Next Apple moves will be Books and Games…

Hi All,

With the success of the iPhone and proof the ability of Apple to reduce the size of a portable computer and the flexibility of OS X for portable device, we can easily suspect to see a new kind of device, such a mix of Sub MacBook, Mac UMPC, Mac MID, Tablet MAC and MAC PSP. Let’s call it: iMAID (Multimedia Apple Internet Device)… LOL, I know that’s a device to do everything in the house… oops! sorry about that :) )

Who recall the keynote made by Bill Gates 3 years ago on the Ultra Mobile Personal Computer… After all, that’s what we’re talking about here:

Apple-iTablet08

A kind of “All-Multimedia” device, to merge:

- Audio (music, podcast, radio, audiobook),
- Video (movie, tv shows, tv channel & internet broadcast stream),
- Communication (Internet, email, IM, Chat, VoIP),
- Productivity (office work, speech recognition, hand writing/painting/drawing)
- Entertainment (Game, ebook, navigation)

This device could have all the successful features from the iPhone, plus some new innovations.

This device could look like those mockups:

apple_tablet

MacBook-Touch

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Except the device would have:

- a 5 to 6 or 7″ multi-touch wide screen,
- the dimensions of a pocket book, almost like a PSP to fit in the pocket or purse,
- EGDE, 3G, Bluetooth, Wifi connection for Networking,
- iSight for Mobile iChat, Skype call, etc…
- GPS for Car Navigation, Travel information, or Localisation Application
- Accelerometer
- Evolved on-screen keyboard (and support for Bluetooth devices)
- GPU and QT chips for high quality gaming and video compression/decompression
- 4 direction buttons, 4 actions buttons, two alternative back buttons and a joystick (such the PSP)
- a 16Gb Slate disk
- a full OS X applications such: iCal, Mail, Safari, iTunes, iChat, Finder, iPhoto, iMovie, iWeb, iWork, probably few games and even probably some new apps such: iDraw, iSpeech, iPlay, iWrite, etc…

We can imagine having a metal ring to have a wrist strap on one side and a place for a pen on the other one (but it will be locked… not all this shitty pen we always loose on any PDA, PocketPC, etc…).

Apple-iPlay08

- no drive or the same optional external drive such the MacBook Air
- “over the air” Content downloading from iTunes (for Apps, Games, Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcast, eBooks, AudioBooks, etc…)

- an optional pen to naturally write, draw, sketch up, design… directly on the screen. It would reply to the finger and/or the pen. The pen would use something like the Wacom Cintiq, which will be usable in games… for the DS lovers!!

- an optional bluetooth keyboard for long typing, very thin shape as the lately wireless new keyboard, which could be used as a screen cover.

mactab

mactab2

- A price tag between $599 and $799. It could be expensive for a game station (to compare to Sony PSP or Nintendo DS) or a eBook Readers (such Kindle or Sony Reader), but it’s not so much for a all-multimedia device such: small tablet, sub-notebook, psp, Multimedia Internet Device, etc…
We saw lately a lot of new coming small form factor device… there’s definitely a market for this kind of devices, mostly when it merges with the game market and the book market (Kindle and Sony Reader)

After the music, movie, tv show, family stuff (such photo, movie, web) and productive domain (exchange, office, …), the remaining market are:

- Game Market (huge market when you merge home and mobile devices and have a look on the success of the last game stations (xbox360, PS3, Wii, PSP and DS together)!! Apple already knows games are a big deal since the huge success of game apps for iPhone.

- Book Market (for writer but for all kind of books! including album booklet with lyrics, comics, education, encyclopedia, dictionaries and newspaper if there’s some kind of “search”, chapter and categories for easy navigation through the book).

tablet-notext

pennyandaggie2-big

It wouldn’t be a surprise to even see a possibility to subscribe to some newspaper (such New-York Times) the same way of ‘Podcast’ for $.99, buy some weekly fanzine for $1.99 to 2.99, buy some regular book for 5.99 to 19.99 ($9.99 most of the case)…. exactly like songs, video songs and albums. (or even having some FREE content as we already see for iPhone Apps or Free content deliver with another purchase such Album for the booklet and lyrics).

itablet_mock_up

Having multiple device with a common platform to develop game/eBook, will help to have the same game/eBook released for: iPhone, Mobile Tablet, Notebook/Desktop or AppleTV (MacMini / Apple iGame?). The best way would even be to allow creation of eBook from existing PDF.

Because, I’m pretty sure the iPhone would be a great platform to read book on-the-way. As for the music, you will be able to transfer your eBook in your new iMAID and in your iPhone. That way, you can still finish reading the news or your last ebook when you only have your phone with you.

iTablet

Also, by having an iTunes Distribution Model, the developers will be assured against piracy. The numbers with the Apps Store proved there’s a real market. And it will be even easier to buy and read a book/magazine/encyclopedia or a game.

By looking the file size for (HD) movie, we can imagine than Apple will go for a complete software electronic distribution with iTunes (even for Desktop Apps). It will be faster, easier and even greener (which avoid paper, box, shipping, gas for transportation) and better security.

By doing so, it will be the next step for Apple to “un-materialize” a product in an electronic format (as they already did earlier with music, movie, tv shows, etc…). It would be possible to release from the smallest book size (the pure text book) to the largest comic book or even encyclopedia (with several large color pictures).

Also, by providing a way to subscribe to non-free regular content (such newspaper), it would be an opportunity for some websites, bloggers, etc… to release by themselves their own “weekly fanzine”, which could even be completed with some non-free audio/video Podcast…

It will really create something new: an opportunity for game developers, for writers, for magazines/fanzine publishers, for bloggers/podcaster… to create and have a business model for their work. All the financial procedure (TaxID, etc..) has already been done for the developers and the Apps Store. It wouldn’t be a huge deal to expand it now…

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And last thing (and not the least), today’s world there’s readers and lazy/busy guys. The readers have more books than movie as you said… but lazy guys prefer just buy audiobook (to just listen them when they work out, etc…).

The best thing is to combine the both… and for example, having a “Book Store” in iTunes where you can search, find and buy for a book… which could be in eBook or AudioBook format… (as music and video music). It will be possible for some publishers to release a book in both format and then have more chance to sell it. Imagine having a new released book for $9.99 the eBook, $9.99 the AudioBook and $15.99 the both together….

