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Apple may introduce a radically different Mac product family by year's end

post #1 of 225
Thread Starter 
With consumers embracing a rapid shift away from traditional computers and towards a growing array of mobile devices, Apple may be preparing to introduce a distinct family of next-generation Mac designs unlike anything seen to date, a vague rumor suggests.

Citing an anonymous source within the Cupertino-based company's Asian supply chain, hit-or-miss macotakara.jp claims Apple with the help of its component suppliers is gearing up to introduce Macs that are "absolutely different from current products," possibly by the "end of this year."

The brief report goes on to state that although the source could provide no further details on the matter, the designs of the new Macs mark such a departure from Apple's existing offerings that they could be brought to market under a new brand or product name altogether.

As such, the latest rumor appears to be describing an initiative separate from Apple's reported efforts (1, 2) to transition its flagship line of MacBook Pro notebooks into slimmer enclosures akin to the MacBook Air, dropping traditional hard disk drives in favor of solid state drives and jettisoning optical disc drives completely.

For its part, macotakara.jp has a mixed track record in predicting Apple's future product directions. Though it accurately reported that Apple would introduce its second-gen iPad in March and push out the release of the iPhone 5 until much later in the year, other reports about new MacBook Airs featuring high-speed 400MBps flash memory and a flat-back iPad 2 did not pan out.

The Japanese publication has also issued a flurry of other claims over the past several months that remain pending, including rumors that Apple will return to an aluminum backside on the iPhone 5 and that the company is testing MacBook Airs powered by the same A5 chip found inside the iPad 2.
post #2 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... hit-or-miss macotakara.jp claims ... the designs of the news Macs mark such a departure from Apple's existing offerings that they could be brought to market under a new brand or product name altogether.

I'd call this one a miss.
post #3 of 225
It makes sense! Apple has always pushed the envelope when it comes to getting rid of older technology and radical redesigns! With the kind of deep pockets they have now their R&D has a lot of fuel and they can hire some of the best.

Can't wait to see them
post #4 of 225
What a waste of an article. Where is the news in that. Someone predicts that something different will come out in the future. wow

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post #5 of 225
If this is true, I imagine it's some kind of giant desktop iPad. Or at least something where touch plays a large role.
post #6 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Granmastak View Post

... and they can hire some of the best.

I'd like to add that they can also attract the best. I know I would love to work for Apple if I am young, smart ...
post #7 of 225
If it is. I bet it would have something to do with that LiquidMetal stuff.
Once Apple uses that type of built. It will be almost impossible for other competitors to follow
suit.
They still have not been able to do the aluminum enclosures yet.
post #8 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

If this is true, I imagine it's some kind of giant desktop iPad. Or at least something where touch plays a large role.

When iOS comes to the "desktop", it will not be as a touchscreen based computer.

EDIT: (Apple has already demonstrated, with ATV that iOS!=touchscreen.)
post #9 of 225
Is this the "future product transition" that they were talking about?
post #10 of 225
Perhaps some kind of cloud computer.

Something that holds all data and applications in the cloud, yet has a real keyboard, can run iOS apps as well as re-compiled Mac apps, but offers a touch screen too.

Think MacBook Air with very little local storage, an ARM quad-core chip and insane battery life.

Apple had a few patent applications about notebook/tablet conversions...
post #11 of 225
In the last quarterly earnings calls, the Apple CFO referred to a major product transition in the September quarter, but people are assuming it is the iPhone 5.

Edit: maybe a tablet that's built in to a table, like the Microsoft one. A "desktop iPad"
post #12 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

Is this the "future product transition" that they were talking about?

Don't think so. A product transition would indicate a transition from an existing product. Like new iPhone or a new MacBook Pro models.

This is reportedly a completely new product.
post #13 of 225
It's a redesigned Mac Pro. Nothing to see here, people.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #14 of 225
Apple may have found that they were able to produce that kind of next generation device ahead of their previously deterined schedule. This could have been driven by the wide acceptance of the iPad which they hadn't anticipated being as great as it proved to be - their commentary in the quarterly financial calls alluded to their (pleasant) surprise. If that is the case, and especially with the announced intention of HP out of desktop PC production, it is not, as noted above, beyond Apple to introduce something very disruptive and ride out the initial reaction to the radical departure in order to build out the foundation of what they see as the next generation of computing devices.

I think it has been mentioned before but bears repeating: the iPhone and the iPod Touch were the precursors to the iPad - even though the iPad was allegedly on the bench first. It made sense (in retrospect) to bring out smaller, "less threatening" devices first to gauge consumer reaction to the interface, and then introduce the iPad. Which in turn could be the predecessor to a whole new line of computing devices.

