (I can't remember what type) in I think '93 or '94 when she taught the kindergarden "special ed" students. This is no new concept and I remember the touch screen worked fine, but it really did not help that much. If there is a touch screen mac it would either be with the iBook or iMac because it really has no relevance outside the age group of elementrary students.
  8. merges macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2002
    Has anyone investigated/thought about the cost of producing these products (R&D *plus* marketing, component costs, volume, etc.)--either the tablet only or the "iMac with touchscreen"--and considered whether or not it would be desirable for Apple to do it?

    Apple is very focused on the digital hub strategy; anything that doesn't immediately fit probably won't make into a product anytime soon. That is more of an old-Apple thing, developing lots of products and letting them duke it out in the marketplace.

    I personally don't think there's a big enough market for this kind of a technology for Apple itself to become involved in it right now. If they produced a tablet-only device, it probably wouldn't sell well (it would be very expensive too; Wacom made one of these some time ago and it was terribly expensive). And if they produced a touch-screen variant of iMac or some other computer, well, I doubt they could keep the prices where they are now, or somehow continue to meet their margin requirements.

    I guess that a tablet-thingy from Apple is wishful thinking.
  9. Wry Cooter thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2002
    Most of the threads in MacRumors have investigated/thought about why it might be so. Inkwell in Jaguar, left over from Newton days, and a focus on niches that could as easily belong to mac, from info kiosks to cash registers. Why ignore that niche? A mac is not a business machine?

    Most of the recent threads concerning a tablet have been very closely related to digital hub needs- several of them were floating the notion only as a digital picture frame, a wireless client for sound and vision wi-fied from an existing mac.
    It would be easy as pie for Apple to make a keyboardless iBook, a wireless thin client, that would depend mostly on having a more fully featured mac around. Put in an iPod sized drive and a airport card and CPU behind a LCD.

    Microsoft doesn't think its a lame idea, they call their version of the concept Mira. Sometimes you grow market share a crumb at a time, rather than leaving the crumbs to the pigs.

    Wacom to some degree was price gouging, hoping some ad firm would spill too much to use it to wow clients. Also they may have been trying to do some pressure sensitive stuff on the screen itself, although it was probably all in the pen. Their high end tablets cost more than a graphire too.

    Realistically, a tablet of this sort , could be produced for less than the cost of an iBook (You sell a bluetooth mouse and keyboard only to those who want one) And if they produced a touch-screen variant of iMac or some other computer, well, I doubt they could keep the prices where they are now, or somehow continue to meet their margin requirements.

    Perhaps, after all this is a rumors site, but not necessarily as undoable or unfeasible as you might think either, in my opinion.
  10. Borzoi macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2002
    Why has noone suggested this....

    Just an idea, of course, but wouldn't it be nice if the imac was just modified in some way so that you could snap off the screen for wireless tablet use around the house/office....then stick it back on the base for recharging of batteries....that would be jolly.:)

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