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Exclusive: Apple to adopt Intel's ultra-mobile PC platform

post #1 of 180
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Apple Inc. will form a closer bond with once-rival Intel Corp. early next year when it begins building a new breed of ultra-mobile processors from the chipmaker into a fresh generation of handheld devices, AppleInsider has learned.

The two firms have been rubbing the sticks ever since the Spring of 2005, when Apple agreed to use Intel's desktop and mobile class processors to further the development of its Mac product line, leaving behind an ailing relationship with PowerPC chip supplier IBM.

In the months that followed, Intel went on to form an internal 'Apple Group' comprised of engineering and sales staff who serve to aid Apple's engineers in Intel-related product development, while pitching to the computer maker new technologies from its own internal skunkwork operations.Â*

By last March, the two industry heavyweights were admittedly on to something when Deborah Conrad, vice president and director of Team Apple at Intel, told a group of CNet reporters that Apple's way of looking at the world was making Intel "think different" about its own business.

"That's really what's interesting about Apple, is they look at our technology in a very Apple way," she said, adding that when it came to the prospect of future gadgets other than the iPod, her team got "very, very excited."

The pair's first foray into this extended venture appears to have been the Apple TV wireless set-top-box, which employed a down clocked Intel Pentium M "Crofton" chip at its core. But what's on tap next promises to push the envelope in a completely different direction -- ultra-mobile PCs.

People familiar with the matter tell AppleInsider that Apple will soon emerge as one of the largest supporters of Intel's "Menlow" Mobile Internet Device (MID) platform -- the same platform the Santa Clara-based chipmaker has been harping about for the past several months.

More specifically, those same people say, Apple has taken a liking to the upcoming 45-nanometer (nm) "Silverthorne" chip, agreeing to use it in not one but multiple products currently situated on its 2008 calendar year product roadmap.Â*

Introduced at this year's Spring Intel Developer Forum (IDF) with availability slated for early 2008, Silverthorne is aimed specifically at cell phones, ultra-mobile PCs and other MIDs. The chip is expected to be as fast as the second-generation of Pentium M processors, but use only between half a watt and 2 watts of electrical power -- about one tenth as much as a typical notebook chip.

For his part, Intel chief executive Paul Otellini has gone on record in placing the advancements due with Silverthorne in the same light as those delivered by the original Pentium microprocessor way back when.

"The importance of the new Silverthorne chip is only comparable with the 8088 processor or Pentium, he told the German-language Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in a June interview. Otellini added that his firm plans to deploy a whole "product family" of 45 nm Silverthorne chips in the near future aimed at capturing the "top 10 to 20 percent of the cellphone market.Â

While those people familiar with Apple's product roadmap did not specify in which products the company planned to utilize the Silverthorne processors, two seemingly apparent contenders appear to be the second-generation 3G iPhone and the much rumored Newton successor / ultra-portable slate computer.

Silverthorne side by side with a penny.

That's because, in addition to its extremely favorable power envelope, Silverthorne can fit onto a scant 74mm by 143mm motherboard -- paving the way for lighter, sleeker industrial designs. What's more, Intel in September announced plans to offer ultra-mobile PC builders such as Apple the option to build WiFi, 3G, and WiMAX technologies into their Menlow-based chip packages, such as Silverthorne.

While embedded support for these features threatens Apple's ongoing relationship with several component makers like South Korea-based system-on-a-chip (SoC) supplier Samsung -- whose chips power both the iPhone and new iPod touch -- it presents several cost- and space-saving opportunities for iPhone-like gadgets going forward.

Speaking at the Spring IDF, Otellini said Silverthorne focuses more on cost-efficiency than any of his company's recent designs, which should help Intel boost margins while simultaneously making ultra-mobile computing more affordable worldwide.Â*

A Silverthone wafer based on Intel's new 45nm Hi-k low power microarchitecture.

"Silverthorne is the most cost efficient processor since the 286," he said, wielding a 300mm wafer containing a whopping of 2500 of the 45nm processors. "But it is about 100 times faster."

