"Real" video iPod, or maybe new "newton"

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
With all this talk of a "widescreen iPod" kicking around, coupled with rumors and patent applications for some kind of touch screen input, with no obvious mac tablet in the works, coupled with their recent exploits in mobile software development (Motorola iTunes phones, Dashboard widgets) could it be possible that a "full screen iPod" could in fact be an apple PDA type device.



I know this idea has been kicking around for a while, and i am sure i am not the first to suggest this, but especially with a "fun products" promised at the next media event, i was surprised to see no active discussion about this here.



There is more still that could imply this. Firstly, most analyst's seem to agree that a full video, touch screen iPod is inevitable, but apple insist that video is merely a nice added bonus on it's ipod lines. Furthermore, although an the ability to search for songs would be nice, a virtual keyboard (as detailed in patent filings) would serve only very limited use in an audio/video device, but would be a necessity in a PDA device.



Furthermore, Mac OS X features such as InkWell (handwriting recognition), have clearly had a good deal of development time invested in them, with almost no real world use right now (once again, with no apple tablet in sight), and inkwell pre dates even video iPod's by some time, and suggests, at least to me, PDA development.



Of more significance still has been talks of "wireless iPods" once again, thought the idea of wi-fi/bluetooth synching of music/video is somewhat useful, neither are fast enough to provide real competition to good old USB, and airtunes is still, in many ways a gimmic. SO though it would serve some use on an ipod, once again, it would become a necessity on a PDA



I believe that Video was the final piece of the "apple PDA" puzzle in order to, like the ipod amongst MP3 players, really set itself apart from the rest of it's competition.



therefor i would expect to see, if not immediately, then within the next 3 months see an all new device branded as something like an "iPad" or "Pocket Mac" (which now i have typed it seems really lame)



i would expect to see a

4"+ widescreen display,

40 & 80 GB HDD's,

Airport/Bluetooth connection,

Video out,

Dock Connector,

Stripped down Mac OS X type OS.

Bundled 'iTunes" like music/video browser, "Text Edit" like memo tool, Calculator, iCal like calendar, iPhoto like photo management (including downloading pictures from camera via optional USB attachment/via bluetooth/wifi equipped cameras) Basic Safari like, and Mail like programs (including address book), "Preview" type PDF/Image reader.



Also, i would expect native support for OS X widgets to run as programs, and Java providing a wealth of other software such as world clocks, games, directories etc. I would also expect the ability to purchase add on programs (a la Palm OS/Widows Mobile) with a stripped down version of iWork available at launch.



If we don't see one at the media event, maybe i will put together a mock up some time.



Still, i can't be the only one to have noticed all these coincidences, Comment's anyone?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    i think you are right on tract, near critcal mass for those things we are all hoping for. you are right when you put together the pieces i feel it's a new direction for ipod, os x and soon the livingroom. the ipod must become more connected, more video. now that would be "fun" as per the invitation. the question always is , just like the newton, too early ???where is the market pushing this type of thing or will this change the dynamics of video, connectivity. hopefully this creates more halo effect and grow non ipod hardware growth. i also think steve is focusing on market share, mind share. it seems apple is the only exciting hardware pc company, most others are simply appliances. i talked to our IT guys, they don't recommend upgrading to intel duo on the windows side since the centrino old hardware is so cheap. less than 1-2% need more than 1.7ghz, BUT with video it needs the power, it seems intel needs something other than "new" to push growth in new chips.
  • Reply 2 of 36
    i think, what you are saying is very true, i dont think apple what to get away from there original idea of the ipod as a music player, and i think the click wheel is to basic for where apple are wanting to go with the technology and app's, but i feel apple doen't what to get rid of there famous "revolutionary" click wheel. So i can see no other way but introduce a new product which they can design something that looks different (design something without a click wheel) and is a more, all-round product, in terms of app's and features.
  • Reply 3 of 36
    I also feel that Apple has a completly new product line in the works. It could be this device or something else entirely. (A living room media center or even a home server for the family.) But we won't see it this Tuesday. Instead, Apple will announce any brand new product line like this on March 28th and start selling it that next Saturday (April 1) during special 30th Anniversary parties at the Apple Stores. This Tuesday expect Mac or iPod related products.
  • Reply 4 of 36
    thttht Posts: 3,323member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bitesizepankakes

    Still, i can't be the only one to have noticed all these coincidences, Comment's anyone?



