Apple Is Working On Bringing A New, Radically Different Species Of Mac To Market By Christmas [Rumor]



According to our own dear Mike Elgan, Apple is through creating new devices and will continue to coast on the product categories they currently have.

Not so fast, though! According to a Japanese site, component suppliers are gearing up to help Apple create new Macs that are “absolute different from current products,” with a debut as early as the end of the year.

The report’s brief, and’s track record is pretty spotty: they did correctly predict the iPad 2’s March debut (which was actually pretty obvious), but they’ve gone on record saying that Apple’s testing MacBook Airs running the iPad 2’s A5 CPU, which is pretty silly.

Or is it? We’ve been hearing a lot of talk recently about how Apple will switch the Mac platform to ARM. Apple even threatened Intel that they’d be taking their business elsewhere unless Intel could get a handle on their mobile chips’ voracious hunger for battery power.

Could Apple be working on an ARM powered MacBook? I’m skeptical this is anywhere besides early “fooling around” testing: there just aren’t any ARM chips right now that are powerful enough to run OS X. Heck, there aren’t even any 64-bit ARM chips yet, and when there are, it’s uncertain whether or not there’ll be any advantages over Intel’s x86 CPUs when it comes to power management, which is kind of the only thing ARM really has going for it… especially considering the fact that OS X and every app out there would need to be reprogrammed to run on ARM processors.

So who knows? I’m struggling to see any holes in Apple’s existing Mac line-up, but the guys at Cupertino are a lot smarter than me.

Do you guys have any guesses? Let us know in the comments.

Deals of the Day

  • Michael

    The picture above makes me laugh. There are just so many things wrong with it.

  • Josh Stevens

    Back to PowerPC is say! 

  • John Neumann

    I can see a full length trackpad coming, that’s a no-brainer. The fold-out screen, not so much . . . unless it doubles as a beach chair. 

  • Michael

    Full length trackpad is definitely not a no-brainer. How are you supposed to type without clicking or doing gestures accidentally?

  • sarahadam1716969880

    I just p a i d $21.87 for an i P a d 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasonîc Lumîx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from,

  • barryjarvis

    I’m with you John, I can’t see where Apple could fit in a new product.

    I also find it difficult to believe the big A could get through development of a new product this far and have no leaks (if the year end unveiling is to be believed of course).
    If anything, I could see Apple cutting down it’s range of Macs.
    It’s plain to see Apples new focus is smaller and thinner. So, if they were to make the MB Pro smaller and thinner (akin to MB Air) as rumours seem to saying, then where does that leave the standard MacBook?

    To quote from a tweet I made earlier on the topic “standard Macbook is just sitting uncomfortably in the middle… kind of like that distant Uncle nobody likes at a family gathering”

    Instead of introducing new products I can for-see Aple cutting the MacBook, and just sticking with MB Air and MB Pro.
    Maybe not soon, but it’s coming.

    Just my thoughts :) 

  • supertino

    Computer in a keyboard like the Commodores and Spectrums of yesteryears, with a built in trackpad of course but much thinner than those old stalwarts. SSD, DisplayPort, 4GB RAM… pretty much Mac mini specs. Just plugin to the cinema display and you are off. 

    Bonus: Can use an iPad as a display.

  • barryjarvis

    It is possible to detect a wrist rather than a finger… Apps like Penultimate already do it. Although not 100% accurate.

    Having said that, I don’t believe a full length track pad is a no-brainer. In all honesty, what’s the point? 10 finger gestures anyone?

  • dagamer34

    It’s pretty simple really. MacBook Pros will ditch the optical drive and the hard drive will switch to MBA-style SSDs. FireWire will also get dropped (the port is too thick) and probably will the Ethernet port. Both ports will be accessible to Thunderbolt-enabled devices through a dock, much like the current Thunderbolt display has ports.

    I’d say you’d drop about 1.5-2 lb of weight and .125-.25 inches of thickness from the laptop from these changes, as well as a more tapered design similar to the MacBook Air. Oh, and the MacBook Air will probably be renamed the MacBook.

    The low end 15″ will probably get a 128GB SSD drive, whereas the high end will get 256GB standard. And these laptops will be designed specially with iCloud in mind. Local storage is considered a fast cache of your full amount of data.

