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What To Expect From Apple's Rumored MacPad 213

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the speculation-is-fun dept.
Jeff writes "I decided to review the specifications of recent e-readers and mobile devices as well as the ongoing Apple rumor mill to chart out the most likely features, innovations and configuration we can expect from Apple's long awaited Newton successor/Mac Tablet which I'll call the MacPad. The MacPad will arrive in fall '09 or Jan '10, with a 10" diagonal color display, a $599 price point with a Verizon data plan, a stylus, note taking application and handwriting recognition and an e-bookstore for iTunes. Apple's biggest challenge will be convincing its huge installed base of iPhone owners that they need a MacPad too. Past failed Newtonian predictions by others are available on Slashdot and the likelihood that any of this is right can be gauged by earlier Confucian gems such as Haskin warns that Apple may be setting itself up for a failure with the iPhone."
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What To Expect From Apple's Rumored MacPad

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 13, 2009 @07:53AM (#28674885)

    64-128 GB of RAM?! heck, i'd buy it, rip the ram modules and throw that thing away.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by srussia (884021)
      More space than a Nomad! Not lame!
    • Whatever RAM that was on the pad would be soldered.

    • Knowing apple its going to be proprietary :).

    • by tattood (855883)
      Knowing Apple, the RAM modules are not going to be standard memory cards that can be "ripped" out, but integrated into the motherboard. Good luck with that.
      • by stewbacca (1033764) on Monday July 13, 2009 @04:32PM (#28682993)

        Yes, and since when have Apple desktops or laptops had "integrated" memory chips that couldn't be removed and replaced by the user? I've been using Macs since about 1988 and even way back then you could upgrade RAM (even though it was ridiculously expensive, across the industry).

        Hyperbole is nice and all, but it's called hyperbole for a reason. Making the poor design choice of integrated batteries or leaving off card readers may not be optimal eingineering trade-offs, but it doesn't mean they have ever done the same thing with memory chips.

  • by synthesizerpatel (1210598) on Monday July 13, 2009 @07:55AM (#28674899)

    Really, the gem of this is referring to how previous rumor based stories that sided negative were wrong.. If you ignore the fact that the entire idea of this story is cobbled together from fairy dust and wishes.

    I love my mac but.. in the words of William Shatner, get a life!

    • by clang_jangle (975789) on Monday July 13, 2009 @08:18AM (#28675127) Journal
      Yep, you got that right.
      FTFA:

      Recently, I spent some time reviewing real and rumored technologies to lay out my predictions about a possible Apple Mac Tablet or MacPad. My predictions are mostly just for fun and I am making no bets as to their accuracy.

      I can believe someone was foolish enough to submit this, but putting it on the front page is freaking absurd.

      • by derGoldstein (1494129) on Monday July 13, 2009 @11:04AM (#28677645) Homepage
        You know, it's odd, I submitted my 5-page long fantasy review of the Asus EeeTablet just a couple of days ago, and it got no traction. Neither did my review of the fictitious Lenovo ThinkTablet, or my poignant preview of the Dell InspironPad...

        Maybe I just can't write good fiction. I've been told that my protagonists lack a certain polish... They aren't glossy enough, and don't have the necessary price tag to attract the reader.

        But I'll keep trying!
  • Personally I think Newton's zombie would be a great name for a MacPad. iZombie.

    Plus it'd be a clean, sterile looking zombie, none of this blood, dirt and torn clothes. A MetroZombie.

  • Speculation if fun (Score:4, Interesting)

    by T-Bone-T (1048702) on Monday July 13, 2009 @08:01AM (#28674951)

    That sound almost nothing like what Gizmodo is reporting: "It'll land in October, to be exact, when we should expect to pay around $800 for it."

  • Price point (Score:5, Funny)

    by Zouden (232738) on Monday July 13, 2009 @08:02AM (#28674971)

    When "a price of $599" doesn't sound intellectual enough, call it a price point and suddenly you sound like an expert.