Otellini promised that the average price of a Silverthorne-based product would be approximately $100, which in itself suggests numerous inexpensive devices for Apple. However, several pricier products are also expected to sport the technology alongside added features.

It remains unclear whether Apple will be ready to divulge details of its own Silverthrone-based products at next month's Macworld Expo, or if those announcements will be reserved until a later date to coincide with general availability of the Intel chip.

Nevertheless, Apple's decision to adopt the Menlow platform further suggests a longer-term strategy that would indeed see the electronics maker step up to that platform's successor, Moorestown, in 2009 or 2010.

Intel shows off iPhone-like concept device running on Moorestown platform | Image courtesy of DailyTech.

At the most recent Fall IDF, Intel executives flaunted an unnamed Moorestown processor, describing it as the 'chip the iPhone would have wanted.' Similar to Silverthorne, the 45nm design bundles an integrated memory controller, video encode/decode engine and graphics processor all on a single SoC.

During an ensuing demonstration, executives whipped out an iPhone-like ultra-mobile PC in apparent homage to Apple, explaining that the Moorestown-based device could run constantly for 24 hours between charges.
post #2 of 180
Cool! Can't wait to see the products that are developed.
post #3 of 180
"Rubbing sticks?"
post #4 of 180
I said this was going to happen, as usual, some argued with me about it.
post #5 of 180
Quote:
two seemingly apparent contenders appear to be the second-generation 3G iPhone and

So there's already a first-gen 3G iPhone out? Seems technology is even outpacing the blogs.
post #6 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I said this was going to happen, as usual, some argued with me about it.

Foolish mortals! (All in fun mel, )
post #7 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I said this was going to happen, as usual, some argued with me about it.

Well, sure...over 11,000 posts and you are bound to be right on a couple of them!

Just kidding

The MacWorld rumor mills seem very quiet this year...guess we'll just have to wait and see if something is coming out of all this in time for unveiling next month!
post #8 of 180
So is the power savings here big enough to offset the increased consumption of 3G radios?
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post #9 of 180
what speed these CPUs run?

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Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

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post #10 of 180
That image looks exactly how I imagined apples forthcoming 7 incher to look like, except the device in the image is a bit longer.
post #11 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I said this was going to happen, as usual, some argued with me about it.

Well, it seems pretty obvious to me. Remember when Steve honoured the Intel CEO with this "Ive designer thingy" on stage at Macworld? Otellini said that the Mac transition to Intel was just the beginning and that they're working on other future products.

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post #12 of 180
iMac 20",Core2Duo 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, ATI RADEON 2600Pro
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post #13 of 180
That's an impressive range for power consumption. With Intel's clout, ARM might have cause for some serious concern once those hit the market.
post #14 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

"Rubbing sticks?"

making fire, heat.
post #15 of 180
If one looks beyond and above as a Steve eagle, one can easily see the man has planned to fill the space between the iPod and the MacBook with plenty of handheld/portable devices, of which the iPhone was just the 1st and the iPod Touch the 2nd out the door.

I guess this means - taking from the article's between the lines sense of timing - Macworld 2008 will be nothing short of bombastic (for the lack of a more strident term), if not for the products themselves, at least for the announcements our Lord is going to provide us, humble servant followers

I am very excited for the prospective of getting a 3G Wifi 7incher and also for the boost this will mean for poor little AAPL that has been suffering so much from headless day traders

I don't really get the comment about lack of rumors - there are so many possibilities already rumored:
  • Mac Nano replacing Mini and Apple TV;
  • 13" ultra portable;
  • 3G iPhone (this is the 2nd generation \) and maybe EDGE 16GB version for the iPhone's current price or cheaper, maybe putting the 8GB version 'on sale' 'til stocks end - but I guess the boss will avoid that since he's had a lot of bad press out of lowering that specific model's price before;
  • 7incher "iPhoney tablet portable" whatever that can run all Mac OS X apps and fit in a pocket (yes, that one in the last pic fits in a pocket, did you notice?!)

