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Apple orders 10-inch touchscreens for mystery product

post #1 of 244
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Adding fuel to rumors of a so-called "netbook" under development inside Apple, Reuters is now citing its own sources in saying the touchscreens ordered by the company measure 10 inches diagonally.

In a report published early Wednesday morning, the media outlet pointed to an unnamed source who said the Cupertino-based electronics maker "will take third-quarter delivery of newly developed 10-inch touchscreens from Taiwan."

The source, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to talk to the media, added the screens would come from long-time iPhone touchscreen supplier Wintek, which resides in Taiwan.

As was the case with the sources of a similar article run Tuesday by Dow Jones, the insider speaking to Reuters maintained no knowledge of "what the final product would be."

Speculation that the product at hand would be a scaled-down, budget notebook popularly known as a "netbook" was sparked earlier in the week when the Chinese-language Commercial Times broke the story on Apple's plans to acquire touchscreens much larger than those employed by its iPhone and iPod touch handheld products.

Although the source speaking to the Far Eastern publication similarly denied knowledge of the product for which the screens are destined, the report was syndicated by Taiwanese-based DigiTimes under the title "Wintek to supply touch panels for Apple netbook."

For its part, AppleInsider believes the new screens are more likely to turn up in a final version of the company's much-anticipated Newton/Web tablet, which has been under development for around three years now after facing a number of bumps and hurdles.

Members of Apple's leadership have been clear in their remarks about conventional netbooks which they feel are "principally based on hardware that's much less powerful than [...] customers want, software technology that is not good, cramped keyboards, [and] small displays."

Last fall, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs referred to the segment as a "nascent category" while adding that to the best of his knowledge, "there's not a lot of them being sold."

That said, he noted that Apple keeps a close eye on netbooks, and even went on to tease that the company has "some pretty interesting ideas" should the segment evolve into something bigger.

Those same sentiments were echoed earlier this year by Jobs' right-hand man, chief operating officer Tim Cook, who has assumed day-to-day control of the company while Jobs takes medical leave through June to address a complicated nutritional problem contributing to his rapid weight loss.

"We don't think people will be pleased with those [netbook] products," he told analysts during a conference call. "It's a category we watch, we've got some ideas here, but right now we think the products are inferior and will not provide an experience to customers they're happy with."

For more on the subject, see AppleInsider's Newton topics page, which dates back to September 2007, when we first reported word of a next-generation Newton-like tablet under development at Apple.
post #2 of 244
What the heck is is a 10" diameter screen? Is this thing round?
post #3 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodstains View Post

What the heck is is a 10" diameter screen? Is this thing round?

HA! That made me laugh out loud, I thought the same thing

And I'm sticking with the idea of the Touch Book (Always Innovating). Great design - Apple could do better
post #4 of 244
I'm pretty pleased with my Lenovo netbook...the keyboard is a little small but works. The Samsung keyboard is even better.

But I still don't expect an Apple netbook. That would really hurt Macbook sales. Okay, I can see an Ion based Apple netbook...for $999.

Perhaps a higher end ARM one like the Always Innovating netbook someone posted.

http://www.alwaysinnovating.com/touchbook/

But that one is DOA despite the nice design. IMHO a linux netbook is mostly useless except for geeks. OpenOffice <> MS Office. Atom is far superior unless MS is willing to do a ARM OSX port. That seems really unlikely.
post #5 of 244
I thought Apple said a netbook was not an option?

Funny how now its important to them


Maybe they will get Blu Ray when PCs move to something better!

Apple is always behind in getting on the bandwagon for technology. Maybe this is why they sit under the 10% threshold marketshare.
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post #6 of 244
Ireland is going to walking to clouds all day after he reads this.
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post #7 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

I thought Apple said a netbook was not an option?

Funny how now its important to them


Maybe they will get Blu Ray when PCs move to something better!

Apple is always behind in getting on the bandwagon for technology. Maybe this is why they sit under the 10% threshold marketshare.

I can almost hear Steve Jobs at a Keynote:

"I once said 'We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk, and our DNA will not let us ship that'"

Boy was I wrong. Our engineers at apple are so great we were able to design the new TouchBook ...

...and all of that for just $449. $50 less than our target price."
post #8 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

I thought Apple said a netbook was not an option?

Funny how now its important to them

Psst, it's a rumor. In addition, a 10" tablet would not = a netbook.

I'm having a very hard time believing this news though. I figured Apple would replace their glass, MultiTouch trackpads with glass, MultiTouch displays, but 10"!? What the BLEEP are they working on!?

If they make a 10" keyboardless tablet, I will eat my proverbial hat! Such a thing would not be practical (and one with a physical keyboard wouldn't be either).
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post #9 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

I thought Apple said a netbook was not an option?