    That’s my prediction.

  • Nonnu

    Actually a fold-out screen is also a no brainer, with a little help from… Samsung, who happens to own allot of patents on the subject

  • dagamer34

    Dude the white MacBook is already dead.

  • sarahadam1716969880

    I just p a i d $21.87 for an i P a d 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasonîc Lumîx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from,

  • Michael Toye

    It’ll be an HDTV with something in between a mac mini and apple tv inside it. iOS driven.

  • sarahadam1716969890

    I just p a i d $21.87 for an i P a d 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasonîc Lumîx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from,

  • Figurative

    I seem to remember that Apple discussed a future “product transition” at the last analyst stock call…

  • FriarNurgle

    Dual touch screen MacPad. 

  • imajoebob

    Maybe this is why there’s no Rosetta in Lion? They’re building V2.0 to run Core apps on ARM.  I doubt it, butt here’s a certain appeal to the idea.

  • tnhlawyer

    This looks suspiciously like one of those “Macs of the Future” mockups published in the last year in one of the Mac-centric magazines I get.  I can’t remember which one though.  

  • gareth edwards

    Hard to second guess Apple, even with the odd nugget from the rumour mill.

    What we all know for sure is that:
    • Apple’s team are pushing ahead with a non optical future. (thinner/lighter)
    • Thunderbolt is their bet on a do everything connector (thinner/lighter/simpler)
    • They want longer battery live on all their portable kit (Intel bashing)
    • Cloud is their new iTunes (mainstream game changer)
    • Material technology is in part, at the heart of their design language (change in materials?)
    • They are maintaining a simple product portfolio (which could be simplified)
    • They are obsessed with kit becoming smaller or more simplified every iteration (Apple TV / Mac Mini etc).
    • They have the buying power to bring stuff to a market that other companies would find prohibitively expensive.

    The most obvious area for real change is the laptop but I can’t really imagine HUGE changes simply because I don’t know what’s possible but I’m sure the engineers at Apple are pushing the envelope.

    Anyone else feel like Apple are going hell for leather at the mo – kind of a strange rush of urgency to achieve true greatness before Steve either steps down from a full on, full time position, takes a less intense roll or in the worst case scenario can’t continue to work (fingers crossed this last one doesn’t pan out for years to come).

  • prof_peabody

    Since it’s the only product that hasn’t been updated in years and still has the same design from almost the first day, I’m going to go with new Mac Pros.  

    Given the consumer focus of Apple lately I’m going to also go with “They are going to ruin the Mac Pros.”  

  • techgeek01

    Good concept, but if that happens, they should drop the Pro name then.
    About everybody I know who owns a MBP would end up switching to a PC laptop that has an optical drive, ports or platter disks.

    I know a lot of people who have a MBP for their work computer or school computer/primary computer and if they drop ports and optical drive, MBP’s would be no more for them because they need to have those ports and optical drive.  And need those on the go, so a dock won’t make sense at all for them.  SSD isn’t as bad, but unless prices come significantly down, they are out of a question.  Almost all of them have a 500GB platter disk option in there computer and have about 50% filled, Thus making the only practical SSD to buy is the 512GB.  last I checked, those are still over $1000+ upgrade, and I don’t think overnight they will drop to under $200.And iCloud?  Is a joke for most of them.  They need to have their things on their computer,  not in the cloud.

    Good idea/concept and prediction, but don’t think that will happen.

    I guess it really depends if you are an average consumer or a student/business user.’cause I see the average consumer gobbling up MBP if there were like that, but a lot of students/business users who have MBP?  I don’t think they would be picking up another one if the MBP’s went down that line. 

  • sarahadam696985

    I just p a i d $21.87 for an i P a d 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasonîc Lumîx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from,

  • Althea Hardy

    I just paíd $22.85 for an íPad 2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her her Panasoníc Lumíx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.78 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $625 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, Centb.côm

  • prof_peabody

    I think you’re missing Jeff’s point. If it has a dock then the ports aren’t lost.  I also think you are over-valuing the optical drive and overstaying the case for disks etc.  on a laptop.  

  • MacRat

    Have you actually opened up a Mac Pro?

    The internals of the current model are drastically different from the original 2006 model.