Wouldn’t it be great to have both and then be able to choose where you want continue your listening or reading? Just tape on a page icon during the listening and you will have the number of the page and the link to this page in the eBook Reader (and vice versa with the page and the link to the time position). It will give back the desire to read and consume the books… again!

itablet-and-phone2

In all case, I would like to have this two main things… I will not have to carry on everything with me when I travel… Just having my iPhone, my iMAID… and a power supply :) I will be able to create content (Audio/Video podcast, blog, photo, email, office documents, etc…) and having content (music, tv shows, movies, eBooks, AudioBooks, Games, Podcasts, Ringtone, Apps, etc…).

I don’t care what it takes, but it would make my life way easier… I would not regret to carry on 2 useless book I will finally not have the time to read at the hotel room…. Or I will not regret to not having my books with me when my flight has been delayed…

Our today’s life is focus on medias and the way to easily create or get them… I’m sure Apple knows that and will satisfy pretty soon :)

Phil

Add-on, Sep. 8th 2008:

I just discover the blog and pictures from Jacky Liu here:

http://www.jtothey.com/?p=148

The picture is just awesome and the design is really well done (very Apple-ish):

The only thing I would like for the design, are the small size (5 to 7″), the Game Controllers, the optional Pen.

The GamePad controllers is a need if you want play… Controls on screen & accelerometer are not enough and really not practical for some game. But if we can have the GamePad such the PSP, the Pen such the Nintendo DS AND the touchscreen and accelermeter… THEN, it will be a very killer Portable Game Device… mostly with the CPU and GPU power of a current computer (such ATOM, etc…).

An iPhone is already more powerful than a DS and a PSP combined… So, just imagine what an ATOM could do?!!! It would be as powerful (or more) than a PS3, XBOX 360 and Wii… But in a portable device…

With the Wifi/GSM Network, I can clearly imagine than everyone will buy this kind of device and then have some networking game with your friends or with some random people over the world… even if you’re mobile… You will always have a possibility to chat with the onboard mic, speaker and iSight (and mic/headphone plugs).

Here is another picture I found:

I can tell you… that’s the future…. We’re a lot who want really bad this device! Apple would be stupid to don’t do it! And there’s no doubt… I want it done by Apple!

Because I don’t want to have it by LG, Dell, HP, Asus, Sony, etc… Because they do some great device, but they don’t have the right software! We already see this problem with the Smartphone and Windows Mobile… Sorry, but it was just a piece of s#it! I never liked use a Windows Mobile SmartPhone… it’s just awful! And then after several years, Apple came with the iPhone and makes the life with smartphone so much better…

I’m sure they can have the same approach with the “UMPC” market / “Tablet” Market / “Netbook” Market / “Game” Market…

It’s 4 market where Apple is not present… Why? Because it’s not huge enough? Hmmm… I don’t think so, there’s a lot of devices and interest (at least for Netbook and UMPC) and I don’t mention the success of the Game devices… And the market could be really really bigger if you provide a great device… So, I think Apple didn’t came on this market because they want to do like for the iPhone… Not come with something which does not work well…. But come with something close to Perfect (even thought it isn’t) :)

So, it would be a great move to cover those Markets with a nice device as describe… They have the technology and knowledge to do it now… They did 90% of the work with the iPhone.

The only thing they should do is the “Book” Service (in iTunes, the book reader, the relation with Book Publisher, etc…), but that’s something they should do anyway, even if the iMAID/iTablet/MacPad/iTouch (oh gosh, there’s so much name for this one) doesn’t exist.

The book could be done with iTunes for Desktop/Laptop and with iPhone/iPod Touch… It doesn’t hurt to do this service… and it will just go compete with Amazon eBook… so then, they will need to release the adequate device :)

I can’t wait anymore….

79 thoughts on “Next Apple moves will be Books and Games…

  1. This
    Apple’s secret product is ‘MacBook touch’
    http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/rumor_apples_secret_product_is_macbook_touch/P100/

    To look like this:
    Phone Pro – The full power of Leopard in your pocket.
    http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/gallery/image_med/15417
    http://www.ilounge.com/gallery/iphone_concept/iphonePro2.jpg

    Because of this:
    Inside the iPad: Why a $100 Apple Laptop Is Probably Inevitable
    http://connectme.typepad.com/news/2008/07/inside-the-ipad.html

  2. Great as long a it allows wired and wireless presentations from NATIVE Keynote and PowwerPoint files. In other words, as far as it runs Office and iWork. In other words, as long as it runs the full Mac OS X and not just OS X. With Firewire and Ethernet. We need thousands for our University.

  3. I completly agreed…

    It has to run native Office documents such Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook) and iWork (Pages, Number and Keynote)…

    But that’s not all… I also want use:

    - iPhoto: To immediately retouch my pictures from my devices (iPhone, Cam Recorder, on-board iSight and Cam).

    - iMovie: To immediately prepare my movie from my devices.

    - iWeb: To publish directly from my device all my work, picture, movie, blog, etc…

    - iChat & Skype: To chat with my friends, family or work contact and also to do audio/video podcasting.

    - Safari/Mail/iCal/Notes/Calculator/Clock/FrontRow: For all the Desktop OS X basics.

    And of course:

    - iTunes: For Music, Movies, TV Shows, Audio & Video Podcast, Radio, Apps, Audiobook, eBook, Games.

    But I really consider to split iTunes in 4 applications (which can be recalled… as it’s already possible with the Media in iWork and other app).

    Then, iTunes will be composed by:

    - iTunes Player: To play media (music, podcast, video, radio, free/buy/rent stuff, etc…) and could really be something close to “FrontRow”.

    - iTunes Store: for shopping for music, movie, apps, tv show, podcast, game, etc…

    - iTunes App Manager: for the installation of the apps/games to your different device: iPhone, iGame, iMAID/iPAD (whatever the name) or even Desktop

    - iTunes Sync: for the managing of your sync for contact, cal, mail, etc…

    And everything describe here should be done on-the-go (from Ethernet, Wifi networks and optional 3G/Edge).