    • I was about to comment that "price" and "price point" were different things, but I reread the summary, and apparently it's whoever wrote it that needs to be taught that...
  • by rindeee (530084) on Monday July 13, 2009 @08:03AM (#28674977)
    Tomorrow's headline will no doubt read, "First 'Behind the Stick' Review of Production Model Flying Car!" What the hey, here's a quote from the article that's not yet been written; "The SuperFlyer 6000 rides smooth as silk and corners like it's on rails. At 144 miles per gallon, you couldn't ask for more, save for the stereo which is a little bit lacking with it's 5.1 surround (we'd prefer 7.1)."
  • It won't arrive where I live then. And where Verizon is there Kindle already. I might not like Kindle but it is hugely successful where you can actually buy it. So I don't think that would be a good move.

  • by GaryPatterson (852699) on Monday July 13, 2009 @08:05AM (#28674999)

    So, a product that's never been announced and only ever carried by the rumours that "it'd be really cool if Apple did, like, a tablet, you know!" is being discussed.

    There is no substance at all, no "there" there. How can anyone seriously discuss what to expect from a product that has no information whatsoever about it? It's just all circle-jerk stuff, the sort of stuff kids fantasise about but has no connection to reality.

    (sigh) I love talking tech as much as anyone, but can we at least try to stay grounded in reality?

    Hell, it's just as likely to hover 14 cm above a solid surface, have a voxel-based GPU, holographic memory unit all powered by a microtok generator. Why not just make shit up? The UI will be based on the user's thoughts, but will react before the user knows they're thinking about an action because that's how cool it'll probably be, maybe.

    Yup. News for nerds. Making shit up. So what does The Onion do for stories these days if Slashdot is going to nick the good ones?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by 4D6963 (933028)

      It's substantiated by the fact that Apple has a deal on 10" touchscreens, by the claims made by Apple concerning netbooks and the fact Apple had a job offer for a handwriting recognition expert.

      When you put all of these together it seems reasonable to expect a 10" touchscreen tablet appear. May I go out on a limb and ask you if you've RTFA?

      • by Macrat (638047) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:32AM (#28676067)

        It's substantiated by the fact that Apple has a deal on 10" touchscreens,

        That would be rumor. Not fact.

        fact Apple had a job offer for a handwriting recognition expert.

        Maybe you don't know that handwriting recognition is built into the Mac OS? It's called InkWell. And it has been there for a while.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by UnknowingFool (672806)
        I wouldn't say substantiated and it is more evidence that if you repeat a rumor enough times, people think it's fact. The first article if you trace it back is that an unnamed source at a Taiwan company, Wintek, said that Apple will be receiving 10" screens in the fall. There was no mention of how many screens though which makes a difference if Apple ordered 10,000 as opposed to 1 million. So the article itself was somewhat of a rumor. Now the original article did say that they had no idea what Apple i
  • If Apple can come up with a stripped down iPhone that:

    kept the same screen size

    had robust Exchange connectivity

    had an integrated GPS

    had decent battery life

    I'd switch back to Verizon, especially if it was a world phone. I'd even pay a premium for teh GSM side to be unlocked.

  • WTF. (Score:4, Funny)

    by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecated&ema,il> on Monday July 13, 2009 @08:07AM (#28675013) Journal
    How are these far-fetched predictions any different than the many that were made for the iPhone and iPod before it?

    I hate to argue about the "slashdottedness" of a post, but I don't see how this belongs here. This kind of conversation is more appropriate in MacRumors or sites like it...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anubis IV (1279820)
      Strangely enough, MacRumors ran a story on the possible Mac tablet device [macrumors.com] earlier today. There's one key difference between their reporting and the summary here though: they actually cited sources so that they didn't pull ideas straight from thin air.
    • With this device, sunshine really will shine out of the owners' backside. Only without the whole "ring of fire" effect you'd expect from such an occurance.
    • by Macrat (638047)

      How are these far-fetched predictions any different than the many that were made for the iPhone and iPod before it?

      You mean like the "leaked" iPhone photos that turned out to be the Sony Ericsson P800?

