Gadgets

What Could Be Apple's Next 'Absolutely Different' Product?

In 2001 it was the iPod. In 2007, the iPhone. And three years later, it was the iPad. Now, the rumour is that Apple may be preparing an entire new product line. But what could that be?

The rumour has been published by Makotakara, a Japanese site that has been right about a few things in the past, but contains absolutely no detail about what the product could be:

According to anonymous source in Asian supplier company, Apple seems to be preparing project to release new Mac line-up which is absolutely different from current products until end of this year.

Though this source does not told in detail, this new Mac line seems to be clearly different products from current ones, so new product name could be given.

So what could this product be?

First of all, if you say it is an Apple LCD TV, you get a crotchpunch. That old rumour has been beaten more times than the Chicago Cubs.

The rumours says it’s a Mac product line, completely different from current products. A conservative idea could be a complete migration of the MacBook Thicko line to MacBook Airy standards. But that’s not “completely different”. It’s just a thinner MacBook with less ports.

Luckily for you, I can see the future looking at the bottom of my cornflakes bowl.

The true next-generation iMac

The most logical-but-kind-of-wild idea is a redefinition of the iMac, a form factor that has remained stable since 2004, when the iMac G5 — the first all-in-one flat panel Mac — was introduced. And the most logical-but-kind-of-wild redefinition of the iMac would be a hardware redesign that finally merges touch computing.

All the stars are aligning to make this happen as soon as 2012. First, the operating system. Despite its failure to merge iOS and Mac OS X in a truly effective way, it’s clear that Lion is paving the way to a complete touch oriented world at Apple.

Lion is pushing developers to implementing full-screen mode and change their user interface too, with bigger buttons which will be easier to hit in a 100 per cent touchscreen world. Apple’s own apps are a perfect example of that, the most obvious case being iPhoto.

This doesn’t necessarily mean the disappearance of keyboards or even the disappearance of iMacs or Mac Pros or Macbooks. That would be stupid. Not today or next year, anyway. But, as HP recently admitted when they announced the death of WebOS, “there is a clear movement in the consumer PC space” and that “the tablet effect is real”.

The truth is that, psychologically, consumers now crave direct touchscreen interaction. The market is almost ready to make the jump. Anyone who has used an iPad quickly learns the language. It becomes part of their NDA in a way that the mouse and the keyboard can’t. And, despite the naysayers whining, the truth is that many industries are now hooked to the iPad. From musicians to doctors to architects to executives, they are all into it. If anything, they want a more powerful, larger product.

And that could be Apple’s new product, a next generation iMac that fully embraces the touch interface principles. How this product could be, I don’t know.

Steve Jobs himself has said many times that he can’t imagine people touching their iMacs in the way the touch their iPads. That’s true. It would not be practical… for the current iMacs. But I bet my Captain America underpants that, if this rumour pans out, we are going to see a new machine from Apple that would try to redefine again how we interact with computers. Except this time it will not be just a computer for the sofa, but a computer for the desktop. [Macotakara via Macrumors]

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