    As long we can run those apps, I clearly don’t care to have a full OS X or a specific OS X such the iPhone… As long there’s a SDK to develop apps and I’m able to download apps directly from iTunes (for free or buy), I’m fine…

    Also, the device would also have:

    - 2 x USB 3.0 (at least 1 powered port for optical or external hard drive),
    - 1 x Firewire
    - 1 x Video output with VGA/DVI/SVHS connectors cable
    - 1 x Card reader (with at least SD Card)
    - 1 x Ethernet port
    - 1 x Headphone
    - 1 x mic connector

    - On-board iSight
    - On-board Bluetooth
    - On-board Wifi 802.11n

    - optional Wacom Pen
    - optional BT wireless keyboard

    With all that, it would be the perfect companion for students, teachers, business men, travelers, designers, writers, draftsmen, photograph, painters, journalists, musicians, gamers, readers, bloggers, podcasters, etc…

    It would represent a really HUGE market…. I guess :)

    My “very long” 2 cents,

    Phil

  4. I would like so much…

    I tried to spread the word out there, but it’s pretty difficult… That’s why I definitely did this post… even thought the blog was in test and not yet destine for something like that.

    Phil

  5. Drop the crazy talk of a Mac tablet. It is a Microsoft kind of idea. The future platform (at least next 5 years) is the iPhone!

    I P H O N E

  6. That’s not right Oliver.

    Yes, the iPhone will be for the next year the future platform… for the PHONE market… that’s it!

    And as describe, the iPhone could also do eBook reader, game station (even thought, it already does game).

    But does it mean it will be the only platform? Nop!

    The form factor is perfect for the phone but doesn’t match to the new market… the market of sub-notebook, netbook, small graphic tablet, etc…

    Of course, when we say “tablet”, everyone think Microsoft… as it was the case with “Smartphone” and PocketPc phone… But the name doesn’t matter… Apple could create a new name for this kind of device (as I did with iMAID, or iPAD, or iWhatyouwant)… and then everyone will refer to this kind of device with the selected name….

    Honestly, the best one should be “iBook”, but they unfortunately already use it by the past… :(

    The phone is one thing, but the book form factor is another one… and they even don’t compete. That’s a fact… There’s a huge weakness between the iPhone and a MacBook 13″… for all kind of reason: price, size, weight, function, usability, etc…

    Again, thinking about the “Tablet” as it was presented by Microsoft, it’s just completely wrong… Nobody wants that! I clearly explain a complete new type of device… as the iPhone was new for the smartphone.

    If you think the Book Market (with all kind of books) isn’t a market huge enough for Apple, again you’re completely wrong…

    From Writer to Newspaper, from Comics to Encyclopedia, from Dictionnaries to Magazine and Fanzine, I can tell you… it’s a huge market which could be “un-materialize” to become a new electronic business…

    Apple did it for music, movies, tv shows, apps, games,… there’s no reason they will no go for the books.

    Of course, the first step is to have the iTunes Store ready with an “Book Reader App” for the iPhone and the computer platform…

    But then, it will be a need to have a very adequate device for this market… (There’s a reason for the form factor for the Kindle and Sony Reader)…

    And just between you and me: The iPhone is an old platform now… In term of R&D, you always have to think at least 2 years ahead of the market and technologies…

    That’s why we can clearly see a bunch of patent about Speech, ink, gesture, facial expression, etc…. It’s the purpose to develop the platform of the future… and it’s the goal of the 3rd party developers to exploit it… So, there’s no doubt Apple currently work (or even already did) the next platform… as well for the Phone Market than for the other markets such: Ultra Mobile Device, Home Automation, Media Center (which is the Living room place such Apple TV and eventual Game Station), Car, and all “post PC devices”.

    If you don’t know what “post PC devices” means, please go to youtube to watch video of Steve Jobs which explain his view of the future and the fact it will be focus on specific devices, for specific use…

    The iPhone is one of them… as the Apple TV is another one, and as my iBook/iMAID could be… or the iPlay/iGame, etc…

    The “Personal Computer” (I don’t mean Windows!!) will become a TOOLS for people who need to work with… (Professional CAD, Video Editing, Audio Editing, etc…). For the “Home” and “Hobby” stuff, we will see some dedicated device which fit perfectly on what we need…

    iPhone is perfect for the Phone experience and to bring the major thing such Internet, Music, Video, Apps & Game in the phone… BUT IT IS A PHONE after all…

    And I probably insist a bit, but the phone is not what could replace my real notebook (I don’t mean computer, but you know the little tiny thing we still use to quickly draw something, or note some text on-the-go, etc…)…

    And the phone is also not what could replace my book I like to read when I’m in my bed, on the living room sofa, or even when I’m on a flight, on a waiting line for the doctor of whatever…

    If after all this you still think it’s a crazy talk… that mean you absolutely have no idea on what’s going on and you’re nothing more than a consumer and have absolutely no skill on R&D and no clue on the tech and social worlds.

    Sorry if it looks harsh, but that’s true… even thought there’s nothing wrong about it… because if it’s the case, I will understand why you can’t clearly see what should be the next moves in tech (because indeed, it’s not only specific to Apple… it’s a global think).

    Physical sensors such facial recognition, speech, ink, gesture are probably the next big technologies which will be brought in: Home (Home Automation, Living Room, Kitchen), Car, Public Places (School, Museum, Libraries, Theater, Bars, etc..) and of course the “Personal Devices” (Watch, Phone, Computer, Book, Purse, etc…)

    So, yes for iPhone… but let’s think above and beyond it.

    Phil

  7. Oh, just for information:

    The Book Industry shows a net revenue of $25 billion for 2007, should reach the $37 billion of 2008 and project a $43 billion for 2012.

    Just imagine, how easy could be to have even more sales by having a book or newspaper with a single click?

    And that’s not all… it will be possible to have a “world wide” distribution… which is not the case right now. If you spend some vacation in Europe, you have to search A LOT to find an edition of the Washington Post, New-York Times or even Wall Street Journal… and vice versa.