Finally, I would like to say that you can take more meaning out of this article because AppleInsider is probably lowering the key a bit more to avoid possible liability in view of Apple's treatment over ThinkSecret! In short, they <comment of rumors and possibilities> when it is quite obvious they probably have gotten confirmation on a lot of things but cannot blow the horn as they would just love to

AAPL Insider rulez!
post #16 of 180
I think Silverthorne is most likely to see use in a revised AppleTV, which uses an Ultra-Low Voltage Pentium M now.

A more powerful CPU would allow the AppleTV to play 1080p video (its graphics chip, a Geforce Go 7300, is not the bottleneck there).
post #17 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Well, sure...over 11,000 posts and you are bound to be right on a couple of them!

Just kidding

The MacWorld rumor mills seem very quiet this year...guess we'll just have to wait and see if something is coming out of all this in time for unveiling next month!

I do my best.
post #18 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by green-bee.salsa View Post

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/intel/int...vie-253558.php

Intel Menlow based UMPC.

Indeed, great pointer!

I am drooling right now and more realizing that Apple will design something much nicer looking than that thing
post #19 of 180
an ultra portable.. thats seemed probable since news first broke about this family of intel chips, how long ago is that?


--

PS Brendan "Ireland" will be along shortly having crapped himself at the news Step AWAY from the sherry before posting mate, looks like your xmas has come early.
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post #20 of 180
Make it small (about 5 inches), running the full Mac OS X 10.5.x, full high-quality video out (wired and wireless, as for portables) and here is an order for thousands for our students and teachers. Think of it as the computer in your palm; the ultimate presentation remote for NATIVE Keynote and PowerPoint presentations. We just cannot wait!
post #21 of 180
Hot diggity damn! I was thinking about picking up an iPhone in the next couple of months (I don't care about 3G), but 24 hours of use with a device only slightly larger than that? I'd buy that for a dollar. Or even $1000.
post #22 of 180
Another reason why I thought Apple would go for this rather than wait until the 2009+ time period, and Moorstown, is because when having a consistent platform across server, desktop, portable, and mini (iPhone, iTouch, possible UMPC of some sort), Apple would want to have a single code compatible chip family, to make it easier for developers to bring their work across to all the platforms at once.

This is more important for Apple, now that they will be releasing the SDK, than it was before. While I understand that the first programs will LIKELY need to be written for the current ARM's (though perhaps not!), this adoption would take place before the amount of code written becomes too unwieldy.
post #23 of 180
No news or new rumors here. Nice pics tho.
post #24 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Make it small (about 5 inches), running the full Mac OS X 10.5.x, full high-quality video out (wired and wireless, as for portables) and here is an order for thousands for our students and teachers. Think of it as the computer in your palm; the ultimate presentation remote for NATIVE Keynote and PowerPoint presentations. We just cannot wait!

One thing I don't think we'll see is an OS X-like GUI. So OSX programs will need a major rewrite to get into these machines. But, that's fine. No one would expect to use their programs intended for ever increasing screen resolutions the same way on a small portable machine, where the cu power will never be the same, no matter how good it does get.

In fact, I believe that modularity will become ever more importand for developers. An entire program can work on a desktop, and possibly, on a portable as well. But, when it comes to these small devices, we may portions of these larger programs appear, rather than the entire program. Actually, this would be good for school use as well.

It would be much bettrr for a subset of Word, or a part, to be used, that would be fully compatible with Word when moved to a big machine, rather than to attempt to squeeze the entire program in.

Even for programs such as Aperture, a sort function may be useful, that would deal with downsized images, but would do no other work on the files, other than to export the results of the sort, to be used in the full program later. Basically, it could create JPG's of the full files (which, hopefully could be downloaded to the device from the Flash card) which would be viewed quickly, arranged, and even magnified a bit to check for exposure and composition, and selects made. It would be the same concept as an edit control list, often done in FCP on a laptop, where the real editing is done later on a Mac Pro back in the studio.

