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staypuftforums

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 27, 2021
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837
One of the things I think about whenever I use my iPhone SE 2022 is that it's more powerful than anything I need on the desktop and with the transition to Apple silicon that Apple could easily make a full PC of this size, or slightly larger if they wanted to.

The whole Mac would be the size of an iPhone 14. No screen, obviously. Maybe 2 or 3 USB-C ports, 8GB of RAM, starting at 128GB HDD, and the A15 bionic CPU. It'd be the most portable desktop in the world, or at least the most high-profile one of that size. And it would be more than powerful enough for, say, 75% of all desktop users.

Would you be interested in such a device for $499?
 
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theorist9

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2015
3,758
2,892
...starting at 128GB HDD, and the A15 bionic CPU. It'd be the most portable desktop in the world..
Not for me, since my desktop has 128 GB RAM.

But it's an intriguing idea—it sounds like you intend it for someone who needs to move their desktop between home and work each day, keeps most of their data in the cloud, and only does very light work. Not sure if Apple will do this; it might be too underpowered, especially with its tight thermal constraints. Note that while an A15 is powerful enough to run iOS and iOS apps well, that may not be the case for MacOS and MacOS apps.

If Apple brought MacOS to the iPad Mini, you'd have something close to what you want (not quite pocket-size, though). But it doesn't look like Apple intends to do that; they've said they consider iOS and MacOS to be separate worlds.

Thus the closest you might come to that level of MacOS portabilty would be if Apple brings back the 11" MacBook. Or you could just buy a Mini and shuttle it back and forth. But neither will fit into your pocket.
 
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staypuftforums

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 27, 2021
397
837
Not for me, since my desktop has 128 GB RAM.

But it's an intriguing idea—it sounds like you intend it for someone who needs to move their desktop between home and work each day, keeps most of their data in the cloud, and only does very light work. Not sure if Apple will do this; it might be too underpowered, especially with its tight thermal constraints. Note that while an A15 is powerful enough to run iOS and iOS apps well, that may not be the case for MacOS and MacOS apps.

If Apple brought MacOS to the iPad Mini, you'd have something close to what you want (not quite pocket-size, though). But it doesn't look like Apple intends to do that; they've said they consider iOS and MacOS to be separate worlds.

Thus the closest you might come to MacOS portabilty would be if Apple brings back the 11" MacBook. Or you could just buy a Mini and shuttle it back and forth. But neither will fit into your pocket.
According to Geekbench, the A15 is roughly equivalent to the Intel i5-1135G7. More powerful in single core and slightly slower in multi-core. It should scream through MacOS.

Now I don't know whether the OS these chips are running on affects the geekbench test results or not. That's beyond my expertise.
 
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tstafford

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2022
984
901
Not me. Mac Mini doesn't meet my needs so a smaller device w/ even less IO wouldn't either.

However, I think the concept would have a lot of appeal to folks who aren't posting on MR. My wife for instance would love something like that simply for the extremely clean look it would give her desk. And it would easily meet her computing needs.
 

Wokis

macrumors 6502a
Jul 3, 2012
931
1,276
An iphone-sized enclosure without the battery and screen could probably even fit an M-class type chip with heatsink in it. For that matter.

Not sure they’ll go this route though. I think they view the line of mac products as “diverse enough” at this point.

I would love to see Apple‘s take on a proper “dockable” iphone, but would only be satisfied if it properly booted an instance of MacOS in that case. That’s probably a lot of lines of code, especially in how the two OS’s would want to share and sync resources, before it could become a reality.
 
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Digitalguy

macrumors 601
Apr 15, 2019
4,544
4,323
I could be interested in an Apple TV size Mac Nano, as long as it had at least as many ports as the current mini. I don't see the point of a pocketable, iPhone size, device without a battery, since you would still need to plug it somewhere, have monitor and keyboard etc. (and the Apple TV fits in a jacket's pocket better than an iPad mini).
Having said that I am even more interested in a Mac mini that has the size of the current one, but has:
- a M1 pro chip with 32GB RAM option
- 4 TB ports, plus hdmi (support for 2-3 monitors)
- is powered by USB C.
Even now, when I go on holidays or long trips I bring my M1 Mini with me as my portable desktop. Such a mini would even replace my main desktop (tower with i7, 32GB RAM, several monitors), with the only exception of exapandabiltiy (especially of storage).
 
