Larger Apple multi-touch devices move beyond prototype stage

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
There's a 50-50 chance that Apple will introduce new form factor multi-touch devices at its developers conference next week, ushering the company into the ultra-mobile computing space, one Wall Street analyst says.



"We believe there is a 50% chance that a new form factor will be introduced, marking Apple's entrance into the emerging "MID" or mobile internet device market," American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu wrote in a report to clients Thursday. "Our sources indicate 4-inch and 7-inch touchscreen devices beyond prototype stage that are a cross between a Mac and iPod touch."



It's believed the analyst is referring to a long-running skunkworks project at Cupertino-based electronics maker, first reported by AppleInsider last September, aimed at producing a more capable, modern day reincarnation of its Newton MessagePad that will also dual as an Internet tablet and more.



Still, Wu hedges his bets somewhat on an introduction at next week's Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, explaining that "exact timing of production isn't clear." He added, however, that he believes "it is inevitable that Apple will bring more touchscreen devices to market" that will further leverage its trademark multi-touch technology first introduced on the iPhone.



More certain is the analyst on Apple's iPhone-related announcements for the conference. He said supply chain sources indicate at least two new models of the touch-screen handset will make an appearance, including a much anticipated version that will run on so-called 3G networks for $399 to $499, in addition to a revised 2.5G version that will sell for $50 to $100 less than today's $399 introductory price.



"Our sense is that Apple is more focused on driving volume compared to a year ago, raising the possibility of carrier subsidies as likely," the analyst told clients. "In terms of features, we are picking up on an improved virtual keyboard with haptics giving it a more tactile feel, GPS and improved location services, and thinner and lighter casing that is more durable and inexpensive to produce."



Wu defended his belief that Apple will continue to market a 2.5G iPhone by noting that 3G coverage is still relatively small and concentrated globally compared to 2.5G technology. In many parts of the world such as Latin and South America where the iPhone has potential with a high number of subscribers, "having just a 3G version to offer doesn't make much technical and economic sense," he said. "The components in a 3G phone are more expensive, not to mention consume more battery power and generate more heat."



The AmTech analyst also told clients that while WWDC has traditionally been a forum for Apple to introduce new Mac systems, that's unlikely to be the case this year due to a conflict in deployment schedules.



"While we believe it makes logical sense for Apple to introduce new Macs at WWDC, our sources indicate radically refreshed portable Macs most likely won't be ready for volume production until the September quarter," he explained. "We believe we could end up with a 'special event' in calendar quarter three to announce these new Macs."



Wu advised Apple investors that shares of the company are often volatile around keynotes by chief executive Steve Jobs, like the one set for Monday, but nevertheless reiterated his Buy rating and $220 price target.



"With new products widely anticipated, we do not have a good feel for how the stock will trade on new product announcements, which are sometimes 'sell the news' events," he wrote. "We would take advantage of weakness to add to positions."
«1345

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 91
    cosmic68cosmic68 Posts: 13member
    1st?



    50% chance?



    80.8% of all statistics are made up.
  • Reply 2 of 91
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Makes sense to me, a 3G version for people who must have it and a cheaper 2G version for people who mostly want to talk. The mid sized tablet is also sensible, but I don't know how much of a cross between an iPhone and a Mac it will be. I think it will be a larger Touch if it exists.
  • Reply 3 of 91
    gordygordy Posts: 970member
    There has been no real movement in the MID sector. I doubt Apple releases such a product, until the platform gains some momentum. Old Apple, sure, but not the new Apple.
  • Reply 4 of 91
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quick, hide this thread from Ireland!





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cosmic68 View Post


    50% chance?



    They either will or won't release a new device. Hence, 50/50.
  • Reply 5 of 91
    tailpipetailpipe Posts: 345member
    This is very exciting news. It's a question of 'when' not 'if'.



    We will probably see prototype devices long before the real thing is launched. So it is quite possible that the technology will be unveiled at WWDC. I wouldn't bet on a commercial model appearing before January 2009 at the earliest.



    However long it takes to get it right, i think it'll be worth the wait. I see such a device as ushering in a new era of computing. We spent the first 30 years of the IT Age getting the coding of instructions right and the programs which have emerged have created a robust framework for a series of devices that go way beyond any traditional definition of a computer.



    What I love about Apple is that it creates products which allow us to focus on the purpose for which they were created rather than on the reliability of the systems themselves. Sure, there are still glitches with OSX, but overall the interface is just so slick and user- friendly that any Apple is a delight to use. Sorry, to sound like an ad for Apple, but it's true.



