In recent weeks, a little bit because the people of the Apple have nothing to worry about, a little bit because Cupertino has tightened the mesh of safety, the once copious source of rumors has dried up. Resist only some indomitable who with playing with intuition and competence and seasoning everything with a good dose of imagination every now and then try to "throw it away" hoping to get it right by selling everything for the sake of who knows what revelations. The last of the boutades born past. The product that Steve Jobs would have mentioned in the course of a speech to the employees of the company, a still mysterious machine that could (depending on the sources) or fill the "orphan" box, the twin of the one occupied by the Cube, in the portable sector, or launch an entirely new line of electronic devices, a sort of new iMac, would be nothing more than a sub-notebook, a middle ground between iBooks and PowerBooks, a small but high performance laptop, in fact, in short, a competitor Sony Vaio. Those who support this thesis point out that since the cancellation of the Duo (in 1997) and the PB 2400 (in 1998) from many parts of the Mac world, the demand for a similar product has risen. So much would have been enough for Cupertino to make a sort of CubeBook to be destined for a niche market that today would not be satisfied either by the weight and performance of the iBook, or by the cost of the PowerBook. In reality, at least for those who are the signs that come from Cupertino, it seems really unlikely that Apple will launch in the production of a new model of computer, completely different from those currently on the market. Precisely the reference to the Cube, a machine that has not had the acceptance that Cupertino hoped for, should, more than anything else, make it clear that a sixth line of short-term debut products is unlikely. Everyone knows, and the same Jobs he admitted, that the Cube did not sell for various problems, first of all that of costs but secondly also for the difficulty in finding a space halfway between the iMac and G4, the same difficulty that the CubeBook could also have. It should not be forgotten that in the opinion of the writer but also of many other market observers, the Cube, more than a strategic choice, was nothing more than an invention of the marketing sector of Cupertino which in view of the Expo goal ran the risk of presenting itself before the public of the media and consumers without any radically new product. The choice to reengineer the G4 motherboard and to host it in an innovative case was the most handy choice, but also a forced choice. Probably if Apple had had the availability of new 700 and 800 MHz processors there would have been no Cube (and not even the G4 biprocessor), but only a new line of G4.Now Apple, or rather it should be in a very different situation especially as for laptops, in San Francisco Apple will be able to do nothing but present the new PowerBook. Long awaited and preceded by a drumming discount campaign on the models currently on the market that leave no doubt about what is being prepared in Cupertino, it would be a radically new machine with PPC 750CXe processors (not G4 as it continues obsessively to repeat someone) with redesigned houses (codename Pismo) and perhaps UMA2 motherboard. The new PowerBook that will most likely arrive at 700 MHz will be the leading product of the Expo, the object on which Apple wants the spotlight of the Media to be placed. What need would there be to complicate life by releasing a second car? The CubeBook and the PowerBook would end up contending for the space in newspapers and Internet sites, reducing the effectiveness of the promotional message.If we had to go even further in detail we should also say that Apple's problem today is not that of increasing the range's offer , but to convince those who today have an old machine to update and those who have never bought a Mac to buy. This is mainly done by not inventing a new product in a line that until yesterday, when PowerBook and iBook were in step with the times, worked very well as it was, but by enhancing its performance. In short, doing what Jobs would probably have done in New York for desktops if he had more powerful processors available. This is all the more true today, a difficult moment for Apple that must try to keep warehouse inventories low by stimulating the purchase. and the renewal of its customers' hardware fleet without embarking on reckless adventures with an uncertain outcome. It is urgent that inventing a CubeBook seems to us, at this time, as well as operating on the line of laptops, on that of the Pro desktops. higher profits and here are the worst gaps. So if Apple's engineering sector has struggled in recent months, we are sure that, Motorola permitting, it has done so in this sector. It does not mean that, in the opinion of the writer, Cupertino is not thinking about something different and innovative. But it seems to us that it is unlikely that we are thinking of making the same mistake (perhaps even obliged) committed with the Cube and certainly this will not happen in San Francisco. Rather we believe that something really different can stand out on the horizon, a machine that belongs to a new "species" and that could be purchased by someone who already has a computer without waiting for him to decide to update, better if this someone has never owned a computer but also someone who could also have a computer that not necessarily a Mac. This enterprise was completed two years ago with iMac, perceived as a non-computer by the market which enthusiastically accepted it because it relegated to the background a series of technical aspects on which other products placed the accent. what this "totally different" could be. The answer, today as today, can only be a PDA or an Internet browser, or rather a middle ground between the two. In short, the tablet computer we have talked about several times from these pages. But for such a leap forward, to reach such a goal, we believe it is necessary for Apple to still go a long way and from here to the point of arrival still cut many intermediate goals. For now what we all want to see is just a dot on the horizon and we don't have binoculars.