    The PDA as computing device is not a very good general purpose computing system. Screens are too small, input to cumbersome. So, I don't think it would be a new Newton.



    I can see a tablet being a nice mass market device if the design is right. Form factor needs to be thin thin thin. iPod thick would probably be adequate, but thinner than that would be better. 0.5 inches or less, more like 0.35 inches. Planform of 8.5 x 11 inches, the size of letter-sized paper. Flush-mounted screen of about 13 inches diag. Weight should be less than 1 lb.



    If writing, it needs to be like writing on a piece of paper: no lag, the tip of the pen and the pixels it draws on the LCD need to be like they are top of each other. Pen line thickness should be at least as thin as 0.5 mm pencil lines.



    It also needs to be instant-on, and be usable in the vast majority of lighting conditions.



    These hardware tasks are already supremely difficult. What will probably be harder is creating a decent touch-based and pen-based GUI.
  • Reply 5 of 36
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    the problem with a tablet from my perspective is it requires two hands, the ipod interface doesn't. and it should fit in your shirt pocket, it can be a little longer than the vpod
  • Reply 6 of 36
    I agree, a tablet and PDA serve 2 very different markets. Also, a tablet still doesn't fill the "Real Video" criteria. Now apple have broken into the (legal) video market, it only makes sense to exploit this avenue.



    A tablet mac would be, i think, more likely some time down the road, some time after the formal completion of the "transition" to intel, perhaps as the first "new" line of apple computers upon completion of the transition (everything else looks merely to be "replacements" and upgrades to current PPC lines). I feel an true apple video device needs to come sooner than that to fully capitalize on this new "online video" market it has created.



    I believe an apple branded PDA/Handheld media device at a £300-400 price point would be a hot seller. Admittedly it is expensive for a PDA, but would be a true fully functional Audio/Video player as well as the other PDA functionality, due to the inclusion of a HDD, as opposed to the usual flash based PDA's you see. Plus, with wireless, and the ability to download music/video from iTunes (which i really think needs re-branding now video is such a large feature) without a PC/MAC would probably justify the expense for many.



    An apple tablet may still be in the works, but my initial point remains, re-branding the ipod as a video device doesn't appear to be apple's best move at this point, especially when it is doing so well as is. I would say a new device, a PDA outside the iPod line makes most sense.



    I agree with Fox Hound, even the iPod and PDA's have a very different market. The removal of the click wheel would be a bad move on apple's part for it too. The reason the iPod has such a massive market share is because of it's great interface, complicating it would be a bad move, since i would say the majority of iPod user's are not tech savvy and would find the inclusion of, for example touch screen and virtual keyboards overkill. The beauty of the ipod is that you can just put it in someone's hand and NOT have to explain to them how it works.



    I also agree we will probably not see this device tuesday, though that said, there have been far bigger shock's from apple. Still, i believe that within the next 3 months is a good timeframe (perhaps for the 30th birthday celebrations)
  • Reply 7 of 36
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    no tablet--SJ wants to grow market share, why go after the smallest portion of pc market?? ipod can have several lines, including a video line. all markets then can grow, but more foundation needs to be done especially on the content and connectivity (wifi, BT cellular) apple can get it's own network like espn, and others but broadband cellular needs to be more widespread..it needs to reach critical mass and watch it's reception by customers--like a camera on a phone, does downloading directly to the phone need to be done.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    After thinking about it for a while, all i want from Apple really is an iphone.
  • Reply 9 of 36
    macroninmacronin Posts: 1,174member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by NOFEER

    no tablet--SJ wants to grow market share, why go after the smallest portion of pc market?? ipod can have several lines, including a video line. all markets then can grow, but more foundation needs to be done especially on the content and connectivity (wifi, BT cellular) apple can get it's own network like espn, and others but broadband cellular needs to be more widespread..it needs to reach critical mass and watch it's reception by customers--like a camera on a phone, does downloading directly to the phone need to be done.



