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Apple's next mold breaker?


By: Scott Bradner



My editor pointed out that this issue has a general looking forward/predicting theme and suggested that I keep that in mind when figuring out what to write.  After pondering that for a while I decided to write about what I'd like to happen rather than predict what may actually happen when Steve Jobs announces new Apple products at Macworld later this month.


A few months ago one of the Apple rumor web sites predicted that Jobs would announce a product that was some sort of entirely new concept in computing at Macworld.  I've not seen anything more about such a device since but I've been dreaming of what I'd like to see (and would order as soon as they let me).


In my dreams the new product would combine the long rumored Apple tablet computer with the iPhone to create a sort of all in one portable device.    This device would include the following:


o small - 8.5 x 11 inches (or smaller) and very thin - around a half inch


o non-slip back


o high resolution multi-touch screen - 200 ppi or greater resolution


o full iPhone functions with support for wired or Bluetooth headsets


o iTunes and full iPod music and video functions


o GPS receiver


o full Leopard distribution with no restrictions on what applications it can run


o published APIs for all iPhone functions


o Voice over IP support


o enough flash memory to hold the core operating system along with iPhone & iPod support


o 100 GB or more of hard disk


o user upgradable/replaceable memory, CPU and disk


o 10/100/1000 Ethernet and dual USB 2.0 maybe firewire


o external USB DVD/CD read/write drive


o flash card slot


o two replaceable batteries with a total of more than 10 hours lifetime when Leopard is running in user mode, more than 250 hours when operating in iPhone standby mode


o WiFi, WiMax, Bluetooth, EDGE and G3 radios - more than one of which can operate simultaneously


o large iPhone-like in-screen multi-touch keyboard


o external USB keyboard option with bracket that holds computer in a laptop-screen-like orientation


o system comes enabled, carrier contract only needed if cellular phone services wanted


o no carrier lockin


o enterprise-level security controls including remote lock and erase


My handwriting is bad enough that having a stylus based input mode would be of no use to me but others might find it useful.


In my dreams at least some GPS device vendors would port their navigation and location software to this new device and integrate it with Google maps etc.


I do not know what to call such a device - iEverything seems a bit funky.


I'd like one of these!  Too bad it's just a dream device.


disclaimer:  As far as I know, Harvard does not dream, so the above must be my own fantasy.