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Digitalguy

macrumors 601
Apr 15, 2019
4,544
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Not for me, since my desktop has 128 GB RAM.

But it's an intriguing idea—it sounds like you intend it for someone who needs to move their desktop between home and work each day, keeps most of their data in the cloud, and only does very light work. Not sure if Apple will do this; it might be too underpowered, especially with its tight thermal constraints. Note that while an A15 is powerful enough to run iOS and iOS apps well, that may not be the case for MacOS and MacOS apps.

If Apple brought MacOS to the iPad Mini, you'd have something close to what you want (not quite pocket-size, though). But it doesn't look like Apple intends to do that; they've said they consider iOS and MacOS to be separate worlds.

Thus the closest you might come to that level of MacOS portabilty would be if Apple brings back the 11" MacBook. Or you could just buy a Mini and shuttle it back and forth. But neither will fit into your pocket.
I guess you meant 12" MacBook, since that's smaller and lighter than the older 11.6in MacBook air (I have both). I am waiting for a M3 version of that (meanwhile I have a maxed out 2017 version)
 
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sam_dean

Suspended
Sep 9, 2022
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1,091
One of the things I think about whenever I use my iPhone SE 2022 is that it's more powerful than anything I need on the desktop and with the transition to Apple silicon that Apple could easily make a full PC of this size, or slightly larger if they wanted to.

The whole Mac would be the size of an iPhone 14. No screen, obviously. Maybe 2 or 3 USB-C ports, 8GB of RAM, starting at 128GB HDD, and the A15 bionic CPU. It'd be the most portable desktop in the world, or at least the most high-profile one of that size. And it would be more than powerful enough for, say, 75% of all desktop users.

Would you be interested in such a device for $499?
It would be called the Mac nano. ;)

I'd love an iPhone 14 Pro Max 1TB that costs more than $1.6k that boots to macOS when attached to an external display.

The Apple A16 Bionic chip is far more powerful than any Intel Mac without Xeon or Core i9 chips.

If Apple sold an iPhone SE with A16 Bionic at $499 it would cannibalize the Mac market.
 
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JPack

macrumors G5
Mar 27, 2017
12,907
24,497
It'd be the most portable desktop in the world, or at least the most high-profile one of that size.

Most people buy a desktop because they want high performance, not portability.

It would be like Apple making a 21-inch notebook with 3 hour battery life. Not much demand for that.
 
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jwahaus

macrumors member
Aug 9, 2022
43
40
One of the things I think about whenever I use my iPhone SE 2022 is that it's more powerful than anything I need on the desktop and with the transition to Apple silicon that Apple could easily make a full PC of this size, or slightly larger if they wanted to.

The whole Mac would be the size of an iPhone 14. No screen, obviously. Maybe 2 or 3 USB-C ports, 8GB of RAM, starting at 128GB HDD, and the A15 bionic CPU. It'd be the most portable desktop in the world, or at least the most high-profile one of that size. And it would be more than powerful enough for, say, 75% of all desktop users.

Would you be interested in such a device for $499?

I would be happy if they just supported the iPad running Mac OS. My iPad Air has the same spec's as an entry level M1 Mac Mini. The iOS software that runs on iPad's is okay but I would switch to Mac OS in a heartbeat if it were available to run on this platform.
 
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trevpimp

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2009
691
301
Inside A Mac Box
That sounds great, it will also be cool to have higher ram in smaller devices

Imagine MacOS running on an iPhone size device with 64/128GB RAM with a fast speed Chip that will be awesome
 
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1BadManVan

macrumors 68040
Dec 20, 2009
3,161
3,301
Bc Canada
closest thing ive seen to this is Samsung dex. Awesome idea but a lot of flaws. Obviously never something we will see from apple anytime soon. They definitely have the horsepower in these phones to pull that off no problem
 
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leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,360
19,433
You know, about a decade ago I was sure that the personal computing industry is moving towards an ultracompact devices (think watch or phone sized) that can be connected to larger IO terminals (think displays with input devices) to serve as personal computers. It is only a question of time until the computers get "good enough" for majority of uses — and the rest can be done by adding auxiliary computing capacity on demand.
 

