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Crazy idea

febrero 4, 2020

We have already said that Apple is trying to move the iMac market to liquidate stocks. Whether it is the need to make room in the warehouses and to lower the number of machines both in the canals and directly in Cupertino in view of the launch of a new version of the desktop, a logical consequence. But beyond these almost flawless data, no one up to now has been able to credibly unbalance the characteristics of the heir to the most popular Apple machine of the recent and less recent past.

There are those who hypothesize science fiction variations on the all in one theme, those who hypothesize something absolutely revolutionary and unthinkable, those who more modestly foresee yet another color revision and a modest speed bump of the processors. Among so much confusion and, let's face it, even improvisation, we point out as worthy of note an article published yesterday by The Register, which could be something more than a pure childbirth which seems to us many of the indiscretions that are read online. The popular English tabloid, often written competently in made of hardware, it draws up a captivating and intriguing thesis on the characteristics of the new iMac, a thesis that has the advantage of being able to pigeonhole a series of hypotheses and voices hitherto confused, inconsistent and unrelated to each other on the future of the low-end desktop According to The Register's article, an image received is read on the site by a third party of Apple who in turn it should be obtained from a Cupertino contractor.

The mind immediately runs to Alpha Top, the not always hermetic (in terms of confidentiality on future Apple products) company specializing in laptops that among others assembles both Titanium and iBooks. Alpha Top no later than a few days ago had announced to the world that Apple in the summer would release a new version of iBooks with a colorful case and a larger screen. After a first phase of bewilderment, the major Mac sites in the world had ruled out that it could be an iBook. Perhaps the Alpha Top spokesman, not very close to the Mac world, had mistaken for something else for a laptop, perhaps a colored version of the Titanium, perhaps the prototype of the new iMac.The image published by The Register suggests that the thesis correct both the latter.What according to the service of the English newspaper would be the possible new iMac can be safely mistaken for an iBook; the only difference would be the LCD screen (larger, in fact, than that of the low-end laptop) not contained in a lid but resting (in the image of The Register) above the case, squared like that of the iBook.

The sources of The Register, and here comes the fun part, argue that in reality more than a screen it would be a sort of extension of the computer itself, a separate unit capable of performing most of the functions of the computer itself, from the processing of the video image up to the reading of data stored in some type of support similar to an HD (perhaps a ROM with non-volatile memory). In short, it would be a sort of graphic tablet, with input via handwriting recognition, very similar to the Pad presented by Microsoft some time ago, capable of being transported and of communicating with the central memory through some wireless connection system ( Bluetooth according to The Register, but we would rule out this hypothesis at the root).

In short, the new iMac would be nothing more, drawing some conclusions from what The Register says, than a kind of new generation LC, a thin and light machine connected to a monitor that for even a kind of palmarone, in turn equipped with a ability of own calculation. A daring but also fascinating hypothesis which has the advantage, as mentioned above, of arranging some items circulated in the last few months in the right boxes making them compatible and logical. The new iMac, for example, as The Register has all the air, from the design, to be usable as an element for the creation of rack-mounted servers very useful for network services, not bulky and, thanks to the absence of an integrated monitor, connectable to any screen and capable of competing, if equipped with adequate power, even with more expensive machines.

That Apple was working on a machine of this type also useful for spreading MacOs X in the network environment a voice circulated no later than a month ago and surrounded by many doubts and many question marks, not least that of being able to place in a way coherent in the Cupertino price list a product outside the policies of the company of Jobs.The idea that Apple can develop a product of this type is then strengthened by a rumor circulated last summer and that The Register does not remember but to which Macity dedic special attention.

Back then, it was at the end of July, ZDNet had published numerous screen shots of an Apple application for the recognition of the writing called in code InkWell. Many then wondered what a handwriting recognition system could serve Apple, especially in MacOs X. MacProf, with a detailed and very well documented service, assumed a new type of machine, somewhere between a real laptop and a desktop computer, between a writable tablet and an LCD screen and that the handwriting recognition system was intended for this purpose. Now it is rather easy for those who have followed us over the past few months to recognize the "iPlate" font on the detachable screen of the the hypothetical new iMac.Fin here the elements that argue in favor if not of the certain authenticity of the plausibility of a machine like the one that finds space on The Register.

It is good to also underline that there are also some details, certainly not negligible, which make us think that Apple may find it difficult to put such a product on the market. For example, the sophistication of the "combo" iMac tabletop plus transportable screen could project the price to levels unthinkable for a low-end machine.

It is, in fact, two computers, one of which, the one behind the LCD screen, less equipped in terms of peripherals and connectivity systems (the hard disk would be missing, it would perhaps not have FireWire and USB ports, no system input if not the pen) but would be equipped with sophisticated technology (touch-sensitive screen, entirely new motherboard with video card, non-volatile memories, consumption reduction systems, wireless transmitter) and expensive parts (rechargeable batteries, 14-inch screen or 15 inches high resolution and matrix activates a processor powerful enough to run an operating system capable of handling complex applications if not even Os X itself).

Details that could only cost the screen when a laptop. To the price of the palmarone, which alone would make little sense, we should also add the cost of the CPU. While admitting that it would be a machine based on a newly designed simplified motherboard and that it would not have the screen that the current iMac has instead, its cost could not reasonably fall below that of an entry level iMac. In short, more CPU screen could cost no less than what a 400 MHz Titanium costs today, too much to be in front of the machine with which Apple intends to revive the myth of iMac and conquer the homes of Americans. Of course it could be objected that the "Palmarone" that acts as a screen could be sold simply as an accessory and that the real new iMac would only be the case that we see below the screen itself.

In this way Apple would have a computer capable of being connected to any monitor without the limits imposed by the design of the all in one, but it would also be an abjuration to the philosophy of the "compact" that was the basis of the fortunes of iMac. we must also be told that the concept behind such a revolutionary project, perhaps too much. The risk is that of being forced to create a market niche rather than finding one, the fate that the Cube had that failed its mission and Apple cannot take the risk of facing another flop within the reach of the Cube, moreover on a product dominant as the new iMac should be. We stop here. Go further and draw conclusions without them being more than a simple fantasy of the difficult writer. We leave readers the task of reflecting on when we wrote, perhaps even using knowledge that those who sign this article do not have. We just close this reflection by agreeing with what The Register says: if the product described here is not the iMac of our dreams, it goes close enough. How much this dream is achievable still to be demonstrated.

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