Some devices that are designed for downloading of digital images also have a small, not very good LCD that allows viewing, and some very basic re-ordering, but it is very primitive, as there is no processing power available to do much.

I'm sure people can think of many more examples of this sort of bifurcating of functions between these small devices and larger ones.
post #25 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by mowenbrown View Post

So is the power savings here big enough to offset the increased consumption of 3G radios?

How about power savings enough to just reduce power consumption for its own sake.

While I think there is (and always will be) need for bulked-up desktops and maybe laptops for a few heavy computational needs, I see the same (sadly, American) demand for 'bigger and better' rather than 'smaller and just as good'.

With all of the attention paid to energy waste/pollution due to transportatio, the fact is that 1/3 of power usage in this country is devoted to architectural waste. And a huge amount of that energy waste is devoted to cooling buildings now being heated by superfluous computing power.

How 'bout we accept that for 90% of our computing needs, we're using Mack Trucks to drive to the grocery store? Mail and browsing and entertainment don't require Ferraris.

I think the lower power of these new chips is terrific, and we should eschew using that savings as an excuse to feel entitled to our current waste levels.

</endEnviroRant>
post #26 of 180
I'd heard some people suggesting that Apple buy AMD using up some of that $15 billion in cash. However some sort of exclusive partnership with Intel makes more sense. I'm hoping that Apple doesn't do anything to piss-off Intel. Those two companies seem like a match made in heaven. If Apple has made Intel re-think their computing goals, that is a wonderful thing for consumers. The hand-held computer market may just explode. The power of a desktop in the palm of your hand. Sounds sweet to me.
post #27 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by XamaX View Post

(yes, that one in the last pic fits in a pocket, did you notice?!)

----

I am drooling right now more and more realizing that Apple will design something much nicer looking than that thing

Maybe a pocket for a friggin giraffe.

That thing is UUUUUGLY. I don't think it can get any uglier unless it has a M$ Windoze logo stuck to it.

Here's what they'll be using the new chips for.

The Power of Ten. (click image to view full size)

As you can see, this 9" x 6.5" device (9" screen diagonal; 800x500 resolution) sports an iSight camera with mic, stereo speakers, and two physical buttons on the face:
  • Power button (press once to turn off screen and put in sleep mode; press and hold to power down)
  • Exposé button (press once to see all your open windows, press twice to open Dashboard, press and hold to minimize all open windows to the dock and zoom all the way out)
It also has dedicated volume buttons, a play/pause button, and Ctrl, Alt, and Command buttons on the face between the speakers, all touch-sensitive (similar to the LG Chocolate).

The device runs an updated version of Mac OS X Leopard that uses the Spaces engine + multitouch to allow two- and three-finger guesturing to zoom in and out both within programs and on the overall desktop (hence the press-and-hold option for the Exposé button). The screen has an articulating frame with braille-like dots that allow tactile play and response for the multi-layout onscreen keyboard that pops up whenever you rest more than four fingers on the screen or open it manually by double-tapping the spotlight icon. A smaller, magnification-based keypad (press and slide back/forth/up/down to choose character; release to select) also pops up in an unused corner of the screen whenever the Ctrl, Alt, or Command modifier keys are pressed. This allows for common keyboard shortcuts to retain their old functionality.

A built-in orientation sensor automatically switches the screen from landscape to portrait, but this can be manually overriden by "gripping" the screen with three fingers and twisting. The back of the device has an ultrathin pop-out reinforced stand that, while not significantly adding to weight, allows it to be propped up at a 20 degree (for typing) or 70 degree (for watching videos or video chatting) angle. The stand is slightly loose in its clipping mechanism and thus, though it cannot be removed entirely, can be quickly re-oriented to prop it up in portrait orientation.

One configuration of Cover Flow + QuickLook + orientation sensor allows for full-screen Cover Flow browsing in landscape and an automatic switch to QuickLook for the highlighted file when you switch to portrait.