    The traditional keyboard is a barrier to ease-of-use. Touch screens that enable a raft of application-specific commands to be inputted quickly and easily will make life much better. But they are only the beginning of many radical new interface types. Apples MacTouch, or whatever they call it, is the first of the next generation but not the last by any means. I believe that we are still at the dawn of computing.



    I am sure a computer we can interact with just by speaking to it, is just around the corner. How long will it be before a computer (artificial intelligence or robot if you prefer the title) becomes a genuine substitute for a human being? Not long if you ask me.



    If you had to put your money on any one company to develop truly artificial intelligence, then it has to be Apple. Eat your heart out US Robots.
  • Reply 6 of 91
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Its 53/47% surely?
  • Reply 7 of 91
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Have to agree with Gordy. There WILL be an Apple 'TouchBook' and it will kick arse, but not just yet. The Apple style theses days is to let a market penetrate the public psyche, then blow away the competition.
  • Reply 8 of 91
    Kasper, anyone, can I personalize my AppleInsider homepage to automatically block any article containing the words, "Shaw Wu" (or "analyst" for that matter)...? They contain no new information, are a rebroadcasting of past AI headlines, and, quite honestly, a waste of my time.



    Thank you.



    -Clive
  • Reply 9 of 91
    xflarexflare Posts: 199member
    LOL These analysts make me laugh!!!!!
  • Reply 10 of 91
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post


    This is very exciting news. It's a question of 'when' not 'if'.



    We will probably see prototype devices long before the real thing is launched. So it is quite possible that the technology will be unveiled at WWDC. I wouldn't bet on a commercial model appearing before January 2009 at the earliest.



    However long it takes to get it right, i think it'll be worth the wait. I see such a device as ushering in a new era of computing. We spent the first 30 years of the IT Age getting the coding of instructions right and the programs which have emerged have created a robust framework for a series of devices that go way beyond any traditional definition of a computer.



    What I love about Apple is that it creates products which allow us to focus on the purpose for which they were created rather than on the reliability of the systems themselves. Sure, there are still glitches with OSX, but overall the interface is just so slick and user- friendly that any Apple is a delight to use. Sorry, to sound like an ad for Apple, but it's true.



    The traditional keyboard is a barrier to ease-of-use. Touch screens that enable a raft of application-specific commands to be inputted quickly and easily will make life much better. But they are only the beginning of many radical new interface types. Apples MacTouch, or whatever they call it, is the first of the next generation but not the last by any means. I believe that we are still at the dawn of computing.



    I am sure a computer we can interact with just by speaking to it, is just around the corner. How long will it be before a computer (artificial intelligence or robot if you prefer the title) becomes a genuine substitute for a human being? Not long if you ask me.



    If you had to put your money on any one company to develop truly artificial intelligence, then it has to be Apple. Eat your heart out US Robots.



    You're off with the fairies. Touch screen computers have more problems than solutions, though they have benefits for smaller sized computers. Things like voice control sap battery life and have various usability problems. Maybe in 20 years, but not just now.



    As far as artificial intelligence, having predicted it is 20 years away for the last 60, I'd say there is Buckley's, maybe not in our life time. There isn't even a good definition for what intelligence is, so there is very little chance of them building it any time soon. Wining chess tournaments is not AI, btw.



    Apple makes nice machines and software, but on the scale of things it's pretty standard. It's not bleeding edge. Most of the hard science and technology is done by their suppliers. Apple is on top of the heap of what are standard computer makers which form the industry. It's like Mercedes Benz. They make nice cars and invented the automobile, but they make a product that has 95% in common with every other car model made.
  • Reply 11 of 91
    cedriccedric Posts: 28member
    All I want is a 32GB 3G iPhone...

    That's it.
  • Reply 12 of 91
    There is also a 50-50 chance that Christ will descend on his throne likened to a meteor and reveal himself as Steve Jobs. Lo, the Lord shall hand to us a 7" multi-touch tablet that will deliver sexual favors for the righteous and shall run a pure snowy white version of OSX.
  • Reply 13 of 91
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Here's a prediction for you...



    If Apple is producing two new devices with 4 and 7 inch screens respectively, I predict the little one will be a wireless trackpad. I am probably biased here because it's something I have been wanting for a while, but it makes sense to me.