Funny how now its important to them

edit: Pipped by Bloodstains.

Quote:
Apple is always behind in getting on the bandwagon for technology. Maybe this is why they sit under the 10% threshold marketshare.

Yes, they are. They weren't first to the MP3 or to the smartphone markets, but that doesn't mean that they won't become the de facto standard of excellence once they enter that market. If Apple does produce a netbook-like machine it won't be a $300 and probably won't even run Atom, at least I hope not.
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post #10 of 244
Aspect ratio? 4:3, 16:9, 16:10?

Resolution? 100ppi?

Fluorescent, LED, OLED backlight?

Touch screen?
post #11 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

I thought Apple said a netbook was not an option?

Funny how now its important to them


Maybe they will get Blu Ray when PCs move to something better!

Apple is always behind in getting on the bandwagon for technology. Maybe this is why they sit under the 10% threshold marketshare.

1) They never said that, and you know it. They said nascent... get a dictionary.
2) they'll own download when people are using their blu-ray players for pencil holders.
2) they wait until the market is right and people have had time to experience really bad implementations.

Go back under your bridge.
post #12 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

Apple is always behind in getting on the bandwagon for technology.

Debatable, but even if true, so what? Most people want something that works reasonably well, does what it promises to do most of the time, and without a great deal of fuss. And, designed in a manner that pleases the eye.

Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

Maybe this is why they sit under the 10% threshold marketshare.

Again, so what? As a shareholder, I am quite happy with a lower volume/higher price and hence, higher margin strategy. And, as a (non-gamer) consumer, I could care less if the other 90% used Apples or not.
post #13 of 244
I can already smell the disappointment from people when Apple finally releases whatever this thing is. What? It's not $200?

Stop thinking that Apple can produce a product with features no other product has for the same price. They can't. If this thing has a touch screen, it will not be sold at a netbook price. End of story.

I'm still trying to figure out what problem the netbook solves, anyway. I have a laptop. I have an iPhone. What good is an underpowered laptop that is smaller than my current MacBook Pro, but can't run Photoshop or Final Cut effectively? Meanwhile, it can surf the web and send emails a bit better than my iPhone, but it is too large to carry in my pocket. What does this give me that I don't already have?

I guess I just don't find carrying a 5 lb laptop that inconvenient, nor do I consider my iPhone that underpowered for those times when I don't want to carry a 5 lb. laptop.

Like many products, the netbook sounds a lot better on paper than it performs in real life use.
post #14 of 244
That last tablet patent filing that was attributed to Jonathan Ive depicted an example that was supposed to be 10". It was a much more square aspect ratio like 4:3 or 5:4.

It also presented hypothetical drawing of it using desktop OS X but with some weird proximity sensor that ballooned interface elements (close/minimize) when your fingers got close to the screen (am I remembering that part correctly)?

If someone can queue that up for discussion's sake.

My biggest problem with this is what the poster above said: what product need is this?
post #15 of 244
If this isn't some special future product, say, for Army (that is very improbable), it's gonna be something like Eee then.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #16 of 244
Reason why this would be quite welcome from my point of view is:

I do video editing and heavy duty work on my Mac Pro. When I get stuffy and feel like getting out I take the Macbook Pro. The Macbook Pro is great for things on the run. I also like to use it for Aperture and Photoshop while out taking pics.

I'd buy this "Touchbook" for everything else beyond work. If it's powerful enough to handle Aperture that would be cool enough. I'd love to have something just for cruising around or weekend travels and use it for iWork.

To have this extra option would be killer if it's $899 to around $1099. I see it as an option for those that have an iMac or Mac Pro or even the mini as a portable that's does just enough to get by. Of course if it costs more than a mini I guess those people wouldn't be the target. But a person who owns an iMac or Mac Pro who doesn't need an all in one laptop. If the price is right this would be far more enticing than an Air. I don't feel the Macbook is at risk, but I feel the Air is more at risk at taking a hit. But it all depends on specs and pricing.
post #17 of 244
I guess, they'll be like 699 or 799

Can't go too high, or it'll kill MacBook White. I'm sure Apple won't phase out MacBook White, after all, there are some people who wants FireWire, right? And don't want to go all the way to MacBook Pros. Besides, Apple need something under 1,000.

So, if you look at the pricing patterns below, I'm sure they, if they ever launch a Netbook (Hope they recycle the Newton brand), would most likely fall either 699 or 799.