  • techgeek01

    If you have a dock, you have additional thing to carry around.  And most of the people I know who have a MBP a dock will be useless because they are always on the move. (Huge portion are students and professors/teachers) It’s impractical! because they would have to carry around a laptop, possibly a dock (if its portable) and an optical drive.

    over-valuing the optical drive?  Well first, it would be a nightmare for a lot of these people because of their CD/DVD collections. The have hundreds, if not thousands of disks, and having it all digital would take up way too much room.  Also, quite a few have CD/DVD’s you can’t get in digital formart because they are somewhat exotic and/or hard to find.

    First, a dock ONLY makes sense if your are going to be in one place.  Otherwise, its just cheaper and easier to have them in your laptop.

    disks drives?  Okay, do you want to spend $1000+ for all of my friends/colleges/people I know, who NEED to have a 500GB+ drive in their  laptop?  They NEED the storage capacity, especially since for majority of them, thats their ONLY computer.

    And thats why they need the optical drive as well.  They have countless of CDs and DVDs they need to be able to play on their computer because its their only computer and/or for work-related things.

    A MBA-like computer is almost useless to these people! They don’t want, they NEED, they NEED, to have a computer with decent storage capacity, they NEED the ports on their computer, not on a dock, they NEED to have an optical drive in their computer. Basically the NEED to have all of those things in their laptop.  Period.  If those things are not in the laptop, they WON’T buy the laptop.  

  • lls566
  • John Neumann

    Well, according to my interactions with the upper-level Apple design team (we hash out concepts over beers on fridays), a screen like that is too fussy and flimsy for a company like Apple to sell. ;-)

    Other than that, I like it actually. 

    As far as the MacPro, it could lose about half its bulk without too much trouble. 

    I just took delivery, last week, of last years version 27″ iMac and it blows away the 3 year-old MacPro I had at my former job in all sorts of speed and productivity aspects. With the gap narrowing between Apple’s high-end consumer and mid-level pro hardware, I can see some culling or merging of models. 

  • prof_peabody

    I open mine up regularly.  I would strongly disagree with the word “radical.”  The basic design is the same even if you include the quite different interiors of the G5’s.  

  • prof_peabody

     … backs away slowly to avoid the spittle flying from the crazy guy’s mouth …

  • AshleyRobinson25

    …I just paíd $20.82 for an íPad 2.64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasoníc Lumíx GF 1 Cámera that we got for $38.79 there arriving tomorrow by UP S.I will never pay such expensive retail príces in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LCD T V to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from,

  • Doug Bursnall

    Wireless distributed computing.
    Based on iPad HD, works as iPad on its own, but when in range of AppleTV sized module, gets boost from its CPU power, integrate iCloud etc and you can move your ‘machine’ from home (email, utube, web; mostly consumption) to office (data analysis, video editing; processor intensive apps) carrying with you everything but also only what you need.
    Those extra processors could be ‘rented’ like wifi at coffee shops, so with your base and data in hand you can then connect to a wifi and processor hotspot.
    This could initially be implemented in a wired form via thunderbolt, then wified up when speeds catch up.

  • robgilgan

    I’m trying to remember the last time I used the optical drive on my desktop – it’s been several months. That said, I have a collection of drives (Zip, EZDrive) with data that I’d like to access and have to keep and old beige G3 in the garage. I do remember the outrage and the horrible things people said about Steve Jobs and his obsession with control when he dropped floppies from the iMac. That was the first step toward where we are today. This is progress.

  • MacGoo

    There’s no Rosetta in Lion because they’re so many generations removed from PowerPC hardware. Pretty obvious decision, really.

  • MacGoo

    More likely a transition from iPod Touch to lower-spec iPhone or a transition from Apple TV external box to integrated TV.

  • techgeek01

    Instead of getting rid of these, why dosen’t apple decide to put ports that basically everybody else has?  HDMI, VGA and/or DVI?  Basically about 100% of monitors, projectors, and TV’s use one of those formats. I don’t have a mac laptop, but it ALWAYS seems that the ones who do, ALWAYS carry around adapters for projectors, monitors, and TV’s when they need to hook up their computer their computer.  Come on, why can’t you have one of those, or at least two in your laptops?  Then you don’t need to worry about carrying $100 worth in adapters, when you have to hook up your computer to something.  And why not USB 3.0?  Its backwards compatible with USB 2.0, meaning all of your USB 2.0 products will be able to use it. 

    why not also add blu-ray drives as well?  Its impractical to download Blu-ray quality movies because its impractical, unless you want to blow through your data caps, take half a day, if not longer to download and hog up storage space?