    With an electronic model, you will be always in position to buy your favorite book… and even be able to buy an old edition… Imagine you will buy a used car… and you would like to read a review when the car was released… Some magazine doesn’t have lot of old edition… With an electronic format, you will be able to buy an edition… even 3 years after the release…

    No stock, no paper, no gas for the distribution, no nothing… it will be very good as well in economic wise than in ecologic wise…

    It would be stupid to don’t do it…

    Phil

  8. Phil, Absolutely RIGHT.

    What we need is something as small as possible (5 to 7 inch screen or so) and as light as possible (400 g or so) but with a full Mac OS X inside, so that full NATIVE Keynote and PowerPoint files can be open for full blown presentations with transitions, animations and video, as done now with laptops. Both wired and wireless. Because even the MacBook Air is too large and heavy for us. With true Ethernet port. With true Firewire ports (Target Disk Mode for repairs, camcorder video in, etc). Something like this, but with Mac OS X inside:

    OQO model e2
    http://www.oqo.com

  9. Phil, thanks for your interest and compliments for my MacPad concept. I’d like to praise you for your depth of looking through the scope of the Mac tablet.

    The text/news paper subscription service is something I’d like to see being made very popular, picking up and dominating the ebook market that seems just hard to gain momentum. Magazines, periodicals and newspapers need to catch up with this technology.

    Over the air delivery and subscriptions is the new method of media distribution, no doubt. However iTunes will not be able to handle such volume. Apple really needs to reconsider how they will attach the service to users. iTunes needs to be revamped/replaced.

    There are some things I’d like to comment on about your ideas though.

    In terms of productivity and function, 5-7″ screens will not be enough. Working with office documents and text on a small screen will be a discouragement. Not to mention, there won’t be enough volume for the device to carry the necessary hardware.

    Gaming orientated? Apple will not release such a device, in terms of the market and the industrial design of their products. Hence d-pads and such will be out of the question. Apple is not interested in this field. What might happen though, is have attachment devices (gamepads) that could enable the opportunity to enable such feature.

    I’d like to hear from you and continue this discussion.

    Jacky

  10. Hi Jacky,

    Thanks for the comment and interesting discussion.

    In terms of screen size, of course a bigger would be appreciate and more comfortable to work… but the problem is mainly two things:

    - Supplies: AFIK, currently the common screen size is 4″, 5″, 7″, 8.9″, 10.4″, etc… It’s easier and cheaper to use a common size… But I concede than Apple could change the market by forcing with a large demand and popular product with a “not yet” common screen size.

    - Total Size: This device has to fit in a purse, in a kids school back-bag, in an interior business suit pocket or a back urban-jeans pocket… Anyway, you got the idea! The goal is something we can carry on easily, as we already do with our phone… Of course, if we can have the biggest screen size possible AND having a small form factor device… sure, I would like bigger screen… But I’m worry than over 7″, the device will really be seriously too big to fit in any pocket at all.

    Just have a look on the existing device such the 5″ OQO, or the 7″ Samsung Q1… The Samsung is really too big… but of course, the design isn’t as pure and thin as Apple can do.

    Also: In my case, I need some space on each side to have the controllers…. Of course, if there’s no controller, there’s more place for the screen… That makes absolute sense.

    Regarding the game… I know, I know it’s not really Apple-ish…. yet! Of course, the goal for Apple is also to come where nobody expect them (except the fanboys such us :) ).

    Nobody believed in Apple for doing a “Phone” few years ago… and now it’s true and a real revolution! Nobody believed in “Living Room Device, such Apple TV” neither…

    It’s not “Apple Computer” anymore but really “Apple Inc” and there’s no doubt they should go in new market…

    The both way to do it?

    1) Change the existing consumer business model

    2) Create a new consumer devices

    Change the market by having a new way of consumming… Few years ago, not a lot of people (mostly in Music Industry) really believed in a true business model for music electronic distribution… Now it’s a fact. iTunes Store is the #1 seller and have some very significant benefits.

    Apple did continue on this way by having “electronic distribution” for large public physical content. They did it for the movies, the TV Shows and now the Apps. OK OK, the apps are just for the iPhone yet… When you handle large size file for movie, you can clearly handle large file size for applications too… and then, there’s no doubt than for a “greener planet”, we will have more and more application by download only… It could without any doubt be possible to have this model for the OS X applications…

    What’s next? Just take a look on the cart when people do shopping at wal mart (or any grocery store on the planet).

    They regularly buy:

    - Foods (of course, we have to eat to survive)
    - Cloths (we could have lot of trouble being naked in public)
    - Home/Car stuff
    - Personal stuff (makup, jewel, watch, etc..)
    - Medias (CDs, DVDs, Books, Games

    That’s not a very serious conclusion, just a personal observation…

    Where we can imagine Apple in??

    - Food/Home? The only thing they could do in future it’s future Home Automation system…

    - Car? That’s something we could see… with navigation, iTunes on board, and over-the-air media streaming, buying, etc…

    - About Medias? There are still the books and games. As we see, the books could be done without new specific devices… The Book Industry is probably reluctant right now as was the Music Industry, or the Movie Industry… Of course, there’s so tries such the Kindle (which has even been sold over 420 000 units for now) and Sony Reader… And yes, the market is still not very wide, but it was the same thing in past with Mp3s… because there’s no real devices & services… Because it has to be a Hardware & Software combination.

    So, now, what about games? It’s probably because Games are not in Apple bucket right now that it could be possible… By having a truly rock solid hardware and OS, they convince people they are the way to go for students, for office work, for fun work (picture, movie, web, etc…)… But the main thing we know everytime someone ask about “Windows vs OS X” it’s:

    ” if you want play game, go to Windows or buy a Game Console

    If it’s a sentence you have to admit pretty often, there’s no doubt, you have to do something in future to remove it from your speech :)

    They tried to have games on OS X… but the easy way should be a very specific device… iPhone already catch interest of Game developers for “Apple Device”… There’s no doubt they could expand this relationship now to a new devices: (Living Room Game Console, and Mobile Game Devices)

    by having the “same” operating system in all devices, it will help to expand a game in several devices (which is important for a game developer)…. So, if you can develop a game and easily port it for : iPhones, OS X Deskop/Laptops, Apple Game Console (Apple TV Pro??), and a mobile device such the iMAID/MacPad… then you have a kind of guarantee of high sales numbers, and then generous profit.

