What will Apple announce in Oct., some history, and the Apple automobile.

There has been some speculation recently that Apple is at work on a new type of computer, and that they will introduce it later this year.

What follows is pure speculation:

What if Apple makes a desktop/pocket iOS device? An iPhone without the screen? You and I can do almost everything we need to do in iOS. What if our “desktop” computer ran iOS?

I picture something the same cubic volume as an iPhone (it can fit in a pocket so is smaller than Apple TV, but its dimensions need not account for a screen) that either connects to a monitor (via Mini DisplayPort) and/or has a built-in pico-project (which, to date, have too poor of quality for Apple’s standards). You would simply need a monitor, keyboard… and a Magic Trackpad. Boom. $299 computer (not counting peripherals). Check and mate.

The problem, of course, would be the visual feedback as you would no longer be physically touching your screen (except to point at things on your friend’s monitors and leave smudges). I envision a circle (that is only visible during trackpad use), like we see in various touch-system demos, but I don’t know how effective that would be.

I have been thinking about, writing about, and using Macintoshes since 1993. I lived through part of Apple’s Dark Ages, which really were dark and difficult and not just for those Rabid, Delusional Mac Users™. Even by that point, Apple had pioneered and/or popularized everything in personal computing. Everything. The personal computer, the GUI, the API, postscript printing, desktop publishing, the consumer digital camera, the handheld computer, networking, wireless networking, and a million things that only the history books remember. Just like today.

Back then, Windows was still Death By a Thousand Stings™, but Windows users crowed “Market Share” (incessantly!), and they had a good point. If the Mac was so “magical”, how come no one (percentage-wise) was buying them?

So you can see how everything is just the same today. Except for the Mac sales. Those are a bit different.

But I was connecting to history. (Not fanning pointless, polarizing arguments.)

Back in those Dark Ages, Mac rumors and speculation were more feverish and frenzied than even today. Mac users desperately hoped that each Apple press event would reveal that all of Apple’s inexplicable decisions during those years were part of a brilliant, complex, Bobby Fisher-esque plan. Aha! The company that had brought us so much was not, as it appeared, failing. They were more brilliant than ever! Our love and loyalty were not in vain.

Such an announcement never happened.

But something better (for everyone) happened. This is the history we (all) are living now.

I have one more historical point: back then, one persistent, whispered rumor was that Apple was working on a car. An automobile. The thought of it made us dizzy.

So, I would like to say now: Steve, have you noticed how ugly most cars are? Have you noticed the awkward details? Have you noticed how many buttons they put on dashboards? Do you still have that secret Apple automobile in you?


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