This is going to be a struggle first for those of us in technology, as we tend to be wedded to the existing technology paradigm, so look for strong negative reaction by pundits across the board to the new approach when Apple first announces it. Apple stock will inevitably take an initial hit as well (as it seems to do when Apple introduces a new product line). As the iPad demonstrated, if a straight line is drawn from one product to the next (interface-wise for example) consumers have demonstrated that they are willing to make that move much quicker than those of us who are heavily invested in the current technologies.

If this is true we are poised for yet another disruption.
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post #15 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by juandl View Post

If it is. I bet it would have something to do with that LiquidMetal stuff.

I agree. A new form factor constructed from new materials - LiquidMetal or AppleGlass - the same formulated material Apple is using to build it's stores and new campus - it's scratch proof and unbreakable.

My bet the device is built to showcase Lion - not iOS.
post #16 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

Perhaps some kind of cloud computer.

Something that holds all data and applications in the cloud, yet has a real keyboard, can run iOS apps as well as re-compiled Mac apps, but offers a touch screen too.

Think MacBook Air with very little local storage, an ARM quad-core chip and insane battery life.

Apple had a few patent applications about notebook/tablet conversions...

What you are describing here is a regular MacBook Air, but running Windows 8.

Somehow I don't think so.
post #17 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

If this is true, I imagine it's some kind of giant desktop iPad. Or at least something where touch plays a large role.

Touch does not work - ergonomically - on vertical screens.
post #18 of 225
If I were an Apple competitor, this is the kind of rumor I would start in order to get potential Apple customers to hold off on buying a Mac.
post #19 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by nw3227 View Post

If I were an Apple competitor, this is the kind of rumor I would start in order to get potential Apple customers to hold off on buying a Mac.

You realize that the only people who would "hold off" are people HERE who already wait based on rumors that aren't started by "competitors", right?

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #20 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You realize that the only people who would "hold off" are people HERE who already wait based on rumors that aren't started by "competitors", right?

Nobody on these boards ever realizes that they are not a representative sample Or even a skewed one! These boards are < 1% outliers, nothing more.
post #21 of 225
Hmmm, iOS version of a ChromeBook makes sense, that would explain the LTE microcells being installed in Apple Stores.

Would fit with iCloud's rollout timeline.

MBA type form factor anyone?

How much will they charge for it?
post #22 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by jj.yuan View Post

I'd like to add that they can also attract the best. I know I would love to work for Apple if I am young, smart ...

Hey what's wrong with "mature" and smart?
post #23 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Esoom View Post

Hmmm, iOS version of a ChromeBook makes sense, that would explain the LTE microcells being installed in Apple Stores.

Would fit with iCloud's rollout timeline.

MBA type form factor anyone?

How much will they charge for it?

Come to think of it they had filed for some interesting patents a while back. Had to do with lower power consumption and solar panels. Steve's plan was to produce the entire product line with no mechanical parts. I would think that would save on power a lot, not to mention the flexibility of "soft" keyboards pointing devices etc

Whether this particular rumor is true or not, their R&D is probably cooking something good!
post #24 of 225
The U.S. needs to innovate its way out of current troubles. Apple is doing its part!
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post #25 of 225
I tried to push a button on the screen of my son-in-law's new MBA the other day, until he respectfully reminded me that it doesn't have a touch screen. Felt quite natural though. New MBA is a work of art!
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post #26 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Granmastak View Post

Whether this particular rumor is true or not, their R&D is probably cooking something good!

Yes. iOS is approaching version 5 now, and the iPhone has been around since '07. The iPad is still new, but in many ways it was an extension of the iPhone.

I would not be surprised if they had some Big New Thing. Oh wait, I forgot iCloud, that is probably the next big thing.
post #27 of 225
A rumour about nothing.

Seinfeld would have approved.
post #28 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

It's a redesigned Mac Pro. Nothing to see here, people.

Sounds more like Mac Pro being discontinued.
post #29 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

Perhaps some kind of cloud computer.

Something that holds all data and applications in the cloud, yet has a real keyboard, can run iOS apps as well as re-compiled Mac apps, but offers a touch screen too.

Think MacBook Air with very little local storage, an ARM quad-core chip and insane battery life.

Apple had a few patent applications about notebook/tablet conversions...


I think Apple is working on some sort of HOME server that will act like the rumored next gen time capsule. It will have even more functionality than previously imagined, that is, it will not only stream locally, but also remotely. No screen. No keyboard. Just a box (hard drive / wifi / operating system). Always on. All other apple devises will pull from this local cloud. Ipads etc. will act more like dummy terminals.

Of course iCloud will still be there, but that more for downloading and accessing data/content/master back up. The apple home server will perform the function of day to day streaming of said content.

