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iMac Rumor from Macsimumperspective.com

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
"Musings: iMac 3G will be an all-wireless system
By Dennis Sellers



Yesterday I said that I would make some predictions about what the third generation iMac would be like, and thats what Im going to do. Understand, however, that this is all mere speculation, based on some logical moves that I think Apple might make. I may be spot on or I may miss it by a mile, but, in the words of a gladiator, are you not entertained? Anyway, Im predicting an all-wireless iMac.



More...



It will come with a wireless keyboard and mouse (though wired versions can be attached and will work fine, of course). It will headless (yep, the first iMac thats not an all-in-one system) and will support optional wireless flat panel displays that will come in 15-inch and 17-inch sizes. Boasting a completely new form factor, the iMac 3G (as in third generation) will also support a host of display connectivity options. You can use an existing VGA monitor. You can use one of the brand new Apple Cinema Displays with DVI connectors (though not the 30-inch monster; the iMac 3G wont have the graphics processor to handle it). Or, of course, you can use the new wireless displays. The headless iMac 3G will cost less than any previous flat panel iMac because it wont come with a monitor.


The wireless displays will work thanks to a wireless infrastructure with IEEE 802.11b wireless LAN technology (also know as WiFi) and/or wireless RF communications links, perhaps akin to ViewSonics airsync V210 Wireless Display and the Three-Five Systems Wireless Monitor System. Theyll sport a power plug, but will also run off a lithium-polymer battery. Running it off battery power wont be very practical (it will last less than four hours on a charge), but will be a cool, wow factor. Expect the weight to be around 8 pounds and 10 pounds for the 15-inch and 17-inch wireless displays, respectively. A longer shot is that the displays will double as touchscreen tablets on which you can use a stylus to write and scribble via Mac OS Xs Ink technology.


The iMac 3G will have a handle attached to its completely new form factor, making it easy to lug from room to room. This will increase its appeal in educational environments.


Im less certain that it will have a G5 chip, though I suspect it will. It depends on what sort of solution Apple has come up with for keeping the power-hungry chip cool in a small, attractive body. Speaking of which, I think that the system will abandon the snow-white design of the second-generation iMac and will go with the aluminum look of the PowerBooks, Power Mac G5s and new displays.


So there you have it: my fevered thoughts on what the third-generation iMac will be. Am I a genius? Am I nuts? What are your predictions? Drop me a line at daseller@earthlink.net"

I think he's nuts.
post #2 of 29
He's nuts.
post #3 of 29
What's this guy smoking? Doesn't smell like tobacco...
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post #4 of 29
That looks like it came from The Onion.
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post #5 of 29
This is not a RUMOR. It is unfounded SPECULATION.

Next.......
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post #6 of 29
I think he's damn near dead-on.
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post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Rhumgod
I think he's damn near dead-on.

Yeah but on what?
post #8 of 29
Considering Apple dropped the 17" from the cinema displays, and had a 20" "desklamp" iMac, I think the monitor sizes are off. Manufacturers have been trying to dump their production of 15" LCD panels too. I think the displays will be 17" and 20" although they won't be as high quality as the cinema displays.

And I don't think he gets the wireless part right though I'm not sure I have it right either. I do think the display will be detachable, will have an anchor on the base CPU and it will be highly dependent on the base unit for functionality, but I'm not expert enough in these matters to say how it will work or get power, etc. I suspect it wil need the anchor to power up like a Dock and would run on an internal battery. It will be too heavy and too dependent on the base/CPU for processing to compete with a laptop but offer the localize benefits of one. I do not think the monitor could be wall hung, not without a third party device anyway. Airport basestations including Airport Express will increase its range. It could be used as an iTunes remote then too -- wink-wink. Of course all of this assumes a big development of ink too, which we haven't seen yet. So I could very well be full of it. The apps as they are aren't terribly condusive to pen input, they're made for mousing.

Revising my hyopothesis, perhaps the disaply and stand come together and the CPU gets left behind as a base station/Dock. It all gets to sound a bit unweild , doens't it? Lugging your mouse, monitor and keyboard around the house doesn't sound too convenient. Perhaps you have multiple mice, keyboard and monitors and you lug only the CPU around.
post #9 of 29
To show you how out of touch with reality and technology i am, the following question:

what would be the technical requirements to have some kind of headless base and, let's say, simultanuous support for 3 wireless LCDs? How could this be done? Are videocards in every screen necessary? I have the wildest ideas (and no clue whatsoever) so i'm curious to learn.
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post #10 of 29
Lord only knows what the shape of the thing will be, but I think it will be no taller than 3" - just small enough to fit under the new Cinema displays, if that is the buyer's option. And no, they still carry the 17" Studio display with ADC for now.
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post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by MacsRGood4U
This is not a RUMOR. It is unfounded SPECULATION.