    Uh, sales of iPods do not build Mac marketshare...



    Okay, MAYBE a little bit through the 'halo effect', but not as much as one might think...



    BUT!, an Apple tablet, done right, done with all the cool features outlined in the multi-touch interactive display goodness as outlined in the patent filings...



    That just might generate a bit of marketshare...



    Imagine a 13"+ widescreen touchscreen LCD model aimed at the educational market...



    Sell a few million of those to the educational channels, might boost marketshare...



    Imagine a 8"+ widescreen touchscreen LCD model aimed at on-the-go business folk, assorted industrial usage (warehouse inventory control, for example), and ultra-cool sys admin types...



    Imagine a 17"+ widescreen touchscreen model aimed at the creative/DCC market...



    I thnk you can get the idea here...



    Cheers!
  • Reply 10 of 36
    thttht Posts: 3,323member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by NOFEER

    no tablet--SJ wants to grow market share, why go after the smallest portion of pc market??



    My idea of a tablet is a computing device that replicates the user experience of a paper notebook and pen or pencil. The tablets available today are mostly laptops with twistable screens, or a laptop with only pen input that is typically horrible.



    If they can produce something the size of a paper notebook with the same writing user experience, long battery life, <1 lb, I think that would be a big win with an expanding market in education, business, and other markets. That market is not being served right now, and Apple can come in with a killer product much like the 1st gen iPod was for DAPs.



    Quote:

    ipod can have several lines, including a video line. all markets then can grow, but more foundation needs to be done especially on the content and connectivity (wifi, BT cellular) apple can get it's own network like espn, and others but broadband cellular needs to be more widespread..it needs to reach critical mass and watch it's reception by customers--like a camera on a phone, does downloading directly to the phone need to be done.



    I buy into an iPod as a media device for music, photos and videos. I don't buy into an iPod as a PDA.



    It's always a question about input and UI. The iPod doesn't have much input whatsoever. It only has 6 inputs (9 if you count the hold button, the 2 second off fuction, and the on input). But those 6 do a wonderful job at controlling the output making it a great media device. The problem with the PDA is that there are no simple ways for input. It's not much of a digital assistant if you can't enter input effectively.



    What looks to be happening is that the PDA market is converging to QWERTY thumb-boards, and that makes sense to me. If Apple produces a new "newton" it better have a QWERTY thumb-board or something better.



    That's one question. The other is whether Apple really wants to enter this market, essentially the BlackBerry market. There's really no opening for it since RIM and MS have the email server and email app locked up. The smartphone market is equally difficult because runs into the problem of catering to the wireless carriers.
  • Reply 11 of 36
    tednditedndi Posts: 1,921member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by THT

    My idea of a tablet is a computing device that replicates the user experience of a paper notebook and pen or pencil. The tablets available today are mostly laptops with twistable screens, or a laptop with only pen input that is typically horrible.



    If they can produce something the size of a paper notebook with the same writing user experience, long battery life, <1 lb, I think that would be a big win with an expanding market in education, business, and other markets. That market is not being served right now, and Apple can come in with a killer product much like the 1st gen iPod was for DAPs.





    I agree. Especially if it can run aperture. Then it could also double as a digital light table and could be used to capture images from wifi cameras, upload stuff to a web site, and also used to download images from a cf/smartmedia card.



    Add to it the ability to do a little digital image enhancements using a functional stylus something like a lightweight, portable and OS x fully functional wacom cintiq.
  • Reply 12 of 36
    macroninmacronin Posts: 1,174member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by THT

    If Apple produces a new "newton" it better have a QWERTY thumb-board or something better.



    Must have missed all of those Apple patent applications, huh?!?



    Quote:

    Originally posted by THT

    The smartphone market is equally difficult because runs into the problem of catering to the wireless carriers.



    Which is why Apple would only get into the cellphone/smartphone/PDA business (again, in some aspects) if they also became a virtual carrier...
  • Reply 13 of 36
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    ... which they would not do.