    If we have a look on this video of Steve Jobs, talking about the market share of the iPhone, back in 2006:

    There’s no doubt, phone market is the biggest. But he mentioned the mp3 players and computers markets (already cover by Apple)…

    So, what are the other mentioned markets not cover yet? Game Consoles and Digital Cam…

    I think Digital Cam is include somewhere in the iPhone, with a very poor quality, but that’s a begining…

    He mentioned the Game Console wasn’t a “so big” market… Sure and mostly when you compare it with the phone… but when you already do the phones, computers, portable players, living room devices,… what the next one you should do if you want expand your domination?

    The game… Also, few years ago, games were only for kids and “retarded geeks”. Now, nobody over 16 is shame to admit gaming. It’s became something not reserved to kids now… It touch a very wide public with the recent success of the Wii with the Seniors and older consumers.

    Just have a look on this numbers:

    PS2 – 103.69 million
    Xbox – 24.5 million
    GameCube – 20.85 million
    Wii – 29.62 million
    Xbox 360 – 20.3 million
    PS3 – 14.41 million

    GBA – 81.24 million
    DS – 77.54 million
    PSP – 41 million

    Ok, it’s not the annual sales numbers (but total), but it still represent a pretty interesting market if you combine the home and mobile devices…

    Also, by having a distribution through iTunes, not only the hardware will represent a profit, but also the games… I didn’t find any numbers, but there’s no doubt than gamers can have several games… (including the PCs users!!!)

    From a Design point of view, I agree Apple will not doing something ugly… and I can easily imagine pretty nice shape buttons and controllers… as great they did the “home” button on the iPhone.

    And in the last solution as you said, we can imagine a kind of GamePad Case, as we see lately for the iPhone:

    http://www.icontrolpad.com/

    In this case, it will permit to keep the pure design and have the GamePad in option (for the gamer)… such a GameDock :)

    Why not? But it loose a bit the idea of All-in-one :(

    And last thing and not the least… it’s a all-in-one easy-to-buy, easy-to-use, multi-usage device… The objective of Apple now is to prove to general consumer they can switch for an Apple Computer Devices (not only MP3 players of phone)…

    To prove them they “NEED” something like that to make their life easier to work, to communicate, to consume, to enjoy themselves.

    The young generation has grown with the computer and even with the troubles, we all know how to go online, send email, video chat, blog, watch pictures and movies…

    But that’s not everybody… There’s still some people which could buy a computer but don’t want, because they are afraid it will be too complicated to use.

    It’s not the consumer which has to learn the technology, but the technology which has to be adapted to the consumer. The iPhone is a demonstration and a Trojan Horse for Apple to come in the family domain… for non-geek customers.

    The iMAID/MacPad/iTouch/iTablet/Give-it-the-name-you-want device is, after the Living Room Devices (Apple TV, Home Automation, …), definitely the next step to reach the goal.

    my very long 2 cents thought…

    Sorry for being so long, but when it come to passion, I never count :)

    Phil

    In all case, I really, REALLY, REALLY want it so bad…

  11. Phil,

    The sweetspot I think for a device like this would have an 8.9″ screen just like the Eee PC/Mini-note class devices, but where a tablet benefits is that it does not require a physical keyboard, no folding mechanism and hence half of the thickness of these devices. Those sub-notebooks have gained quite a bit of compliments for it’s portability and productivity and this is where the Mac tablet should shine. If you’ve handled these sub-notebooks you will know how portable these can be, and for half the thickness, even the Macbook Air/X3000 should move aside. Pushing it further though, Apple loves to give users choice, so why not 2 size variations? The bottleneck for this however would have to be on the interface/resolution. Resolution independent OS?

    For the gaming aspect, where most of your discussion leaned and seems to be the prime factor you demand, Apple appreciates this sector of the market, hence given quite a lot of research and commitment to help push “fun” applications for the iPhone (Just take a look at the new touch ad released at today’s event). But where it ends is (I believe), Apple won’t become a direct competitor to Nintendo/Sony for a gaming device, but only on the software/user end. The success of the iPod is because music is part of everyone’s lives, throughout the demographics. Gaming on the other hand, not so much. Therefore even though games are increasingly valuable to the applications for the iPhone, it would be hard to see any devices providing dedicated gaming controls.

    To me Apple’s orientation is always lifestyle first (iLife), productivity second (iWork), and whatever is next, next. Gaming has always been neglected across their product line.

    Jacky

    • Well, I guess Apple did finally chose to be around this sweet spot with the iPad 9.7″ and the new iPad mini 7.9″ (which looks to be a good pocketable size).

      Now with a smaller tablet, more affordable (starting $329) with high graphics possibilities and thousands and thousands of low-price games in the App-Store and a free “Game Center”, Apple is definitely coming the Game market in direct competition with Sony PS3/PSP, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii (U)/3DS…

      It actually even changes completely the game, because it becomes more mobile (with Wifi and Cellular), you can play wherever you want… start a game on your smartphone and continue it on your tablet… Pretty soon with the Apple TV and AirPlay, we could also have more game when we could use both the large TV in the living room as well as individual tablet for each players…

      Games are not age specific anymore… there’s any kind of games just like there’s any kind of music. It touches all demographics.

      Phil

  12. Nice view Jacky,

    Indeed, give the choice to the customer and having several models would perfectly correspond to the Apple philosophy.

    Having a 5″, a 7″ and a 8.9″ will cover the different size of this market… (as the 13″, 15″ and 17″ size for the notebook market)

    I don’t think the screen size would be a problem since in all case the system would require a “zoom” function. We have seen lately a patent for that, with a kind of zoom under the finger…

    For the game, it’s not my primary use… but it’s indeed one of the primary wait since the lifestyle (iLife), the productivity (iWork) and Basics (Mail, Safari, iCal, Finder, iTunes, etc…) already exist and works just fine and because the games have indeed ever been neglected!!

    Of course, I don’t think than Apple will come directly on the domain to compete with Nintendo/Sony and Microsoft… But if you know the market well, we said exactly the same thing when Sony came with the PSP (against SEGA and Nintendo)… and it was finally a huge success…. We said the same thing when Microsoft came with the first XBOX (oh gosh, a game console with a computer inside… it was crazy)…. and then it was also a great success.