The dock can be reconfigured to provide iPhone-esque icons that can be scrolled through by flicking them back and forth. Likewise, watching movies in portrait view allows for the user to open up an iPhone-style interface on the bottom half of the screen for surfing the web or typing a quick email.

The outer frame is the same no-slip brushed aluminium featured in the iPod Touch. The device comes standard with a composite leather sleeve that fits tightly around the outside edges and sports a stiff leather cover to flip over the screen when not in use (it automatically secures with magnets at the base).

Supports full Bluetooth, WiFi, and infrared (for Apple Remote) and comes with a built-in 3G and EDGE radio (configurable with the purchase of a supported wireless broadband data plan). The WiFi also allows for automatic data syncing (a few folders for work and a few for home?) with a desktop or notebook Apple with compatible AirPort.

The left edge has the MagSafe power port, two USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet port, Firewire port, video out port, and 3.5mm audio input/output jacks. It also has a standard iPod dock built into the right edge of the device. Thin, tall third-party "expansion pack dongles" can be plugged into the iPod dock to allow for GPS support or other similar functionality. Bluetooth support allows for third-party headsets to mimic phone service using VOIP if connected to the internet using 3G or WiFi.

No optical drive; 80GB flash memory built into motherboard. Optionally the device can ship with 40GB flash memory and a 120GB 1.8" HDD for extra file storage (the 1.8" drive cannot run programs or the operating system). Battery life with flash-only configuration at medium screen brightness for moderate use is 18 hours.

Pricing starts at $649 for the base configuration and $749 for the HDD, thus (along with the 3G-enabled 16GB iPhone 2 at $599) filling the pricing gap between the current iPhone and the MacBook line (which will be expanded with an ultraportable ultrathin version at $999.

To be announced at the MacWorld convention in January 2008 after all the other products have been announced. Announcement made by Steve Jobs in an iPhone-esque product launch. Release on June 29, 2008.
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post #28 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

I think Silverthorne is most likely to see use in a revised AppleTV, which uses an Ultra-Low Voltage Pentium M now.

I can't find any information that says that AppleTV uses a ULV chip. The model number of the chip and the fact it's codenamed Crofton doesn't seem to appear anywhere except in AppleTV articles. It seems unlikely though, I thought ULV chips cost more.
post #29 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Well, sure...over 11,000 posts and you are bound to be right on a couple of them!

Just kidding

The MacWorld rumor mills seem very quiet this year...guess we'll just have to wait and see if something is coming out of all this in time for unveiling next month!

I had to laugh,
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post #30 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post

PS Brendan "Ireland" will be along shortly having crapped himself at the news Step AWAY from the sherry before posting mate, looks like your xmas has come early.


My first thought too, though I pictured him getting so excited he bought some of his own shamrocks!
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post #31 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Silverthorne is the most cost efficient processor since the 286," he said, wielding a 300mm wafer containing a whopping of 2500 of the 45nm processors. "But it is about 100 times faster."

The 80286 was up to 12Mhz
So 100 times faster (keeping the same Megahertz) would be 1.2Ghz.

But, a PentiumM is faster than a Pentium2, at the same Megahertz. Same for a Pentium2 being faster than a P1 .... 486, 386, 286. The megahertz increase is a bonus, isn't it?
post #32 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleeinstein

As you can see, this 9" x 6.5" device (9" screen diagonal; 800x500 resolution) sports an iSight camera with mic

11", Mac touch my friend - not 9" itouch.
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post #33 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I said this was going to happen, as usual, some argued with me about it.

Of course some argued with you, you're you!

But I've been with you on this one, as hard as that might be to believe.
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post #34 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

One thing I don't think we'll see is an OS X-like GUI. So OSX programs will need a major rewrite to get into these machines. But, that's fine. No one would expect to use their programs intended for ever increasing screen resolutions the same way on a small portable machine, where the cu power will never be the same, no matter how good it does get.

