Originally Posted by wizard69
Somewhat maybe. While you could argue that the part can't cost more than the $100 difference that doesn't really help use with the real cost to Apple.
If you go over to digikey you can find at least one type of 8 Gb Nand flash for about $23, 4GB for as little as $13. I'd be surprised if they are paying that much. There is a huge range of Flash technologies available and a corresponding wide range of prices. The only way to get a good handle on the price is to find a distributor with online prices.
Hey, I'd be totally excited if that was the case. I was just trying to demonstrate that unless Apple is losing money on the 16GB iPod Touch, then there is no way that 64GB of memory is going to cost $1000. Probably a lot less.
I'm thinking more like $200.
Exactly. I think that Apple can make a no-HDD laptop that's priced reasonably. Hence the discussion of the iPod Touch's prices in re chip costs.
I'm still thinking they could do it under $800. In fact they will almost have to other wise it will suffer in the market place because people will not see the value in the "expensive little computer".
Under $800? That's awesome but I doubt they would do that; probably not enough profit. The deal with this computer will be usability/portability/portable power, not cheapness. I don't think they are marketing it as "get a sortaMac for ultra cheap that's ultraportable" as much as "this full-power MacBook will do everything you ever needed in the realm of portability and more." But I agree that it should be under $1200 or they will have trouble getting people to buy it. We are talking about a full-featured computer without an optical drive or HDD and ostensibly multitouch - pricing that at $749 would totally upset the market. Not that THAT would be a bad thing. For Apple, that is.
I think the big gating factor here is the battery and the processor/chipset. The battery has to be big enough for extended run times of course. The problem with the processor and chipset is removing heat from them. Even then a heat sink is not a problem but a fan is.
One of the reasons the Ultra Mobil PC segment never took off in the USA is the fact that they are just to darn expensive. This is especially the case when one tries to use the device after using a regular laptop. The small form factor decreases the value of the product to the consumer. Now Apple can add some of that value back with Multi Touch and other innovations but still the argument will be made that the keyboard is to small and the screen is hard to read. The products are simply niche hardware for a certain class of user.
Note that I indicated that Apple should be able to sell these for under $800. That is based on the cost of hardware at extremely deep discounts, the sort Apple likely gets. Just because Apple can make and sell the thing for that price does not imply though that people will buy at that price. In the end if this guy is to small, and not a tablet, Apple will be lucky to move them for $500.
The biggest problem with tablets is that they are
niche products. Apple needs to change that.
What we shouldn't rule out is the alternative display technologies coming on line. Many of these are extremely thin and very flexible. Earlier this year Photonics/Spectra had a very interesting article on what was coming out of the various research labs. There are competing technologies for flexible display that might make you device very doable. The question is how soon are these technologies going to leave the lab.
But how flexible is flexible? I have been keeping track of polychrome e-paper development, etc, but I have yet to see anything that can actually do a 0 degree angle in a >1mm radius of curvature. And unfortunately that's what my model would require. I think. What's the maximum radius of curvature that you can have with something like that?
I don't ever see a folder based on conventional glass LCD technology making an acceptable display.
Well if it is going to come before 2007 it had better hurry up.
LOL - I meant before 2009. I agree that it will be hard to have a basic glass LCD folder, but could you have a glass LCD (hence no new multitouch technology) with the central 4mm or so a flexible epaper display that doesn't require a bezel? Sure, you would probably lose the touchscreen sensitivity there, but since your finger is bigger than 4mm wide the screen would still be able to tell where your finger was. Granted, data entry with a stylus wouldn't be perfect but we've been dealing with two monitors on Photoshop for a while now.
For a Mac Tablet though I'm not sure a folder display makes sense. Primarily because you would want a screen ratio somewhere around 16:9 for HD display. I guess an argument could be made for a longer narrower device but I think there are limitations here too, mainly PC board area.
Incidentally, a 16:10 display (what Apple's been using) folded is a 10:8 display, which translates to 16:13. So you won't have trouble with an open tablet that is too long; just a closed notebook that is a bit long.
As for the issue of typing that is sure to come up from time to time. Obviously on board keyboards are of limited use for extended data entry. Ultimately Apple will have to support Bluetooth keyboards for the rare occasions where extensive text entry is required. For most users though I don't think there will be the intent to due the Tablet for extensive data entry. Rather the data entry usage will be modest at best. I see Tablets as consumers of information for the most part.
By consumer I mean a device that receives far more data than it transmits. Web and E-Mail being two examples. Even things like financial applications where one receives more info on stock market activities than he does sending out buy or sell orders. A tablet isn't the place to write the next great novel. There are many other examples including the consumption of media.
That's one of the reasons that the tablet market has failed to take off, IMHO. Smartphones are becoming the easiest ways to consume information (I find myself using my iPhone on WiFi to look something up on Wikipedia while I'm sitting at my computer since it's just more convenient than using the computer) and so it doesn't make much sense to have a "tablet computer" for doing the job of a smartphone. It's bulky and it requires mobile broadband or WiFi.
I think that the people who want a Tablet Mac aren't looking for something to help with information consumption. It's not much easier to sit on my couch and read Engadget on a tablet as opposed to my MacBook, and it's a lot bulkier than my phone. In order for Apple to maximize on the tablet idea, they'll need to make extensive data entry possible. Very possible. People want to be able to travel with a tablet instead of their laptops, and so they don't want to sacrifice versatility for mobility. Unless a tablet can do as much as a real notebook, people will just say "if I wanted that I would get an iPhone." Especially with the upcoming SDK.
Here's one reason I think this upcoming ultraportable will feature a multitouch on-board (and thus naturally independent-tilt) keyboard. This U.S. patent
that is explained here
by Engadget specifically talks about knowing the difference between finger contact, multi-finger contact, resting, palm contact, scrolling, and even "handwriting" (apparently by figuring out if you are mimicking the action of holding a pen).
This is a multitouch keyboard and touchpad combination. And it wouldn't make sense to have a touchpad like this without a screen behind it; you would never know where the keys were.
If Apple is planning on applying this, the greatest place to do so would be on an ultraportable. And if you are going to take advantage of a keyboard, you have to be able to rest your fingers on it. So I would hope that it would be able to be tilted separate from the screen so that you could actually use it sensibly.
So assuming that the folding tablet idea doesn't work, what other innovative ways would there be to have a two-screen (at least one of which was ultramultitouch with keyboard) tablet? Or something with the functionality of a tablet (holding it at a 90 degree angle and writing on the screen, carrying it like a legal pad, etc). You know, an Apple-worthy concept.
Of course I naturally hope that they can pull something together using flexible displays or something. 'Cause that would quite literally pwn. The rest of the market, that is.