    Make a Air-like MBP, but keep a pro-like laptop as well! that has all the ports non-macs have and add blu-ray drives!  some people NEED to have those things.

  • Silver Bullet

    Edited: Double Posting

  • techgeek01

    Very good point, but what if you have (heavily) invested in those things?  you (absolutely) cannot replace all your floppies with CD’s or all of your tapes with CD’s.

    You basically NEED a device that is able to use those things.I know many people (mainly work related, especially teachers/professors) who use tapes and VHSes on a regular basis.  Cost wise, it would have been too expensive to toss those all out and pick up CD’s and DVD’s.  Matter of fact, quite a few of those tapes/VHSes are NOT available on CD’s, DVD’s or even digital downloads.  So, the only way to access those things is on those VHS or tapes.

    the other day, I was looking around on the internet and found out that there are computers (desktops) that you can get floppy disks in them.  And not to mention a lot of ports that are classified as obsolete.

    And I started to think, how come Apple cannot provide us with the past AND the future? Like how a bunch of PC’s already do? 

    I support the future, I support progress.  I truly do.  BUT I realize that there are tons of people where eliminating things is just going hurt them.  Especially in the business/school environment.  I guarantee you, that several professors that I know, would LOVE to have all of their music, videos and such all “digital” and get rid of VHS’s, DVD’s, CD’s tapes, and records.  But, they have invest SO MUCH into them, they cannot throw those all away and buy everything digitalized. (downloads)  Plus it dosen’t help that a lot of their stuff they cannot get in the downloadable content and to an extent in CD or DVD format.

    So, why cannot apple provide people who NEED the past, with computers that have the past AND the future, to help the people who will be in the transition phase for years to come?  getting rid of the past is just going to piss them off, since now, if they want to get a new computer (with a particular logo on it) they will end up having to buy a bunch of accessories to be able to access those things or risk not being able to access those things at all.The thing is, if Apple isn’t going to provide that, those people will go to those who DO provide it.  I guess its (really) Apple’s decision there.  Do they want to keep those customers or lose those customers? Their choice. 

  • Evan Benford

    They will drop optical drives in the next MBP’s…thats for sure.. I’ll be an awkward change, and might cause a little hesitation though. We’ll see. I mean for fucks sake they dropped it in the Mac Mini’s which are in many cases hooked up to tv’s (they should of added blu-ray). That, my good sir, is just ridiculous in a desktop machine.

  • robgilgan

    Innovation is about moving forward. The ‘people’ you refer to leaving one platform for a regressive alternative diminish daily. More people will seek out the newer, better, cheaper alternative than will abandon their platform of choice for an arcane storage medium. We are closer to having the complete data package in a handheld than we are to seeing a return to additional ports, drives, etc. That’s the direction the industry (and consumers) moves.
    I also question your use of the word ‘NEEDS’ (emphasis yours). What seems like a need today becomes a want tomorrow, then indifference the day after.

  • Silver Bullet

    So if I stop thinking about what would be awesome and start thinking what would make sense:
    Induction charging on all iMacs/Macbooks for iOS devices. Charging spot lights up…
    Margins protected…

    NFC capability between iOS devices and iMac/Macbook family to:
    1) iGhost: Pair your iOS device with your iMac/Macbook and gain access your iMac/Macbook desktop items by putting your iPhone/iPod Touch near any NFC enable iMac/Macbook to continue working… Take the iOS device away and all your temporary data on surrogate computer will be wiped. Like iCloud but for iMac/Macbooks desktop items. Your data comes from iPhone or from iCloud.
    2) iTeam: Put any NFC capable iOS device near an NFC capable iMac/Macbook, so iOS device can use the CPU/GPU power of the computer over-the-air. This will also work between iOS devices… More devices, more computational power at the master device…
    3) iWing: Put an iPad near an NFC capable iMac/Macbook and it instantly expands your desktop to iPads screen. iPad bezels and iMac/Macbook bezels will get narrower.