Gudi

Suspended
May 3, 2013
4,590
3,267
Berlin, Berlin
I would be happy if they just supported the iPad running Mac OS. My iPad Air has the same spec's as an entry level M1 Mac Mini. The iOS software that runs on iPad's is okay but I would switch to Mac OS in a heartbeat if it were available to run on this platform.
And then you would regret it. An iPad Air/Pro plus a Magic Keyboard isn't much cheaper than the fanless MacBook Air. You would lose all the benefits of iOS and recreate a worse macOS experience. Just buy the MacBook Air, if you want the best mobile macOS experience. That's literally what it's made for!
 

meson

macrumors 6502a
Apr 29, 2014
500
488
I've thought about this possibility for a long time. If anyone is serious about reducing e-waste, this is the way to go. The iPhone SOC is more than powerful enough to run basic office productivity software. Everyone would have their own computing hardware that could be easily attached to a display keyboard and mouse/trackpad for desktop use or attached to laptop style shell for mobile computing. I always envisioned a slide-in dock with hardware similar to an iMac or MBP. The peripheral hardware could be used until end of life, and far fewer SOC's would need to be fabricated.

Yes, there will still be a need for the traditional desktop and workstation laptops, but at least 90% of users do not actually need anything more powerful than their phone right now.

That said, Apple is very successful at generating a 'need' for one of each of their devices, and likely have no interest in this sort of model, because there is no room for growth and would require a period of strong decline in profits. Compound interest is a beautiful thing financially, but until society changes and recognizes that continuous compound growth in business is unsustainable, there is no chance of this sort of model taking hold.
 
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jwahaus

macrumors member
Aug 9, 2022
43
40
And then you would regret it. An iPad Air/Pro plus a Magic Keyboard isn't much cheaper than the fanless MacBook Air. You would lose all the benefits of iOS and recreate a worse macOS experience. Just buy the MacBook Air, if you want the best mobile macOS experience. That's literally what it's made for!

No, I wouldn't regret it. I already have the iPad Air M1 and I prefer Mac OS to iOS. Most of the time there is no need for a keyboard and I have a couple that work via bluetooth already. I agree that the Macbook Air is a sweet machine but I purchased a 14" Macbook Pro after comparing the two.
 

Zest28

macrumors 68020
Jul 11, 2022
2,328
3,331
As I mentioned before, Apple should reintroduce the MacBook 12" and put the A16 in there. Simply a cheap and super thin ultrabook.
 

eicca

Suspended
Oct 23, 2014
1,773
3,600
Basically a fanless Mac Mini? I've been wondering why that isn't a thing already. The Airs already work just fine fanless, it could still be done in half the size (or less) of the current Mini and still perform fantastic cuz the heatsink would be way bigger. I think it would be dope.
 

Gudi

Suspended
May 3, 2013
4,590
3,267
Berlin, Berlin
I already have the iPad Air M1 and I prefer Mac OS to iOS. Most of the time there is no need for a keyboard and I have a couple that work via bluetooth already.
Even with bluetooth it's still a keyboard. And it's pretty much required when you want to run macOS (on an iPad Air). What you end up with is a Microsoft Surface-like device with a detachable keyboard, that's still required most of the time and the OS is a horrible mishmash, neither optimized for touch- nor mouse-input. If you want to run macOS, just use a Mac!
 

dgdosen

macrumors 68030
Dec 13, 2003
2,780
1,416
Seattle
As I mentioned before, Apple should reintroduce the MacBook 12" and put the A16 in there. Simply a cheap and super thin ultrabook.
Just release it with an M3! It'll be out soon enough and Apple has already demonstrated they don't 'need' thermal management with the M2 on the Air. :) Make it as thin and light as they can.
 
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