Originally Posted by Amorph
wizard69, I like the way you're thinking about this.
Apple could release an answer to a netbook if they wanted to, using the iPhone/iPod touch platform.
I have to think Apple is working on something like this. Most likely an extension of the iPod line, the idea is to get the massive volume that a media player would get but to also extend the Touch environment for more capability.
1) Hardware cost can be higher than the competition's, because the initial price is subsidized by a contract; cell phone reception + wireless = a true "net"book, almost always connected.
Actually I'm hoping for optional carrier capability. Ideally the device would have a port/expansion slot for the RF modem to go with the carrier of your choice. Or no carrier if you want to go sans Mobile carrier. While I'd like to have a cell data option I also want options.
As to price I don't really think it will be all that bad. With the next round of chips we should be able to get a good system for only a little more than the price of an iPod Touch + the RF solution that the user chooses. Frankly I'd rather have the option of no contract too.
2) No issues with Mac application compatibility or performance, or with scaling the Mac interface down to a small screen-- it would actually be an upgrade from the iPhone's screen.
Exactly. Though I would appreciate an upgrade to iPhone's user interface. We certainly don't want the overhead of a desktop interface. The main thing is the need for real multitasking and the support for all the hardware in the device.
In any event iPhone has already demonstrated that apps will not be an issue if the platform is compelling. More so it ought to be able to run current iPhone apps so will have a reasonable head start. Of course apps for the native screensize will come too.
3) No need for a cramped physical keyboard--it would actually be an upgrade from the iPhone's present keyboard.
I'm mixed on physical keyboards. If the keyboard reduces screen size it is a no go.
4) Battery life should be good, given the larger physical size and the iPhone OS' optimizations for power conservation.
Given that the PC board wouldn't be much larger than the iPhone's the battery could be very large indeed. This will be the result of the next generation of SoC that will come out, small and high performance.
5) There may be a separate market of people who would like the iPhone UI scaled up to a larger size because of poor eyesight.
Well that is something that is more of a current issue for me but to be honest I'd rather Apple kept the same density on a larger display. The current screen is very sharp but I'd like to have 720P capable screen. That for media like movies but should also work well as an ebook reader.
6) Given that the physical interface need be no more complicated than the iPhone's, the Apple netbook can actually be physically smaller and "sexier" than other netbooks.
Yeah! A kindle without the huge bezel. Well and a color screen.
7) There is an option to make a Kindle-style reader on a screen that is big enough to not guarantee eyestrain. In fact, it would be a much better platform for document handling generally.
Yep. I'm not sure if people realize just how handy this device will be. The thing is, it can be a completely different solution depending on a specific persons usage.
1) Dave's point that there is a usability gulf between "pocketable" and "not pocketable" is well taken. The only real reason to field this thing is to hit a price point that a full Mac cannot reach.
I disagree on the this, they real reason to field the device is that it will solve many user problems or meet specific wants. That and it will sell like hot cakes.
2) Given 1), Apple might have trouble finding a cost/profit sweet spot in this market. They are aware that people are buying iPhones instead of laptops, but the question is, how many? and how many would be willing to give up "pocketability?"
I'm expecting or hoping for a family of devices. Ideally one would be paper back book size so pocketable is still possible.
3) Backward compatibility with iPhone apps? I'm not sure what all the technical difficulties would be. Similarly, if you got an app for your iBook (heh) would it run on the iPhone? Does Apple want to Balkanize this young platform?
Some backward cmpatibility would be easy.
4) And of course: Does Apple want to cannibalize sales of its popular and highly profitable Mac notebook line?
Nothing personal but the word cannibalize should not be used in this forum.
The MacBook Air is the long-promised "executive PowerBook." It's aimed at a completely different market.
Well right from the beginning I thought the AIR was A joke and still think the concept has a ways to go. The important thing though is that these hand held devices will have many capabilities that attract many different users. They could be eBook readers for one, an Internet device for others, a communications device for excutives and a tablet for the medical industry. That is just a start.