      Where's that iPhone Nano?

  • by Bifurcati (699683) on Monday July 13, 2009 @08:09AM (#28675041) Homepage
    I know, I know, it's just a (repeated) typo. But to consistently assign products 64-128 GB of RAM...it doesn't really inspire confidence in me as to the accuracy of the rest of the article...
  • It will absolutely fail in Apple's user base. The only two groups that will shell out for it are the people who don't have iPhones and the fanbois who would buy a service plan with every single mobile provider if Apple released an exclusive product through each one.

    • More important is that Verizon's technology isn't used much outside of the US. Pretty much everywhere else is GSM, which is what ATT and T-Mobile uses. Why design a MacTablet or whatever that can only be used in one country or have to maintain two separate versions, one for the US and one for everywhere else.

      Some kind of netbook or tablet I could be in the market for in the next year. I'm not really needing a new MacBook Pro as I primarily use Email, Google Docs, and our SVN/Bug Tracking tools (all web b

  • > What To Expect From Apple's Rumored MacPad

    Rumors?

  • by salesgeek (263995) on Monday July 13, 2009 @08:20AM (#28675141) Homepage

    and wants his Mac tablet. He said to pick it up after the Forever release party, and just before Microsoft releases BobLive.

  • The MacPad will arrive in fall '09 or Jan '10, with a 10" diagonal color display, a $599 price point with a Verizon data plan, a stylus, note taking application and handwriting recognition and an e-bookstore for iTunes.

    Ok, if this is all true (which I really haven't seen that any of it is) I can't see this being a success for Apple. First, $599 for it? Honestly you can get full laptops cheaper than that with data. Second, a stylus with all the multi-touch from the iPhone? Third Verizon(!)(?) they make AT&T look great in comparison.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday July 13, 2009 @08:26AM (#28675187)

    This "let's make shit up and pretend like it is real," stuff annoys me. There is no basis to any of this.

    What's more, I find it rather unlikely Apple is going to try for a PDA type device. Why? As mentioned, the iPhone. If you do some shopping around these days you discover that dedicated PDAs, as in devices that aren't part of a phone, are rather rare. You can get them, of course, but there aren't so many out there. Why's that? Well most people don't want to carry another device with them. They are all about minimal amount of crap to carry around.

    Phone PDAs, well those are all the rage. These days it seems that providers have almost as many smart phones as normal phones. People love the idea. You get all your PDA features, in a slightly larger phone. Only one device to carry.

    I know it is certianly that way for me. A number of years ago our boss got us PDAs. There was some deal that he was able to get them cheap so he figured "Why not?" Well, they never really got used. Even he wasn't all that keen on carrying an extra device. However we now all have smartphones, and we all love them. Ya they are a little larger than a plain cell, but not much and you get all the PDA features AND all the phone features.

    So it would be rather retarded for Apple to try and enter the PDA market, because there really isn't one. They already are doing great in the smartphone market, that is probably where they'll stay. I just don't see PDAs making a resurgence, ever.

    Now they might try a tablet PC or something, there is a small market for those. However it won't be a $500 device, that's for sure. Tablet PCs are, as the name implies, PCs you can write on as in full featured laptop hardware. Means from Apple you are talking $1000+.

    • This "let's make shit up and pretend like it is real," stuff annoys me. There is no basis to any of this. What's more, I find it rather unlikely Apple is going to try for a PDA type device. Why? As mentioned, the iPhone. If you do some shopping around these days you discover that dedicated PDAs, as in devices that aren't part of a phone, are rather rare.

      I mostly agree with you on this. If these rumors have any truth to them, I suspect Apple is planning on releasing a larger version of the iPhone, under a different name, and paired with service from Verizon. It's vaguely possible it won't make cell calls directly, but do it over data using some sort of a VoIP service Apple cobbled together, but it's doubtful.

    • So it would be rather retarded for Apple to try and enter the PDA market, because there really isn't one.