Next.......

Whatever, it's something to discuss.
post #12 of 29
I don't think the display will be detachable at all. I also don't think the iMac is going headless. That's for PowerMacs. iMac's always been an all-in-one.

The cheapest Apple display is $699 (17-inch). They would have to sell the headless iMac at $599 so you could buy both for $1300 (what the low-end 15-inch iMac sold for).
post #13 of 29
You can't even begin to hope to stream a DVI signal over 802.11b (or g, or 802.13 for that matter) and I'm not familiar with the products he's talking about, so I'm not sure what he's talking about at all.

Basically, if it's not a DVI signal, than the display will have to have some degree of computational power - enough to function as a better Xterm, or to decompress streamed video (no small feat). It looks like it'll also require Tiger, which rules it out for the next iMac update.

Somehow I'm not convinced that they'll be going that far that soon. On the other hand, they have apparently improved Bluetooth connectivity to the point where they can ship Bluetooth standard on board, bundle the wireless keyboard and mouse standard (or as an option instead of their wired counterparts) and (optionally) bundle a Bluetooth-enabled printer. This is an effectively wireless system that's possible tomorrow, with the current OS.

I could forgive Apple for using the wired keyboard and mouse in their stores, though, just so they're less likely to walk away....
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post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by monkeyastronaut
I don't think the display will be detachable at all. I also don't think the iMac is going headless. That's for PowerMacs. iMac's always been an all-in-one.

The cheapest Apple display is $699 (17-inch). They would have to sell the headless iMac at $599 so you could buy both for $1300 (what the low-end 15-inch iMac sold for).

Note that the 17" was not updated to the new design, yet it has not been discontinued either. Also it has been at the $699 price since the 15" display was discontinued. I think this points to a "headless" consumer oriented computer, and suspect, that there is a new "line" of consumer displays that will more closely match the consumer computer "style" than that of the aluminum PM, and cost less. Hopefully at least a $100 price drop in the 17" consumer LCD to bring it more in line with current market prices and a 19 or 20" consumer LCD at $799-999 (lower end specs than on the "pro" monitor).

As for the 15", I think that demand of this size LCD for laptops is keeping the price higher than expected. Add in to this the pressures from the LCD TV market and I don't expect to see a major drop in 15" pricing. I do think that it might be possible soon to buy a 17" display for the price that we are currently paying for 15" ones, mostly due to the lower laptop volume with 17" displays.
post #15 of 29
On another thread, somebody pointed out that wireless displays are amazingly expensive - like $1400 for a 14-inch.

With Fred complaining that iMacs are not hitting the sweet spot, they're not going to turn around and make them even MORE expensive. Not to mention complicated and unreliable...
post #16 of 29
Sounds like what I'd expect from a true next-gen iMac.

'iMac 3G'. I'm okay with that name. (iMac G3...back to the success of the original...heh...)

I suspect some of the expectations in that 'wish list' are a little off what we can expect. Wireless graphics/streaming video from dock Mac to screen mounted on wall Mac? Er..?

It's quite simple.

A 17 inch Alu version of the Alu displays.

An Alu Cube box or 'X-Serve' style slab/pizza. Like the PS and some towers...can be put 'on its side' or be a 'pizza'.

Job done.

Price should be much more sane than current iMac 2.
Should include 1x AGP slot.

One successful iMac 3G launch.

(The iMac 2 and eMac are one and the same problem. Damocles knot which need to be severed with iMac 3G...)

Y'know. The Cube was really ahead of its time. With the price of LCDs much cheaper, now, more than ever, it is the time of the Cube. Apple was just too far ahead of itself...

Prosumer Alu Cube. (...sub dual tower slots £995-1295)
White Plast Cube. (...sub iMac 2 slots £495-895)

Mirror the Laptop strategy.

Alu Cube for Prosumer.
Plastic Cube for edu/consumer.

Easy. Distinct. Price points met.

A white plastic Cube desktop should be cheaper than an iBook! £495 desktop Mac...here we come!¬!!!!!!!

People go: 'Hey, I can afford to switch to Mac, user my 'old monitor' and upgrade my computer if I wish...hey...choice...aint it beautiful...'