    So, of course, it could say the same with Apple… but as everybody knows, games ARE a big deal… just look the iPhone and new iPod…

    I think Apple will be smart and will not come with a Game Console Only… Indeed, they will include the game to their device as a “plus”, something “fun”… for the Phone, the Mp3 player… but also in the Living Room Entertainment system (Apple TV Take 3) or their computer (tablet, notebook or desktop).

    It will “just” be an additional feature to provide more interest to a device, as the Internet in the pocket provide more interest to the iPhone (or even deliver the real potential of the device).

    I don’t think we need “specific gaming control”, but some control we can use for the game…

    Have a look on this model:

    http://www.ubergizmo.com/photos/2008/1/viliv-umpc-large.JPG

    The controllers could be used for gaming (without the keyboard and a better design as you did, of course :) )

    Again, it’s just supposition, wish and personal observation… mix with some compromise to satisfy most of people :)

    Phil

  13. If you have few minutes free, please watch the youtube videos of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates together, in 2007, on stage talking about the “Digital Life: All Things Digital”

    There’s over dozen videos available for this event, but there’s at least three videos to watch to understand the vision of this two very smart and visionary guys:

    Introduction:

    About the future devices:

    About the future technologies:

    It’s really worth the time to watch those videos… really great!

    Phil

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  15. As Al said on “Tool Time”, “I don’t think so, Tim.”

    Your dream machine is too big to be pocketable, and too small to be a real usable notebook. Why hasn’t UMPC taken off after years of trying? Because it’s that awkward in-between size. And you KNOW it won’t have an optical drive! Heck, the MacBook Air doesn’t even have one!

    I recently took a trip to Europe. My iPod touch was ideal for traveling light. It was great for e-books and everything else I needed while on the road. My guess is that that size device is where it’s at for future.

    But dream on.

    P.S. Nice header photo.

  16. Hi Joe,

    Thanks for posting your feedback… Actually, the render and mockups are not in the good size (it’s just draft idea)… but actually the size would fit in a large pocket if we use a 5″ screen size…

    I know it will sounds weird, but I took a physical pocket book (oh I’m not kidding, we can still found some, LOL), and I take some measure with my iPhone, DS, PSP, etc… and it could work!

    I use an iPhone (so barely the same size than iPod Touch) and even if it’s a REALLY REALLY great phone (and way better than my Blackberry), it’s not I would like to use anytime (for school, for reading, for email, consulting web, etc…).

    It could be perfect when you’re traveling, when you’re on the go, etc… and of course this platform has the great potential… but Apple already cover this size platform…

    Why hasn’t UMPC taken off after years of trying? For exactly the same reason with the Windows Mobile PocketPC Phone Edition crap! They had the idea, they had the concept, but they didn’t do it well… The first was way too big (the Samsung Q1 is way too big), too heavy, and of course really really not practical with the use of the stylus only, a really bad application, CPU/Memory hungry OS, etc…

    My idea is more considering as the replacement of the Apple Newton in the concept. If Apple apply the same “successful” magic recipe for the UMPC-like device, then it will have a huge success as the iPhone has in its category.

    Sure there’s no optical drive… who want one if the device is really well done? I don’t care to have optical drive on my iPhone…. and if I could plug an external drive to rip my music in iTunes directly, it would be funny and practical (or even use the over-the-air remote optical drive system).

    For the size and the “pocket” idea, I think the OQO is also a good example…. but thinner!! (because no keyboard, and thin almost as an iPhone).

    Anyway, it’s a dream, it’s a wish… I don’t say I have and know the truth and the future… but if it could be true, it would be very nice and my perfect companion to only travel with this small UMPC-like device and my iPhone :)

    Phil

  17. Just a quick feedback, believe me, anything around a magazine dimensions and weight is portable (not pocketable, but portable). If users are willing to conceive a device of this productivity, they are willing to carry it around. It’s smaller and lighter than a MacBook Air. If it (the Air) was selling at $499, it would be everywhere (un-realistic assumption but just trying to get a point across), and this device would be half the size of that…

  18. “A price tag between $599 and $799″

    For all that, AND a pony, eh? Dream on. $599 is how much the far tinier iPhone cost. You want them to add in all those cool new features (including a larger multitouch screen) and not charge for them. It would cost about $1500, realistically. If not more. Would you still buy it then? Maybe you would. Most would not. Apple knows this.

    • Now that Apple did release the iPad Mini 7.9″ starting at $329 (up to $659) and the iPad 9.7″ starting at $499 (up to $829), I wonder where’s my pony…

      And apparently it sells really well with over 100 Millions iPad sold…

      So, who was right?

  19. @Sundayx: That’s a good point… so, let me correct it: We want something pocketable.

    I don’t want one more Portable (or Transportable) device… There’s already laptop, tablet, netbook, etc… And I don’t want another smartphone with a big screen neither.

    I have an iPhone and I’m happy with it (as a Phone). I’m waiting my new macBook and I’m sure I’ll be happy with it (as a notebook)…

    Even if the MacBook Air would be to $100, I wouldn’t be interested by… for the only reason it is still a “laptop” with a keyboard…

    I want to be able to use my fingers on the screen for navigation and be able to use a PEN on the screen to draw, design, write notes (not word document).

    I would like to be able to do some quick draw, sketch, draft… without the need to plug a wacom tablet (I have to carry on, which is as big and heavy as my laptop).

    Of course, having a low price MacBook (Air?) would help to have more… but be honnest, we talked about Apple. It will never be under $500… and I even don’t expect that from this company… I prefer pay more and have some good.

    If it’s for another netbook under $400, just buy a EeePC, MSI Wind, HP Mini Note, Dell mini 9, etc… (there’s so much model, there’s at least one good… or not bad, I think)

    Phil

  20. spidouz, absolutely right. We want a pocketable device (400 g or less) with a full Mac OS X 10.5.5 inside (to run –only run– NATIVE Keynote and PowerPoint files from it on full blown presentations with animations, transitions, video, etc. THE ULTIMATE POCKETABLE COMPUTER FOR WIRED AND WIRELESS PRESENTATIONS. We would pay even up to 3,000 dollars for it!