      Other than the 13 million iPod Touches [vgchartz.com], I'd agree with you. Seriously, if the iPhone is a phone + PDA, and you remove the phone...

  • sounds nice, but (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Monday July 13, 2009 @08:27AM (#28675199)
    Sounds like a nice prediction (not saying anything about its accuracy), but as someone who recently purchased an ebook reader, I don't think I could ever go back to anything but an e-ink screen for long-term reading (though we'll have to see how the Pixel Qi screens are). Being able to read 3 or 4 books without having to think about plugging the device in to recharge is a godsend!
  • I don't know about the rest of the specs, but the stylus seems really, really unlikely. Apple is all about touch these days, and especially if this thing is running a variant of iPhoneOS rather than Mac OS X, it'll need multitouch input with fingers to work well. Plus, a stylus-using screen is just too TabletPC-like (i.e. Microsoft's big idea from 2001), and can you imagine Apple coming out with a device that will invite comparisons to the ModBook (i.e. someone else's design from 2007)? That would smack
    • Re:Stylus (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Culture20 (968837) on Monday July 13, 2009 @08:51AM (#28675509)

      That would smack of playing "catch up" and introducing a "me too" product. Does that sound like Apple?

      Yes. The last Apple commercial I saw: "Copy & Paste: New on the iPhone 3GS" Their desktops and servers are using intel chips now. MacOSX proponents were constantly touting "UNIX underpinnings!" Apple does a lot of innovating, but in their innovation, they purposefully ignore others' years old achievements, then add them in a "me too!" style to sell version 2.0 of their innovation.

  • (Mostly replying to the ending sentence of the post)

    Unless Apple really has a complete QA failure with a future OS upgrade or new device release, they will remain in front of the other device manufacturers for a very long time. They will be free to pick-and-choose which interesting & successful bits they steal and then super-engineer/implement from Android, Palm, Microsoft, etc and continue their lead.

    I'm still convinced these netbook/tablet rumors are just that - rumors.
    • by 4D6963 (933028)

      Here's how it works :

      1. Apple releases a new kind of product
      2. IT journalists, bloggers, pundits of all kinds and Slashdot go "What were they thinking?"
      3. New product and its variants turn out to be a success of Homeric proportions
      4. IT journalists, bloggers, pundits of all kinds and Slashdot go "What were we thinking?"

      Rinse, repeat.

  • Mac Tablet History (Score:5, Informative)

    by mevets (322601) on Monday July 13, 2009 @08:39AM (#28675365)

    [ credits to Rik Myslewski at the register]:

    * eWEEK, November 2002, "Waiting for the Mac Tablet":
                        "It's my strong belief - let's call it a hunch - that prototype Mac tablets are already making the rounds among select developers."
    * Engadget, May 2005, "Apple's patented the Tablet Mac"
                        "[Tablet-Mac rumors] became substantiated today when Apple's secret plans for a tablet PC were ... revealed.
    * CutMeLoose.com, May 2005, "Apple Tablet PC sightings"
                        "I have no less than 5 sources saying an Apple Tablet announcement is due soon."
    * Cnet UK, November 2007, "Apple Tablet PC is real, says Asus"
                        "You can bet your bottom dollar [a tablet Mac] is being built as you read this."
    * Mac|Life, January 2008, "The Apple Tablet Mac: 8 Reasons It's Gonna Happen"
                        "The tablet rumor has been around for the last couple years, but now, all the ducks are in a row."
    * ZDNet, May 2008, "Tablet Mac coming this fall"
                        "A little birdy tells me that Apple will announce a 12 or 13-inch tablet in the fall of this year."
    * Wired, July 2008, "Apple to Launch MacBook Touch?"
                        "The blogosphere is aflutter with rumors of a touchscreen Mac tablet."
    * Industry Standard, December 2008, "Apple announces Mac tablet at Macworld 2009?"
                        "Could this 6 year old rumor finally come true?"

    • MOD PARENT UP (Score:3, Informative)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888)
      That post is far more informative than the "let's make stuff up" article that Taco posted.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 4D6963 (933028)

      As the saying goes, there's no smoke without fire. Just look at the rumours about the Google OS.