MacBook White 999

(+300)

MacBook Al 1299

(+300)

MacBook Al Ilum-key 1599

(+200)

MacBook Air 1799

(+200)

MacBook Pro 1999

(+500)

MacBook Pro 2499

(same)
MacBook Air SSD 2499

(+300)

MacBook Pro 17 2799
post #18 of 244
I've played with a few different-size netbooks, and 10" seems to me to be the ideal screen size. Anything smaller, and the keyboard and touchpad are too smooshed.

Of course, none of those netbooks had touchscreens, which suggest a tablet device.
post #19 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

I'm still trying to figure out what problem the netbook solves, anyway. I have a laptop. I have an iPhone. .

Agreed! Netbooks, in their current state, are useless to me. I'd like to see what a netbook made by Apple would look like - I expect them to totally redefine the space.
post #20 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

Apple is always behind in getting on the bandwagon for technology. Maybe this is why they sit under the 10% threshold marketshare.

come on use ya loaf. its pretty bloody obvious for over a year that apple have been waiting on CPU and improving iphone touch to fit in a bigger form (netbook). No point in blundering into a market with an OS not fit for the job (like all the other netbooks out there). It's called waiting for the correct moment, not jumping on bandwagons.

"Maybe this is why they sit under the 10% threshold marketshare"

Apple are doomed I say DOOMED! hahah

maybe it's Apple patience that makes them one of the most successful tech companies out there????

Not long before we find people on this forum saying "Maybe this is why they sit under the 20% threshold marketshare" and round and round and round we go....


Watch this 'netbook' sell like hot cakes
post #21 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

I thought Apple said a netbook was not an option?

Funny how now its important to them


Maybe they will get Blu Ray when PCs move to something better!

Apple is always behind in getting on the bandwagon for technology. Maybe this is why they sit under the 10% threshold marketshare.

i agree that Apple does not always lead in the "look at how many features I have" league..
But it depends on:
1) Apples strategy - some say that the lack of BR is they want to push online services
2) pricing - again BR licensing issues and cost of actual units
3) not a volume producer, but sustainable margins (i.e. look at Gateway and Dell, currently low stock prices as no margins)
4) not just adding features for its own sake - have a friend with a laptop, has builtin card reader. Says its a piece of crap. Slow as hell, had to buy an external card read or uses the SanDisk Ultra 2 USD cards. Crap quality features just add unnecessary costs and cons the buyer.

But Apple does lead in different/other areas.. most dominately in integration and design.
post #22 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

I thought Apple said a netbook was not an option?

Funny how now its important to them


Maybe they will get Blu Ray when PCs move to something better!

Apple is always behind in getting on the bandwagon for technology. Maybe this is why they sit under the 10% threshold marketshare.

Apple always does this, you saw it with the delay of Leopard, the iPhone, the Macbook Air etc. They say "Oh, thats not going to happen" then it happens. Saying that, I would need a bit more evidence to know this is true. I remember all the people going retard strong last year because of the "arrival of netbooks" at customs for Apple, which turned out to be just a new iphone.

Apple's smart, they aren't huge, so they wait till somethings been proven on the market (look at anything they've done, they are not a hardware innovator,) change it a little bit so it seems like they started it, and then everyone thinks of them as a huge inventer of new technology.
post #23 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Ireland is going to walking to clouds all day after he reads this.

through clouds, perhaps?
post #24 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

I can already smell the disappointment from people when Apple finally releases whatever this thing is. What? It's not $200?

Stop thinking that Apple can produce a product with features no other product has for the same price. They can't. If this thing has a touch screen, it will not be sold at a netbook price. End of story.

I'm still trying to figure out what problem the netbook solves, anyway. I have a laptop. I have an iPhone. What good is an underpowered laptop that is smaller than my current MacBook Pro, but can't run Photoshop or Final Cut effectively? Meanwhile, it can surf the web and send emails a bit better than my iPhone, but it is too large to carry in my pocket. What does this give me that I don't already have?

Like many products, the netbook sounds a lot better on paper than it performs in real life use.

It has a real keyboard. I know that the netbook isn't for everyone, but I love mine. It can run everything (have Linux, OS X, and Windows on it) reasonably well, gets 7 hours of battery life and I can put it in my bag and forget I have it. Plug my iphone into it and I have internet everywhere too.

A netbook is in the same market as a Macbook Air, but priced 5 times less. Its meant as a second computer so when you want to travel you can bring it along without having to think about the weight or not having enough space to use it.
post #25 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

What good is an underpowered laptop that is smaller than my current MacBook Pro, but can't run Photoshop or Final Cut effectively?

Your use (and even mention) of those products makes you a non-standard user. This product will be for the 99% who never use FCP and PS.
post #26 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuBeck View Post

Apple's smart, they aren't huge, so they wait till somethings been proven on the market (look at anything they've done, they are not a hardware innovator,) change it a little bit so it seems like they started it, and then everyone thinks of them as a huge inventer of new technology.

utter garbage sorry!
post #27 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

Maybe this is why they sit under the 10% threshold marketshare.