So, an Alu and/or Plastic Cube stuck aside the alu or forthcoming (?) iMac displays. And cable clutter would be eliminated in much the way with alu displays...one cable that splits into several...

Choice.

I do like the idea of a 'Cintiq' Wacom style iMac 3G. That would be cool...but expensive? But with Apple's volumes? Cintiqs are what? £1300 ish for 15 inch? £1900 ish for 18 inch model? The first computer in education you really can draw on? (Do tablets count? )

The question this thread implies...does Apple shackle technology together in a way that hampers its ability to deliver technological progress and value to its customers. A riddle that last iMac 2 never solved.

Apple said, 'We created the Cube for a market that wasn't there...' (I'm paraphrasing...)

So why repeat the mistake with an iMac 2 in the same bracket? Duh?

Instead, have a more flexible design that scales from eMac territory to low end PowerMac territory.

One product to catch edu', consumer and that 'small' prosumer crowd.

A design that accommodate pro and consumer in much the way that ibooks and Powerbooks meet different audiences.

I think Apple's consumer to prosumer desktop range needs a similar, fundamental change. Apple needs to look at the desktop market covered by the iMac 2 and eMac and ask why isn't it working. Why updates are slow. Why customers AREN'T buying (not all down to laptops...) Why they aren't meeting the 'sweet spot' and what they can do about it. Is the performance good enough? Is the design flexible to those people who aren't satisfied with 2 year old ati technology?

Even if I got my Alu and white plastic cube prosumer and consumer ranges...

The thread rightly asks: 'what kind of killer feature is the new iMac 3G going to have to make me run out and buy one and will it be cheap, power and flexible enough to make me open my wallet?'

Lemon Bon Bon \
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post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Lemon Bon Bon
The thread rightly asks: 'what kind of killer feature is the new iMac 3G going to have to make me run out and buy one and will it be cheap, power and flexible enough to make me open my wallet?'

Lemon Bon Bon \

You just said it G5-power, flexible, cheap.....Cheapest, flexible G5 you can get, currently, starts at $1999.
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post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
You can't even begin to hope to stream a DVI signal over 802.11b (or g, or 802.13 for that matter) and I'm not familiar with the products he's talking about, so I'm not sure what he's talking about at all.

Yeah, I feel like I kind of went in a circle with what I posted earlier. There are not only technological issues with this idea, but functional ones like how to deal with detachable monitors that need a keyboard and mouse anyway!

I am thinking that with Airport Express/Airtunes and with better bluetooth technology, that Apple will try to move the iMac into more rooms in the house, including the living room in some way. I think the connection though isn't with the TV, it's with the stereo and maybe the DVD player while we're at it. (Add 2.1 speakers for a start.) The question would be, if you were Apple, how would you get more Macs in the house? Would you create a "home base" iMac and a bunch of iMac minis? Or instead, would you target the iMac as a home base computer and position the iBook as the mini/portable version more? Doesn't sound compelling in itself.

(A tangential thought: wouldn't it be nice if when you bought a new Mac and brought it home, that when you first turned it on, it could detect your network and asked if you wanted to join this group, import user settings, etc. all wirelessly, all via Renzdezvous and make creating a home network almost totally transparent? Obviously it would need to go through the usualy security checks.)

I'd almost want the iMac to be furniture (OK, not quite that big ). I'd like to see it eliminate wires around the room. I'd still like to see it at least take up less desk space.

Maybe it will just be more wireless: keyboard, mouse, printers, speakers?

Meh, I'm babbling.
post #19 of 29
Given the tech' you talk about above...Apple already has blue tooth, firewire, airport express amongst others to really create a killer iMac 3G that belongs in the living room or anyroom as a computer come server come home entertainment device.

iServe kind of thing.

A 23-30 inch monitor gives you hi-def content and tv?

A hand held mini-tablet to control your iMac server?

Hmmm. Things like Airport Express give hints as does iPod that Apple could...create a 'killer device'.

How do they redefine a computer market dominated by M$ and Dell?

Innovate. Yes. If they create the iMac hardware equiv' of the kind of OS innovation found in 'Tiger' and the iapps? Then Apple would mop the floor with the competition.

Problem is...'Tiger' and 'iPods' cost ALOT less than £999!

G5, cheap and flexible.

A Mac that iPod people can buy! Seeing as more iPod buyers are coming from Windows! When their PC is old..?

