Posts tagged “rumors”.
“The coming of an Apple tablet has been rumored since the death of the Newton. Talk to anyone versed in Apple lore, and they’ll tell you one’s just around the corner. Not only that, they’ll probably tell you what it’ll be like.
…But it’s important to remember that for every true rumor out there, there are five false ones and, most importantly, three things that no one’s even imagined.”
- The Macalope on the spread of rumors about a device no one has even seen yet, and how rumor-spreaders have been wrong (way wrong) before.
He may not even remember, but in August 2002, Leander Kahney of Cult of Mac posted a piece called “Newton’s Return: A hit and a myth” on Newton resurgence rumors after a New York Times piece hinted at something called…
The Times claimed “…Steve Jobs was pushing development of a new PDA-cum-cell-phone. Dubbed the iPhone, the device would lead Apple back into the dangerous ‘land of handhelds,’ the Times opined,” Kahney writes.
Flash forward a little under five years later, and everything comes to fruition. Amazing.
A pair of researchers studying the Cult of Newton found that such “brand communities” predicted or spread rumors that the MessagePad would return five times between its death in 1998 to 2002. “Through detailed analysis of news groups and websites,” Kahney writes, “the researchers conclude that the rebirth rumor is central to the ethos of the Newton community.”
Jesus Phone, anyone?
Any return of the Newton would simply validate “the platform’s technical superiority. If it’s good enough to be reintroduced, it’s good enough to keep using, fans reason.” Amen, brother. And the Newton idea did stick around: calendars, notes, third-party apps, unique input mechanism, e-mail on a handheld – they’re all there on the iPhone today.
I couldn’t believe I saw the word “iPhone” pop up in an article from 2002. We all know that Apple started working on the iPhone years ago. But sometimes those crazy rumors have a way of surfacing – and resurfacing – time and time again.
Steve Jobs introduced new iPod Touch features that are bringing it closer and closer to a modern-day Newton. “Now there’s even more to touch” touts the new Apple.com page, and it’s true: Mail, Notes, Maps, etc. It all adds up to a more Newton-like device than the previous iPod Touches.
The iPod Touch is now a true iPhone-clone, without the phone and subscription model.
It makes me wonder what the GTD crowd thinks of this updated Touch (Macrumors has a forum dedicated to just this subject). The Newtonlist has been buzzing with Newton software packages that make the MessagePad a handy tool for GTDers.
And I suppose that, after the SDK comes out for the iPhone and iPod Touch, developers will be builder 43folders-ish software all over the place. Jailbroken iTouches already have these kind of capabilities.
But does all this spell the end of those Newton 2.0 rumors that were flying pre-Macworld? John Gruber thinks, perhaps, not:
I am nearly convinced that this product exists, at least as a project in development. My hunch is that AppleInsider has it spot-on: it’s in development, but not yet ready to launch, and, perhaps, never will if Apple can’t get it right…A successful tablet-like device from Apple, I think, would clearly be designed as a secondary computing device — a satellite attached and synched to a Mac or PC (probably, of course, through iTunes).
What’s missing, says Gruber, is the “why should I buy this?” factor that accompanies most new Apple products. Tablets have failed to catch on, he argues, so why release one if it doesn’t blow people away?
(Gruber’s predictions of Macworld were, by the way, spot-on, except for his plea for new Cinema Displays. Everything else he got right. Kudos.)
So here we Newton fans still sit, stuck between a maybe-it’ll-happen Newton 2.0 and an iPod Touch that, as it adds features, becomes more and more like Apple’s long-abandoned PDA.
My GCal countdown says “1 day until: Macworld.” The time is almost here, and every Apple fan knows it.
But unlike last year, there’s no oh-my-dear-sweet-Jesus news waiting for us. At least that’s what everyone, like John Gruber at Daring Fireball, thinks:
And so what I’ve noticed over the years is that in the week or so prior to a keynote, if expectations are running too high, word somehow gets out, at least to the press. What made last year’s pre-Expo prelude so electrifying is that while speculation was rampant that Apple would announce a phone, there was no one — no one — saying “Well, that’s not what I’ve heard.” When, in the face of white-hot speculation, Apple goes totally silent both officially and privately, that’s when they have something big.
Things were dead quiet last year. And they seem pretty quiet again this year. Donning my Cupertino-Kremlinology hat, I can’t help but see last week’s week-before-Macworld debut of brand-new Mac Pros as a hint that their keynote announcements plate runneth over. But there’s a big difference this year — last year, speculation was running rampant about one particular thing, “the phone”; this year, not so much. The consensus rumors and guesses are interesting but not earth-shaking.
In a mild/medium/hot scale, where mild is a lame keynote that’s mostly a “state of the Apple Union” address and hot is a major new product along the lines of the iPhone, my gut feeling is that we’re looking at a medium — spicy enough to be enjoyable, but not one for the ages.
Meanwhile, over at AppleInsider, the Newton drumbeat goes on. They say “Newton 2.0″ won’t be coming at Macworld 2008, but it’s “remains a work-in-progress, according to people familiar with the matter.” I think the Newton 2.0 rumor is still pie-in-the-sky mythmaking, especially considering that Apple has two items that could serve as light-weight PDAs. The iPod Touch and iPhone may lack the handwriting technology, but they’ve got just about anything else you’d need.
Anyone want to place bets? I already have. I just plunked down about $850 for five shares of AAPL, courtesy of ING’s buy-out of ShareBuilder. Apple’s stock was over the $200 mark for the first time about a week ago, and now it’s dipped to about $172 a share. Well I’m putting my money where my mouth is, and investing in a company I have great faith in.
Even if this Stevenote isn’t as big as last year’s, my money says it’ll be enough to keep Apple in the spotlight.
Previous patents have pointed more toward the iPhone, in retrospect. And the argument for a tablet says that doctors and do-gooders on the move can really use a portable Mac like what’s proposed. But the thing about Apple rumors is they’re rarely accurate. Or even true. This tablet Mac rumor has seen more than its share of screen space.
We’ve known that Steve Jobs holds no love for PDAs (or else Newtons would be alive and well, right?). My take (and I’m not alone on this one) is that if there is a Newton- or tablet-like device, it may just be a modified iPhone. Apple may decide to freshen things up in this product line like it did with the iPod: color, photo, video, games, etc.
But heck, is the rumor even true?
This will be the first edition of “RumorPad Watch.” I’ll keep you updated. Back to the poetry…