Where do they sit with respect to innovation, customer satisfaction, and intuitiveness?

post #28 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by miniMoe View Post

Aspect ratio? 4:3, 16:9, 16:10?

Resolution? 100ppi?

Fluorescent, LED, OLED backlight?

Touch screen?

If it's OLED the product will be > $1000 Tablet with far greater than 100ppi. It'll be at least that of the iPhone's 166ppi.
post #29 of 244
Are we talking about a Macbook Nano, basically a smaller Macbook Air, or is it a big iPod Touch?
post #30 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuBeck View Post

(look at anything they've done, they are not a hardware innovator,) change it a little bit so it seems like they started it, and then everyone thinks of them as a huge inventer of new technology.

Right. Apple didn't invent the cell phone, they just perfected it. RIM, Motorola, and Palm are scrambling to catch up.
post #31 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgetang View Post

I guess, they'll be like 699 or 799

Can't go too high, or it'll kill MacBook White. I'm sure Apple won't phase out MacBook White, after all, there are some people who wants FireWire, right? And don't want to go all the way to MacBook Pros. Besides, Apple need something under 1,000.

I think keeping the MacBook White was a stop-gap... it SO doesn't fit in with the design of the rest of the product line. I think it will be gone by end of year.
post #32 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Psst, it's a rumor. In addition, a 10" tablet would not = a netbook.

I'm having a very hard time believing this news though. I figured Apple would replace their glass, MultiTouch trackpads with glass, MultiTouch displays, but 10"!? What the BLEEP are they working on!?

If they make a 10" keyboardless tablet, I will eat my proverbial hat! Such a thing would not be practical (and one with a physical keyboard wouldn't be either).

I completely agree with the exception that this rumour seems to have some solid legs.

I sure hope this isn't true though. A 5" to 7" touch-screen mini-tablet would be an excellent product. A 10" screen is not pocketable, not easy to hold or work on and would look silly unless it's running full OS-X and not the iPhone version.

Possibly it's one of those occasions where the leak is true, but it's for a different product and the mini-netbook-tablet thing is still in the works but not yet leaked.
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post #33 of 244
Wasn't there an Apple patent of a dual screen hinged device ala Nintendo DS floating around some months ago? Seems to me that a 10 inch diagonal would make a very nice standard notebook secondary screen replacing the touchpad, etc.
post #34 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

I think keeping the MacBook White was a stop-gap... it SO doesn't fit in with the design of the rest of the product line. I think it will be gone by end of year.

I doubt it. It sells pretty well, and girls think it's cute.
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post #35 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottdburnett View Post

Are we talking about a Macbook Nano, basically a smaller Macbook Air, or is it a big iPod Touch?

Supersized Touch- Apple will be different.
post #36 of 244
A touch screen would make a very nice interface to a Apple TV but 10" seem to be an overkill for that
post #37 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by huntercr View Post

Wasn't there an Apple patent of a dual screen hinged device ala Nintendo DS floating around some months ago? Seems to me that a 10 inch diagonal would make a very nice standard notebook secondary screen replacing the touchpad, etc.

This thing?

http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/03...screen_patent/

Interesting.
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post #38 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by huntercr View Post

Wasn't there an Apple patent of a dual screen hinged device ala Nintendo DS floating around some months ago? Seems to me that a 10 inch diagonal would make a very nice standard notebook secondary screen replacing the touchpad, etc.

maybe a clamshell..
dual touch screens.
ie replace your touch pad and mouse..

let it open eitehr side up...
and have 1 screen be the dispaly and touchpad (to replace the touchpad) and the other other touch screen be a iphone-sque keyboard and touch pad as well, so like a graphics tablet..
post #39 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottdburnett View Post

Are we talking about a Macbook Nano, basically a smaller Macbook Air, or is it a big iPod Touch?

That's really the question, isn't it?

Put an open, extendable OS on it that anyone can write software for, or close it off, force you to wait in line in order to code for it, and also tie it contractually and by hardware to some evil entity?

The netbook market is definitely about mobility and browsing--also light document editing. The former will definitely suggest to Apple "iPod Touch"--complete with AT&T contract--but the latter should give them pause. I'm willing to bet most people type faster on an 80%-sized mechanical keyboard than they will on a similarly-sized touch keyboard (that also takes up screen real estate).
post #40 of 244
I might start making teleportation machines, then in 20 years when apple 'copies' my idea, I can tell everyone Apple never innovates and stole my idea.

Does it matter that my teleportation machine consists of nothing more than a cardboard box? No, according to some on this forum.
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