  21. @Grim:

    It depends the final product… What did I describe hardware wise? Nothing more than an iPhone with larger screen, iSight, bigger CPU, better GPU, more memory.

    The iPhone already have everything and was also listed to $599 when it was release and then drop to $199.

    So, it’s perfectly doable because the change are not something huge (any phone has a iSight now) and we already see bigger iPod touch (32 Gb).

    The main concern will be the Pen with the “Wacom-like” touchscreen… I conceed that’s something perhaps more complicated than just add more memory…

    And yes, a bigger touchscreen would be more expensive. But not almost 7 times the price of the current iPhone.

    Oh, there’s also the Phone company plan for the 3G… yeah, that’s the trick for this kind of “tablet”… It could be another device where we could have a phone plan… and that’s how we could drop the price to $599 to $799 (let’s say with a 1 year, $39-59/m Unlimited Data only plan without VoIP, or a $79-99/m with VoIP). Of course, the VoIP would work only on 3G Networks…

    It will be another way for the Phone company to steal you another 50 bucks a month… (if even some “Limitation” of 5Gb bandwidth a month… it wouldn’t surprise me :) )

    And it would be even possible to buy the device without any Data Plan (and use it only with Wifi, like an iPod Touch) and then buy it for an higher price… even a high price of $999-1299 would be still be good (considering the $2199 price for a ModBook, way bigger and heavier!).

    Considering the price of a MacBook ($999), it’s also very doable because the MacBook has iSight, stronger CPU, memory, SuperDrive, Keyboard, etc….

    Let’s sum up:

    Basic Version:
    5-7″ Hybrid Multi Touch, 32Gb, GPS, Wifi/3G, iSight, OS X (modified?), iTunes with AppStore, Pen

    Price: $599 with Data Plan / $999 without Plan

    Pro Version:
    8-9″ Hybrid Multi Touch, 32Gb, GPS, Wifi/3G, iSight, OS X (modified?), iTunes with AppStore, Pen

    Price: $799 with Data Plan / $1299 without Plan

    Plans:

    $49/m – 1y Contract – Unlimited Data without VoIP
    $89/m – 1y Contract – Unlimited Data with VoIP

    Options:

    $19 Remote
    $29 Mini-Display Adapter
    $49 Additional pen
    $49 MagSafe AirLine Adapter
    $79 iLife
    $99 64Gb instead 32Gb
    $149 Apple Care

    I don’t see anything not doable on that… And somewhere, it will be close to the $1500 if someone buy the biggest version, without plan and with all options :)

    And I’m sure, some Apple Fanboy will still buy it at this price… and of course, the large public will not! That’s why a small version without all option, with a small plan will make it “affordable” for non fanboys.

    Even for student, it would be perfect target:

    $599 + 12x 49 = $1187 (which is the price of the perfect student companion: the MacBook)

    Phil

  22. @zunx: a troll?

    Hmm, I didn’t personally put myself in the troll-land…

    I would say I’m a dreamer and I put some time to realize this page, to hopefully attract the attention of Apple and share my point of view with other people like you.

    Does it make me a troll? I don’t think…. I respect each opinion and never claim I did know the truth. Everything here, is nothing more or less than a WISH.

    That’s what I wish for… and after all, it’s pretty soon Christmas, we can all have some wishes and hopes.

    Anyway, we will have the reply for the coming soon MacWorld (if they do something :) ).

    Bye,
    Phil

  23. spidouz, I would just delete zunx’s post for being pure spam at best. Besides blocking future postings of such uneducated individual.

  24. NO NO NO.

    I’ved owned a couple of Netbooks, utter rubbish: too small/low powered for serious typing/mousing gaming, and too big to take with you anywhere in a POCKET. If I were female and had a cavernous handbag I may consider it.

    I read eBooks on my iPhone all the time, I control my macs and pc’s from anywhere using LogMeIn Ignition, and I use it more than my Macbook because it is with me at all times, like a watch is. Any bigger and it won’t be a device I’ll have with me at all times. Sure, nerdy geeks and tech people won’t mind carrying tablets but the average consumer won’t look at it twice.

    It’s a failed idea, I loved the Newton and wish they’d add more of it’s functionality to the iPhone in places, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Not anymore, this isn’t 1995!

    Think star trek… Sure they have those message pads being handed around with info on them, but do they take them down to the surface on away missions? No, they have tricorders which fit in the pocket. On the ship, do they do any serious work on them? No, not ever… it’s all on laptops or the fixed ships computers.

  25. A year and a half ago, I had e-mailed Apple twice requesting them to make the all in one device that had internet, phone, music, movie playback and basically a small I-mac that was large enough to see and with a touch screen. I am glad they listened. This will sell millions!

    Go Apple!

  26. To darwiniandude.

    The current iPhone and iPod touch have a serious limitation: OS X. See my previous messages for full details. Hint: Keynote and PowerPoint presentations. More hints: OQO. See above.

  27. Pingback: Apple iBook Netbook + Reader rumors grow stronger « Kindle 2, Kindle Books Reader 2.0 - Amazon Kindle 2 Review

  28. From everything I saw and played with the new iPhone OS 3.0 (beta), I can see that Apple is preparing it… for sure!

    Every new features such cut/copy/paste, the horizontal keyboard, the spotlight search, etc… would be perfect and would make sense in a larger touchscreen device.

    Like already said, I don’t care about the OS (if it’s a full OS X or a specific version such the iphone). As long the OS will be stable, durable, and open enough to be expand… I’ll be fine. The iPhone + App Store revealed to work pretty well so far…

    Of course, a device like described in this post, would absolutely required a mobile version of iLife and iWork (including ALL applications such: iTunes, iChat, Adress Book, iCal, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, Garage Band, Cover Flow, Pages, Numbers and Keynote, etc…)

    Lately, the $19.99 “Premium Games” have open the door of Premium Applications…. So it’s not crazy now to imagine having iLife and iWork available that way.

    There’s no doubt the future of “netbook” will be to go online everywhere… with a broadband plan (3G or higher). It will then increase and complete the experience to have Internet everywhere with you in a small device. There’s also no doubt that this kind of strategy will work fine to reduce the selling price (which will be include in the data plan price).