    So there you have it. Simple logic: The iPhone is dead, dead, DEAD.
  • Reply 14 of 36
    macroninmacronin Posts: 1,174member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Anders

    ... which they would not do.



    So there you have it. Simple logic: The iPhone is dead, dead, DEAD.




    Okay, when does the logic part kick in?



    All you have said was that they wouldn't do it, but no reasons as to why...



    Back up the statement, bro...
  • Reply 15 of 36
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    Okay:



    -Apple would never make a product only for USA and Apple would never become a carrier outside USA.

    -Apple would not be able to add anything to the service they would provide as a virtual carrier. The original carrier controls that since they own the equipment. Besides ring tones and start up screens they would not be able to give the service the "Apple touch"

    -They would not control anything themselves wrt level of service.
  • Reply 16 of 36
    macroninmacronin Posts: 1,174member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Anders

    Okay:



    -Apple would never make a product only for USA and Apple would never become a carrier outside USA.

    -Apple would not be able to add anything to the service they would provide as a virtual carrier. The original carrier controls that since they own the equipment. Besides ring tones and start up screens they would not be able to give the service the "Apple touch"

    -They would not control anything themselves wrt level of service.




    -A lot of authoritative 'nevers' there...



    -Why would they not be able to add to their services? When you become a vitual carrier, you are renting/leasing bandwidth on another's infrastructure/network, to do with all you please... Think iChat as oppossed to 'regular' text messaging... Think video iChat... Think internet access tied in with .Mac... Think a Mail client... Think different, man!



    -As for LOS, think if Apple set up zones for coverage, and piped everything back to the nearest Apple Store, at which point the data stream would switch to IP delivery (to an Apple Store on the other end of the call, and out to the rented/leased zone from there)...



    Never say never... After all, plenty of folks said Apple would NEVER go to Intel CPUs, and look how that worked out...
  • Reply 17 of 36
    How about none of the above? How about 23" and 30" cinema displays with multi-input touch screens and virtual keybords. Even an Imac pro line based off those. The 23" would be able to have upto 6GB ram, and 1TB harddrive with a dual-core 2.8ghz xeon and all the other standard stuff. Then a 30" would allow upto 8GB ram, 1TB of harddrive, and a 3ghz dual-core xeon with the extras. Of course, each with a DVI out that can power another display of the same size. Both aimed at management and drawing/photography users. In a few months all powermacs(Mac Towers?) would be quad-core systems, with the high end one with "dual quad core", aimed at heavy video users, or anyone else needing that kind of performance.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    gargar Posts: 1,201member
    The fresher the members the extraordinairy their speculations and wish lists.

    Steve's rdf?
  • Reply 19 of 36
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by MacRonin

    -A lot of authoritative 'nevers' there...



    -Why would they not be able to add to their services? When you become a vitual carrier, you are renting/leasing bandwidth on another's infrastructure/network, to do with all you please... Think iChat as oppossed to 'regular' text messaging... Think video iChat... Think internet access tied in with .Mac... Think a Mail client... Think different, man!




    All that they could either do without becoming a virtual operator or is less functional (iChat instead of SMS´s). My argument is that cell infrastructure is so standarized today that you really can´t wiggle your ears as an operator unless your hardware provider has thought of it first, much less as an virtual one. The only wiggling you can do is in places where you don´t need to have the infrastructure to do it



    Quote:

    Originally posted by MacRonin

    --As for LOS, think if Apple set up zones for coverage, and piped everything back to the nearest Apple Store, at which point the data stream would switch to IP delivery (to an Apple Store on the other end of the call, and out to the rented/leased zone from there)...



    LOS=Loss of service?



    What you describe would be an infrastructure nightmare not worth the costs.



    But since I think my arguments won´t convince you and visa versa lets stop here
  • Reply 20 of 36
    macroninmacronin Posts: 1,174member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Anders

    LOS=Loss of service?



    LOS = Level of Service



    Quote:

    Originally posted by Anders

    But since I think my arguments won´t convince you and visa versa lets stop here



    I just do not like when people speak in absolutes...



    Always leave options open, because you never really know...



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