In fact, I believe that modularity will become ever more importand for developers. An entire program can work on a desktop, and possibly, on a portable as well. But, when it comes to these small devices, we may portions of these larger programs appear, rather than the entire program. Actually, this would be good for school use as well.

It would be much bettrr for a subset of Word, or a part, to be used, that would be fully compatible with Word when moved to a big machine, rather than to attempt to squeeze the entire program in.

Even for programs such as Aperture, a sort function may be useful, that would deal with downsized images, but would do no other work on the files, other than to export the results of the sort, to be used in the full program later. Basically, it could create JPG's of the full files (which, hopefully could be downloaded to the device from the Flash card) which would be viewed quickly, arranged, and even magnified a bit to check for exposure and composition, and selects made. It would be the same concept as an edit control list, often done in FCP on a laptop, where the real editing is done later on a Mac Pro back in the studio.

Some devices that are designed for downloading of digital images also have a small, not very good LCD that allows viewing, and some very basic re-ordering, but it is very primitive, as there is no processing power available to do much.

I'm sure people can think of many more examples of this sort of bifurcating of functions between these small devices and larger ones.

A clean demarcation might be seen at anything visual that depends on Core Graphics GPU support. None of that eye candy is going to happen nicely on a machine like this. I believe most of OS X itself could make the transition unscathed. Something graphically between the iPhone and full desktop/laptop functionalities. And those well designed apps can have alternate appropriately scoped functionality sets which honor the restrictions without a ground up rewrite of the entire app.

As for overall CPU computing power, the second generation Pentium M's don't suck for standard email/office/academic work. I wouldn't foresee a need to downgrade app functionality just for CPU cycles, but on the same hand apps won't be able to keep up with all the latest effort desktop/laptop bells and whistles. It will be necessary to give them enough DRAM though or it will get slow fast for having to hit a flash drive a lot.
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post #35 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Make it small (about 5 inches), running the full Mac OS X 10.5.x, full high-quality video out (wired and wireless, as for portables) and here is an order for thousands for our students and teachers. Think of it as the computer in your palm; the ultimate presentation remote for NATIVE Keynote and PowerPoint presentations. We just cannot wait!


5" is the full dimension of an iPhone. I think it needs to be a bit bigger. Personally I have been looking for a ~10" 6:9 form factor. Before anyone gags, that is essentially a steno pad notebook. Just look at a steno pad and think of the possibilities for a portable computer. Along the lines of appleeinstein's mockup, but kill all the bezels except across one end, similar to the iPhones button end. Make the bezel end symmetric, the screen flipable and you get iPhone-like bi-handedness for free too.
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post #36 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Another reason why I thought Apple would go for this rather than wait until the 2009+ time period, and Moorstown, is because when having a consistent platform across server, desktop, portable, and mini (iPhone, iTouch, possible UMPC of some sort), Apple would want to have a single code compatible chip family, to make it easier for developers to bring their work across to all the platforms at once.

This is more important for Apple, now that they will be releasing the SDK, than it was before. While I understand that the first programs will LIKELY need to be written for the current ARM's (though perhaps not!), this adoption would take place before the amount of code written becomes too unwieldy.

We'll see. The disagreement was whether Silverthorn would be in the iPhone in 2008 and your mistaken assertion that preemptive multitasking was unimportant for the ARM in the iPhone or even older PDAs.

I don't think anyone disagreed that the Silverthorn was cool and could appear in a larger Apple product than a phone that needs better battery life than even an ultraportable or UMPC. The Intel Menlow based UMPC has a 4-6 hour battery life. If I remember right the power consumption of Silverthorn is nearly an order of magnitude higher than the ARM.

Without user replaceable batteries that simply wont fly in a phone. Even with user replaceable batteries it's annoying. A smart phone has to at least be a competent phone to start with.