G5 iMac 3G.

Starting at £495-995. Game over.

I'd settle for that.

lemon bon bon

PS. Given some of the tech' in an Sony/Eriksson (and they only cost £140 with COLOUR screen!!!) phone...why not make a colour iPod that could wirelessly control your iMac 3G digital hub? Anywhere in house? iPod as a viewing device or a control view device to see content on your 30 inch wall mounted LCD?

iPod as a 'home on Mac' glorified remote?
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post #20 of 29
You can view photos on a phone.

They are talking about making phones as audio players.

Why not combine that into the next iPod?

Even a discreet firewire cable running to a wall mounted LCD from a living room iMac server?

So content doesn't have to be streamed wireless.

Control with iPod. View on wall. iMac 3G serves.

The industry needs someone to do it right.

Apple could. The pieces are there?

The time is right?

lemon Bon Bon
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post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 
The iMac G5 should come in precisely 3 models.

Basic iMac G5 geared towards the iPod using crowd=$499

Headless
1.6 GHz G5 processor
512 MB RAM
CDRW/DVD
60 GB HD
Whatever relatively decent GPX card.
Small form with wireless tech built in (Bluetooth) and Airport
------------

Mid Range iMac G5 geared toward the iLife users=$699

Headless
1.8 GHz G5 processor
512 MB RAM
Superdrive
80 GB HD
Same graphics card as the basic model (with optional upgrades)
Built in bluetooth and Airport standard
-----------

Prosumer iMac G5 geared towards the power for less price crowd=$899

Headless
2 GHz G5
512 MB RAM
Superdrive
80 GB HD (upgrade to 120 or 160)
Nice graphics card
Built in bluetooth standard Airport
--------

All headless, all upgradeable graphics, all airport standard. It covers all the bases! If Apple could unveil a $499 15'' LCD and a $699 17'' LCD in the new form factors, they would have huge winners on their hands.

This would draw in the iPod owner crowd who have an iPod and don't want to spend sickly amounts on a new computer, but it would be the ultimate iPod companion. Streaming music, iTunes management, great design, hooks up with any monitor (even old ones).

You have one middle model that does all of the iLife stuff perfectly! Not as strong on gaming, but still acceptable, and a bit faster than the low end.

The highest end model would do everything you needed it to do, right out of the box. The LCD's would be obviously good companions, but at least Apple could now offer a great buy at a low price, without locking down the user to an LCD.


***I know you will all say I'm nuts for saying Apple can sell a 500 dollar computer when it sells the iPod for that much...but the iPod costs that much due to miniaturization.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by NittanyLionTosh
The iMac G5 should come in precisely 3 models.

Basic iMac G5 geared towards the iPod using crowd=$499

Headless
1.6 GHz G5 processor
512 MB RAM
CDRW/DVD
60 GB HD
Whatever relatively decent GPX card.
Small form with wireless tech built in (Bluetooth) and Airport
------------

Mid Range iMac G5 geared toward the iLife users=$699

Headless
1.8 GHz G5 processor
512 MB RAM
Superdrive
80 GB HD
Same graphics card as the basic model (with optional upgrades)
Built in bluetooth and Airport standard
-----------

Prosumer iMac G5 geared towards the power for less price crowd=$899

Headless
2 GHz G5
512 MB RAM
Superdrive
80 GB HD (upgrade to 120 or 160)
Nice graphics card
Built in bluetooth standard Airport
--------

All headless, all upgradeable graphics, all airport standard. It covers all the bases! If Apple could unveil a $499 15'' LCD and a $699 17'' LCD in the new form factors, they would have huge winners on their hands.

This would draw in the iPod owner crowd who have an iPod and don't want to spend sickly amounts on a new computer, but it would be the ultimate iPod companion. Streaming music, iTunes management, great design, hooks up with any monitor (even old ones).

You have one middle model that does all of the iLife stuff perfectly! Not as strong on gaming, but still acceptable, and a bit faster than the low end.

The highest end model would do everything you needed it to do, right out of the box. The LCD's would be obviously good companions, but at least Apple could now offer a great buy at a low price, without locking down the user to an LCD.


***I know you will all say I'm nuts for saying Apple can sell a 500 dollar computer when it sells the iPod for that much...but the iPod costs that much due to miniaturization.