    Everyone I know that bought the MacBook Air, bought some kind of little bluetooth mouse to go with it, but everyone I know that bought an Air *also* found that they didn't actually need (or want) to use a mouse anymore.



    IMO the multi-touch trackpad on the Air makes mice irrelevant for pretty much the first time ever. If Apple produced a reasonably cheap bluetooth trackpad that did the same thing I would buy one in a second and I think a lot of others would also.



    How many times can you clean that silly little ball on the mighty mouse before thinking that there has to be a better way? I wouldn't put it past Jobs to actually discontinue the mighty mouse and announce "the death of the mouse" in some dramatic fashion, since Apple basically started us using mice in the first place.
  • Reply 14 of 91
    scollandscolland Posts: 6member
    If anything, I would suggest that a new form factor will coincide with 'Snow Leopard'.



    This rumour gives substance to the rumour that 10.6 will be nerely an 'efficinecy' upgrade as I as sure Steve would love to tell everyone how it runs a full version of OS X incredibly fast with a low power processor, and hours of batterey life.
  • Reply 15 of 91
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sausage&Onion View Post


    There is also a 50-50 chance that Christ will descend on his throne likened to a meteor and reveal himself as Steve Jobs. Lo, the Lord shall hand to us a 7" multi-touch tablet that will deliver sexual favors for the righteous and shall run a pure snowy white version of OSX.



    You forgot the bit where he smites the unbeliever Vista users and delivers seven years of pestilence and seven years of famine.



    Also I heard Christ is coming down because he needs to go to the Genius Bar regarding a warranty issue on his white MacBook.
  • Reply 16 of 91
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    Here's a prediction for you...



    If Apple is producing two new devices with 4 and 7 inch screens respectively, I predict the little one will be a wireless trackpad. I am probably biased here because it's something I have been wanting for a while, but it makes sense to me.



    Everyone I know that bought the MacBook Air, bought some kind of little bluetooth mouse to go with it, but everyone I know that bought an Air *also* found that they didn't actually need (or want) to use a mouse anymore.



    IMO the multi-touch trackpad on the Air makes mice irrelevant for pretty much the first time ever. If Apple produced a reasonably cheap bluetooth trackpad that did the same thing I would buy one in a second and I think a lot of others would also.



    How many times can you clean that silly little ball on the mighty mouse before thinking that there has to be a better way? I wouldn't put it past Jobs to actually discontinue the mighty mouse and announce "the death of the mouse" in some dramatic fashion, since Apple basically started us using mice in the first place.



    Mice and faster and more accurate than trackpads. Multi-touch makes no difference to this.
  • Reply 17 of 91
    blufireblufire Posts: 8member
    I thought we saw screens from 2.0 that showed an option for turning 3G on and off. I assume if you turn 3G off, it'll revert to 2.5G (right?) So why would they need to ship two different versions? I think that would only cause customer confusion and increase production costs.
  • Reply 18 of 91
    bukweetbukweet Posts: 9member
    I was thinking about this last night... what would happen if you mated an iMac with an iPod Touch...



    Envision a device that's "all screen," and about the size of a MacBook display.



    Now imagine that this "screen" had complete multi-touch capabilities, as well as bluetooth, allowing connection with an optional bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Also throw in WiFi and FireWire and USB ports.



    A final component of the package would be an easily detachable mounting stand, to allow the screen to be viewed while using a keyboard & mouse.



    Such a "hybrid" device would nicely function as both a mobile tablet, and also as a basic desktop computer.



    I'd call it the "iPAD".
  • Reply 19 of 91
    irelandireland Posts: 17,568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Quick, hide this thread from Ireland!



    They either will or won't release a new device. Hence, 50/50.







    That chuckle is for both jokes! I say we won't see it. Wu knows nothing. He reads what we say here and comes to conclusions based on our collective consciousness.
  • Reply 20 of 91
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blufire View Post


    I thought we saw screens from 2.0 that showed an option for turning 3G on and off. I assume if you turn 3G off, it'll revert to 2.5G (right?) So why would they need to ship two different versions? I think that would only cause customer confusion and increase production costs.



    The predicted or wished comments for dual versions are usually for a larger more full featured 3G iPhone (perhaps with GPS) and a smaller 2G iPhone with less capacity and a much lower pricepoint. The smaller one perhaps even being a flip phone or have a physical number pad. I don't think we'll see that, but plenty of people do.
Sign In or Register to comment.