A Mac Nano based on Menlow would be killer and fits between a phone and a laptop. Big enough to take notes on comfortably, small enough to take everywhere, powerful enough to be useful even standalone. I'd want a stylus though in addition to multi-touch. And a user replaceable battery so I can carry a spare on the airplane.
post #37 of 180
I've been a long time MS user and business man. What most business people hoped for with the UMPC was a simple pocket laptop that enabled them to run business software typically only available in desktop OS. MS pushed everyone to build bulky bible size 7" devices. Guess what IDC just reported only 350,000 UMPC sold worldwide in 07' http://origamiproject.com/forums/thread/29265.aspx

I like that prototype length and depth but I feel a built in touch type keyboard is needed. The UMPC concept is to provide the ability to run full windows programs and thus you are not just viewing files like a PDA, etc but you want to do real computing. Thus a touch type keyboard would be what most would prefer. I would like it to have touch screen so that you have the option of using pen input and that would also eliminate the needs for a mouse.

If Apple does not make the same mistakes of the UMPC market they could really strike a blow to MS. Business users all use laptops and a large percent really do not need a super fast computer nor do they really need a huge screen. I still use an old HP Jornada and I still get business people saying what is that? can it run windows? that would be perfect if it ran windows? Those type of clamshell devices sold over 2.3 million each year and they could only run MS applications not full windows. If Apple makes a modern version that can run Windows applications that would sell tens of millions and would change the mind of many die hard MS users like me.

I've asked 50 business people what they wanted and all but one said they would love to have a modern version of my HP Jornada if it could run Windows. They also said that they prefer a touch type keyboard. If you look at the statistics of laptop sales, there are over 113 million sold this year with a huge base of users whom all prefer a touch type keyboard but a good percent just want a simple pocket laptop.

I hope Apple creates a pocket laptop where I can use that as my primary mobile computer; if they do that then I guess I will be forced to be an Apple man?
post #38 of 180
Vinea, I agree! You described the untapped market that is missing, the holly grail, a pocket laptop

"Big enough to take notes on comfortably, small enough to take everywhere, powerful enough to be useful even standalone. I'd want a stylus though in addition to multi-touch. And a user replaceable battery so I can carry a spare on the airplane."

This type of device is not intended to be a phone nor PDA but if the form factor is designed right it could be the first ever pocket laptop. There has NEVER been a pocket laptop ever.
post #39 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

5" is the full dimension of an iPhone. I think it needs to be a bit bigger. Personally I have been looking for a ~10" 6:9 form factor. Before anyone gags, that is essentially a steno pad notebook. Just look at a steno pad and think of the possibilities for a portable computer. Along the lines of appleeinstein's mockup, but kill all the bezels except across one end, similar to the iPhones button end. Make the bezel end symmetric, the screen flipable and you get iPhone-like bi-handedness for free too.

The history of slate/pen only devices has been terrible. That is what the UMPC's did with their 7" versions which only sold 350,000 units worldwide! Same goes for the tablet pc, etc.

A device that is just small enough to fit in a large coat pocket yet is as large as possible given those restraints so that an easy touch type keybord input can be incorporated is what will really sell like hot cakes. That would be the first ever pocket laptop and if ran full windows programs, even MS fans like me would be an Apple convert.
post #40 of 180
Appleeinstein, if that device is the new Apple UMPC, that is not going to attract many mainstream users. That is too large to be jacket pocket size and looks pretty much like the huge variety of UMPC's which only sold 350,000 units according to IDC's Forbes Article this December 2007.

The reality is why those UMPC's had such weak sales are they are too large to be mobile and be stored in your jacket pocket so they were compared to everything not jacket size. Also virtually all the articles and reviews hated the lack of a touch type keyboard. If Apple tried to sell that type of device it will likely get similar results as to all the UMPC's thus far, weak sales.

What Intel has been promoting for these chips is pocket size devices. What is really missing is the first pocket laptop that can run any desktop application. I could see their prototype device with a thin touch type keyboard more of an optional clamshell design really gain a lot of interest for laptop users wanting a simple pocket alternative.
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