At those prices I'd snap one up but I'm not holding my breath. Those are good prices by PC standards.

ps - I refrained from calling you nuts since it was self-evident
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post #23 of 29
Those prices can't be met IMO. And if Apple offers a headless iMac option, I'm sure they will strongly try to persuade users to buy their monitors instead of any old crappy monitor. I personally think that the idea of using this new iMac with a 15" CRT is going to defeat the whole purpose of having one anyway. I really don't think Apple is trying to make the iMac a so-called beige box that's uber-flexible, but rather that they are targeting a specific role in the household. The more specific, the more likely that they have a specific display in mind, and the less likely the chance for a true "headless" monitor in that you can use any monitor with it.
post #24 of 29
I still think the killer feature is an iPod slot. Get rid of the hard disk (makes the unit cheaper) and use the iPod as the hard disk. What else are you going to use 40GB for? ...and think of the value of this in an educational environment. iMac at home...iMac at school...take all of your data/programs/etc with you. I simply can't believe this hasn't been done yet.
post #25 of 29
Quote:
I still think the killer feature is an iPod slot. Get rid of the hard disk (makes the unit cheaper) and use the iPod as the hard disk. What else are you going to use 40GB for? ...and think of the value of this in an educational environment. iMac at home...iMac at school...take all of your data/programs/etc with you. I simply can't believe this hasn't been done yet.

This would present some major problems...

For one, the iPod's hard drive is NOT made for high performance. All it's been designed to handle is playing back MP3s. Now I'm sure it's faster than that, but it's probably too slow to run a computer on. The only thing I could see this working as would be a slot into a larger screen, so you could play back stored videos and pictures, on a decently sized screen... but I don't particularly like that idea anyway...

Also, having a slot for the iPod in a computer forces Apple to never drastically change the form factor of the iPod. This has already happened several times, and I really doubt Apple would want to box themselves in like that.

Finally, every single user would require an iPod of their own. While Apple would surely love to sell as many iPods as possible, can you imagine a family of four buying four iPods, just so that they can all use the computer? What if the kids are too young to be trusted with such an expensive toy? Sure, a family could figure a way around this, but I just think this would be way too expensive for any family to afford, especially considering the lackluster hard drive performance you'd be getting. And besides, don't most people complain that Macs are already too expensive?
post #26 of 29
If Apple is looking at wireless screens, then a headless iMac is quite possible. If you want the wireless screen you pay the money, big money. If all you want is a Mac, then you are set and Apple gets more market share and the cheapo's are happy.
post #27 of 29
What if APPLE introduce an iMac bi-G4.
They would have still Freescale as chipmaker and give them a chance to recover from the bad years. I think that it's important for them to have two chipmakers and who knows they could have some surprises.

Is the thermic dissipation higher for a 2xG4 or for the 1xG5?

They said to developers to think multi-processor and it would be the best way for now to go bi-G4.
Now they want developers to think 64 bit processor but this will have less impact for most users(only scientific,sound,video professional purpose).
post #28 of 29
My own thought on this is Apple will replace both iMac and Emac with 2 new models or 1 machine that is highly configurable to fit many segments of the market. grandma's, gamers and prosumers.
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post #29 of 29
SMP across Apples entire line of computers will happen sooner or later. At the moment I don't think the 970 series is ready for that in a low cost platform. I do believe however that the long term goal was to put the 970FX into the lower end machines and go with a Power 5 derived chip for the high performance machines.

To be honest though even at the low end the 970 just has to many performance issues to be considered. Here I'm talking thermal performance which is pretty bad consideirng the clock rate. IBM just needs to put more effort in to low power technologies.

As to a SMP G4 machine in the next iMac that will only be possible if some of the performance bottle necks are addressed. That is not impossible and the 90nm factory that motorola is part of is on line. If that 90nm process and the design tools used lead to a much lower power chip then Apple could hae a winner on their hands. The only problem with a G4 based machine (assuming there is a significant performance boost) is that it is a short term play. With in a couple of years I expect the vast majority of the PC market will be 64 bit based along with multiple processors. SMP on 32 bit platforms will only be viable for a couple of years on PC platforms.

Dave


Quote:
Originally posted by Spartacus
What if APPLE introduce an iMac bi-G4.
They would have still Freescale as chipmaker and give them a chance to recover from the bad years. I think that it's important for them to have two chipmakers and who knows they could have some surprises.

Is the thermic dissipation higher for a 2xG4 or for the 1xG5?

They said to developers to think multi-processor and it would be the best way for now to go bi-G4.
Now they want developers to think 64 bit processor but this will have less impact for most users(only scientific,sound,video professional purpose).
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