English Molly
post #30 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

Don't think so. A product transition would indicate a transition from an existing product. Like new iPhone or a new MacBook Pro models.

This is reportedly a completely new product.

Actually the report says new or majorly redesigned. So it could be, for example, new Mac Pros with some totally changed body design. Perhaps one that would allow it to be server racked more easily.

and the Pros haven't been updated with Thunderbolt so it is due

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #31 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

Perhaps some kind of cloud computer.

Something that holds all data and applications in the cloud, yet has a real keyboard, can run iOS apps as well as re-compiled Mac apps, but offers a touch screen too.

Think MacBook Air with very little local storage, an ARM quad-core chip and insane battery life.

Apple had a few patent applications about notebook/tablet conversions...

At which point Apple will own our music, files, browsing history, location data, and various other scary tidbits. NTM, Apple was recently the highest valued company on Earth. Yes, Earth .... Apple is growing into a daunting size and sitting on more cash than the U.S. Government. This is all coming from a 20 year Apple user and shareholder that has benefited greatly from their growth. I love them and appreciate what they have done but they're starting to frighten me a bit.

I'm not interested in iSkyNet. The day Apple goes 100% iCloud is the day I go 100% linux.

p.s.
hello! this is my first post! long-time lurker, macrumors regular.
post #32 of 225
Not a prediction for what this story is talking about, but here's a few things I'd like to see Apple take on:

* Living room TVs as part of a cable partnership and content deal that would blow away the cable box and current UI and shift to an anywhere/anytime/ any device content delivery.

* Partnership with several automakers to integrate iOS into dashboard features -- navigation, Airplay integration, automatic syncing of tracks, playlists and apps to an in-car hard drive, etc.

* Partnerships with home security, appliance makers, HVAC and electrical controllers, etc., to integrate iOS into specific home functions. I could see wall-mounted panels that run iOS apps to control thermostat, home audio, security, etc. It would be app-driven, so individual vendors can compete on the strength of their own controller apps. Apple would target middle-class buyers rather than the high-end custom market with ease of use, wireless, it-just-works technology. Appliance manufacturers would love the technology because it would spark a wave of iOS-compatible purchasing.

All of those are areas where Apple could generate licensing revenue to manufacturers without depending on non-Apple devices to "run" on iOS.
post #33 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Sounds more like Mac Pro being discontinued.

If Apple wants to keep existing, they'll leave it alone.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #34 of 225
1. A smaller screen Ipad around 5-7".
2. A Macbook Air with a detachable screen with iOS built-in.
3. A much thinner 13" and 15" Macbook Pro.

...or maybe an apple clothing line that offers turtlenecks(any color you want as long as it's the color black).
post #35 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

In the last quarterly earnings calls, the Apple CFO referred to a major product transition in the September quarter, but people are assuming it is the iPhone 5.

Edit: maybe a tablet that's built in to a table, like the Microsoft one. A "desktop iPad"

Apple prefers to sell products that people actually will buy.
post #36 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmm21 View Post

1. A smaller screen Ipad around 5-7".
2. A Macbook Air with a detachable screen with iOS built-in.



Quote:
3. A much thinner 13" and 15" Macbook Pro.

It's called the "MacBook Air". It already exists.

No thinner 15" or 17" MacBook Pro, just remove the ODD and make the battery larger. Any extra height that can be shaved off with the removal of the ODD, go right ahead, but not MacBook Air thin.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #37 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by techno View Post

What a waste of an article. Where is the news in that. Someone predicts that something different will come out in the future. wow

This is a great post!
post #38 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgsarch View Post

At which point Apple will own our music, files, browsing history, location data, and various other scary tidbits. NTM, Apple was recently the highest valued company on Earth. Yes, Earth .... Apple is growing into a daunting size and sitting on more cash than the U.S. Government. This is all coming from a 20 year Apple user and shareholder that has benefited greatly from their growth. I love them and appreciate what they have done but they're starting to frighten me a bit.

I'm not interested in iSkyNet. The day Apple goes 100% iCloud is the day I go 100% linux.

p.s.
hello! this is my first post! long-time lurker, macrumors regular.

Seriously?
post #39 of 225
This could be a misinterpreted lead on the rumored HD TVs which may have an ATV and hence iOS built in rather than a new Mac line as such. That would most likely be placed under a new department and management within Apple. I don't see any new Mac line as such requiring the latter.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #40 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

Is this the "future product transition" that they were talking about?

I take "transition" to mean change to a product or replacement of a product -- as opposed to a totally new product.

For example, i would call the iPad 3 a transition -- but not the iPad 1.

One thing they could do with the iPad is harden it, anti-glare it, and mass-produce a single low-price model as the OLPC tablet solution.
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- Michael Lille -
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