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Hints of new Apple product between iPhone, MacBook

updated 12:05 am EDT, Thu October 23, 2008

iPhone MacBook hybrid

A search engine company that chose not to reveal its name has claimed to have observed web visits from an unannounced Apple device with a display size in between an iPhone and MacBook, according to the New York Times. If true, the report suggests that the computer maker is closer to producing a mini-notebook computer than it has publicly claimed. The market for the small devices is just beginning to emerge, with most major companies set for product launches timed for holiday shopping.

CEO Steve Jobs has been asked about the possibility of a mini-notebook at the recent MacBook event and the 4Q earnings report. He originally responded that the mini-notebooks represent a "nascent market" and suggested that Apple would wait to see if it survives.

He reiterated the same position during the Q&A after the earnings call, adding that the iPhone is already a great product in the category of small devices with advanced internet capabilities. He did ease back from his position slightly by mentioning that Apple "had some pretty interesting" ideas for products in the segment, although no further details were given.

"Ideas" could mean anything from pub conversation to working prototypes. Apple has admitted to observing the mini-notebook market, and with the number of releases from its competitors, it could be preemptively developing similar products in case the sales turn out to be impressive.

Jobs mentioned in the call that the company has $25 billion in the bank and no debt, which puts it in a position to spend more money on R&D through the economic slump. He brushed aside the inquiries regarding sub $500 computers, saying "we don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk, and our DNA will not let us ship that."

The claim doesn't rule out a $700 mini-notebook, however, that would fall in line with Apple's tendency to offer a higher end product in the same category but with a bigger price tag.

by MacNN Staff




  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How would OS X on an MSI Wind look, seeing as we know people have hacked OS X onto Netbooks?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How can one tell from 'web visits' the type of computer being used?

  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Stats Package

    Testudo, I thought you would know this....

    Many web stats package are able to identify the OS of a visiting device as well as the browser and display size.

    Web developers always review this info to better tailor a site for their clients.

    This is how they provide some of the info about how many Macs are browsing the internet, or how far Vista penetrated into the market.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: stats package

    Well, yeah, we know that. The question is, what in those logs would actually indicate a middle-range sub-notebook type of product. Is the browser identifying itself as "Safari 4.0.1 Apple OS 10.5.7 on new secret mini-notebook"?

  1. djhebradley

    Joined: Dec 1969


    things not ruled out

    "The claim doesn't rule out a $700 mini-notebook, however,"

    nor does it rule out a $500.99 and up doo-dad, nor a $499.99 and below thingamajigger...

  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I am truly amazed at the tone and ignorance of some people...

    Ye, NJ fuzzy is absolutely right...It is probably showing itself as Safari, maybe an odd OS version (maybe not), but displaying a resolution of 785x400) or some other odd combination.

    I would still rather see a mini-tower Mac


  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Res, yes, but device? No

    Your web log will show the resolution of the screen, but it doesn't tell you what the hardware is. Sure, it may be a new version of OS. That's not a surprise. However, it may just be a mac mini with a custom screen resolution that they are using to test out functionality on a low res display. It doesn't mean there is new hardware out there.

  1. MindBlade

    Joined: Dec 1969


    YES! Ed would snap 'em up

    There is such a huge demand for this segment in Educatiion. With more and more services coming from the cloud, and price points being all important...we need a device that's more than an iPod Touch but less than a MacBook (and I know this...we have a high school with 800 MacBooks).

    They couldn't build them fast enough to keep up with demand.

  1. cat-nip

    Joined: Dec 1969


    software only

    if someone were to be testing out beta software with a low display res settings this would give the same kinds of results
    eg: OS= OS X
    But who really wants to pay a premium for an iphone with a larger-sized screen? that's just crazy talk :P

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