    Technology wise, the phone company need a new way to make money since a lot of people (and the new generation people) will only use internet for everything… (including, phone, visio conf, etc…). So it will be easier to have a monthly payement for the plan…

    Technology wise again, there’s no doubt Apple will converge for an “all electronic” model… It would just make sense to have an App Store for Portable device as for the Desktop, Laptop, etc… it will just to consist to encapsule the .dmg installer file (or even the .app file) in the iTunes App Manager…

    From what I wrote previously, I see few adjustment, which will consist to have a Display port (instead VGA/DVI/etc…), and probably no Card Reader…

    I’m pretty sure it will happen and be announced in the same time of the new iPhone (mid-june ?)… and maybe just called iPhone Pro…. who knows?

    I would just like to know if Apple came have a look on this post (at least once :D)

    Phil

    • I understand the need for some people of a physical keyboard, but after long time using my iPhone, I like the touchscreen keyboard better for some reasons such:

      - Less Room, nicer and stronger design of the device (with a keyboard, you need to find a solution to show/hide the keyboard, etc…)

      - More flexible language and characters (It’s easier to change in software the layout of a keyboard… It makes only one device you can use with different language and keyboard layout). It’s then better for the manufacture to have only one model to sell around the world.

      - Larger screen view… The Virtual Keyboard can be hidden when we don’t need it and then enjoy the large screen to read.

      - Immediate feedback on the screen and auto-correction. The iPhone system is really well done… I type faster on the iPhone than my previous phone. The problem, you just have to trust the system and don’t pay attention if you miss a key… it will correct it for you.

      - BlueTooth if someone really need a real physical keyboard and mouse. Apple already has some great wireless Mouse and keyboard, it could work perfectly in this case… I can even imagine a traveler case where you have the mini wireless keyboard and the tablet in a “laptop configuration”.

  29. For a nice keyboard implementation on an amazing full computer with just 450 g and 5-inch screen, see the top of the crop:

    OQO model 2+
    http://www.oqo.com

    If only Apple purchased the now closed company and made an OQO and an OQOtablet, both with Mac OS X inside…

  30. I can’t believe people’s lack of imagination.

    Not pocketable? Who cares!

    It can happily live in your school bag/man bag/brief case, taking up less space/weight than a laptop and probably having a much better battery life. Check your email and surf the web on the go without the hassle of firing up a laptop – view photographs, presentation mock-ups, watch movies and music videos on the beach, where you wouldn’t take your air or macbook pro.

    Not good for mouse/keyboard/graphics intensive gaming?
    Who cares! Those products already exist, the market is catered for. Imagine a wireless MIDI controller or DMX controller for lighting applications/music production, or as a tool for students to read lecture notes. Or as a medical reference tool for doctors…

    …the potential of this product is amazing, and I for one am incredibly excited. I don’t want to read/watch movies on an iPhone/iPod touch screen, nor do i enjoy browsing the web on such a small device, but if I could have one of these living in my bag alongside my digital camera – and even better – if this thing had an SD card slot, I’m sold.

  31. I think one thing that has been overlooked by EVERYONE is the need for an HDMI Port!!!

    With the power of the ATOM, I believe the Macbook Touch could compete directly with PSP, XBOX, and Wii by allowing it to hook up to an actual HDTV or receiver. The plus to the Tablet is that it has its own screen and hence is portable!!!

    If all of this were included with the ability to download games directly from home, the bluetooth headset, and a controller….. tears of joy would stream down my face.

  32. Easily, this article is actually the freshest on this worthy topic. I agree with your conclusions and will eagerly await your upcoming updates. Saying thank you will not be enough, for the extraordinary clarity in your writing. I’ll immediately grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates. Good work and much success in your business enterprise!

    • Well, indeed it is finally coming!

      I’m curious to see what and how it will be (after all thinking and debate about it)
      I still thinking this post shouldn’t be that far from what we’ll see announced by apple.

      I like the last idea of running all iPhone apps… It offer s huge potential already now!
      If Apple develop and release iLife and iWork, along of some tablet oriented apps such: iDraw, iRead, etc… I’m sold!

      And it will be possible to develop 3rd party software AND hardware… I’m more than sold.
      Imagine the endless possibilities!

      Can’t wait anymore…

  33. Lots of of bloggers are not too pleased with this new iPad.There was too much hype regarding it and alot people got turned off.You see, I for one see some of the cool potential uses of this gadget. Third-party apps for composing music, games, papers and magazine and FFS books, all kinds of neat stuff, but they just didn’t really sell it very well (excluding the books). It smells sort of not finished

  34. Well, Apple finally did it: iPad. BTW, it seems that such messages I indicated above may be discarded (I posted a message on 27th January or so which seems lost so far).

  35. Update: amazingly, the messages are not posted (discarded messag) if they contain the e-mail address indicated above but also others like abc at abc dot com.

    • I already told you WorX… any post request approving, even more with a “spam suspicious” email address…

      And I can’t follow all comment and replies in realtime… nothing personal.

      Regarding the iPad… well, I will do a post (soon), to explain why it will be a success, even if it actually sucks right now :D

      Phil

  36. Kindle Wireless can switch back and forth between reading and listening, and your spot is automatically saved. Pages automatically turn while the content is being read, so you can listen hands-free. You can choose from both male and female voices which can be sped up or slowed down to suit your preference. In the middle of a great book or article but have to jump in the car? Simply turn on Text-to-Speech and listen on the go.

    • Perhaps and excuse me to be rude, but the Kindle does suck to compare the iPad.

      And the choice of a computerized voice text-to-speech system is a really bad idea today…
      no expression, no realism, no tone, … Nothing close to someone real who read and act the book.

      That’s why we pay for an AudioBook. Otherwise it would simply be an idiot “Text-to-Speech” feature in the e-Book Reader.

      Just my 2 cents,
      Phil

  37. I fully agree with spidouz: there is nothing like true and real human voice to read audio books (besides avoiding pronunciation errors!). Sometimes is even the author who reads, which may be awesome!

  38. Well, at least we have now the new MacBook Air 11.6-inch, but a lighter and smaller Mac (whatever form factor) would be better.

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