      Besides, the Apple tablet in question is rumoured to have taken an unusual time to develop.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by derGoldstein (1494129)

        As the saying goes, there's no smoke without fire

        But it's been smoking for 6 years. Are you going to keep the firetruck stationed there the entire time?

        Besides, the Apple tablet in question is rumoured to have taken an unusual time to develop.

        Wow! It's almost like the reason for the rumor not coming true is baked into the rumor itself!
        As the saying goes, it's a self-fulfilling... rumor(?)...

      • by Ant P. (974313)

        In the Mac camp, that smoke is from a bong.

  • A Data plan? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by British (51765) <british1500@gmail.com> on Monday July 13, 2009 @08:55AM (#28675549) Homepage Journal

    Remember when computers didn't have monthly data plans? I would rather save $ and just mooch off free wi-fi.

  • by with a 'c' (1260048) <mkerr@nOspAM.indiana.edu> on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:37AM (#28676145)

    The Mac Pad has some possibility to be real simply because you would have to be blind to not see that the end of the Macintosh as a basic consumer device is coming. Anyone that went to WWDC can tell you the focus was entirely on iPhone OS.

    The Macintosh will still be around as high end media creation devices and servers. Think of iPhone, Touch and potential MacPad or new consumer devices as media consumption devices. They will have basic editing ability (see iLife and iWork) but that's it. Who really needs a quad quad xenon to play MP3s and watch videos. Also look at the game market on iPhone OS. That's where the money is and that's where Apple is going.

    • you would have to be blind to not see that the end of the Macintosh as a basic consumer device is coming. [...] look at the game market on iPhone OS. That's where the money is and that's where Apple is going.

      If Apple discontinues the Mac mini and the iMac, what will people use to make games for iPod Touch so that Apple can get its 30 percent rake from the App Store?

  • When I read the linked Slashdot thread on the iPhone, I was pleasantly surprised to find that almost all high-scoring posts were in fact reasonable and ultimately proved to be correct. Sort of restores my faith in Slashdot.

  • Wrong. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by monoqlith (610041) on Monday July 13, 2009 @10:07AM (#28676657)

    "Apple's biggest challenge will be convincing its huge installed base of iPhone owners that they need a MacPad too. "

    What? No.

    First of all, if this "MacPad" exists it is not going to be targetted at existing iPhone customers. It will be targetted at existing Mac users and PC users. From what I'm hearing this thing more akin to a mobile PC than a Netbook-ified cell phone. You're not going to convince many users of the expensive but very functional iPhone that they need yet another mobile device. So, yes, in a way, this would be a challenge, such a big one, in fact, that it would make no sense to try to do it.

  • First thing's first. $599 for anything from Apple is a virtual impossibility. You can't buff that shine into something for less than $599, never mind add a bunch of electronics and usability into it.

    Second thing, why not just make an iPhone with an enlargeable screen? Wouldn't that be the killer product? LCDs can be practically paper-thin...allow the iPhone's screen to expand to laptop-size. Or better, allow a laptop screen to expand to monitor size so you can actually sit around one with your friends/

  • I would expect Apple fans to proclaim it to be the most innovative and awesome thing ever, even though there is nothing new in the concept and it will probably be more restrictive in what you can do with it than a rented etch-a-sketch. Still, I would expect it to be a raging success, as no other company has as rabid a fan-base that will buy anything Apple throws at them without complaining and will even infect others who should know better to buy them as well. Hell, not proud of it, but I own two ipods, iPh

  • I do wonder about this. Microsoft seems determined to try to destroy the 12 inch netbook market, but the fact that they are trying to do that shows that the market wants 12 inch screens. Apple has an opportunity. A 12 inch screen is not far off US letter size, but also the additional surface area allows the incorporation of a much bigger battery and passive cooling. The Macbook Air has a screen 1 inch larger than the mainstream thin and light notebooks, and the extra space would prevent any cannibalisation

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