    Say good bye to 13″ MBP and say hello to 15″ MBA… 
    Low-to-mid range done… Margins protected…

    Say hello also to slimmer LiquidMetal 15″ MBP, 17″ MBP and the all new 19″ MBP… 
    Creative types jump with joy… Margins protected…

    iMac Touch (21.5″ and 27″) with AirPlay… Margins protected…

    I just can’t stop:
    NFC on all iOS devices but not for payments, but for interaction with other Apple devices…
    4″ screens with 1024×768 pixels for iPhone/iPod Touch.
    4″ iPhone 4S (64GB) with single-core chip 3G/4G world phone… Margins protected…
    4″ iPod Touch 3G (32GB) with single-core chip world device with iSky flatrate 3G worldwide… Margins protected…

    A slightly bigger (six app homescreen) iPod Nano 3G (16GB) as a one-way beeper for mails, tweets and likes over iSky… Margins protected…

    OTA updates for iOS means no cable for updates, Induction Charging means no cable for charging, so if he can make the audiojack, speaker and mic waterproof, we will have a waterproof device… Maybe made out of glass?

    And last but not the least, a 2048×1536 pixel iPad with a solar SmartCover that connects through MagSafe to the side… App developers update again… On the backside, a high resolution greyscale e-ink for ebooks and stylus for drawings… Like Wacom on an iPad…

    What about MacPro and software improvements…? Any ideas?

  • Anipz Raymond


  • AmyWienfield

    I just paíd $20.82 for an íPad 2.64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasoníc Lumíx GF 1 Cámera that we got for $38.79 there arriving tomorrow by UP S.I will never pay such expensive retail príces in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LCD T V to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from,

  • Doug Henry

    The wrists sitting on the trackpad look different than fingers, so that shape could disable the trackpad… or some sensor that disables it when any finger passes into the key area.

  • HammerOfTruth

    More likely close to October.  Probably a Pro, since they are the last piece of the puzzle that hasn’t been upgraded in awhile.  

  • Michael Ladd

    “Maybe not soon, but it’s coming.”

    It has come and gone. MacBooks have been discontinued already.

  • Colin Tutty

    iPlay …Apple have been hiring gaming industry experts for the past couple of years, what do you think they are doing with all these gaming execs.? The Apple iPlay games console. But I don’t think it will be a console in the model of the current gen of gaming like your xbox or playstation, I’m guessing something more on the lines of a beefed up Apple TV with superior graphics and ram to handling better than current gen gaming. The article says a new category “radically different” so it’s not another mac or tablet.

  • Ryan Thompson

    The people who NEED blue-ray are niche.  It’s a MBP, not an entertainment centre.  I can’t think of too many people who NEED a blue-ray player.  What job do you have where you need a blue-ray?

  • bobseverns

    I am surprised that everyone is missing the obvious.  Mac mobile displays of the future will be touchscreen and have full fledged iPad innerds-including the 10 hour battery and ARM chips.  This will allow us to remove our displays and use them as iPads, but then attach to a laptop esque bottom which gives a traditional mobile processor, more storage (hard drives and SSDs), a full size keyboard, the traditional Mac OS and Thunderbolt, and even more battery. iPad 3 and Macbook Pro are going to be the same thing [merged] as the rumored retina resolution is certainly enough to do pro work.  Mac machines in the near future will have 15-20 hours battery, the ability to run iOS and Mac OS applications on the same machine (since there will be two different processors).  Also Mac App store will allow for binaries that have iOS and Mac OS versions all together.  not to mention the fact that we will be able to seemlessly dock our ipads into the keyboard and have the running applications switch over to their desktop counterparts, allowing for more flexibility, and control with keyboard, mouse and trackpad driving options. The resume and versioning in Lion is prime for this transition. As a whole, Mac application development will change to reflect developing one application with many operating modes for mobile AND desktop interaction.

  • bobseverns

    combined with below

  • Douglas Dickie

    iPad deuce.  Youtube it. 

  • Laura Malick Smith

    Apple for years has had the ability to use multiple monitors, so I don’t see why this would be difficult to make (via the software side). Probably would just need an update to current software.

    But, I don’t see something like this happening by end of this year.

  • Jack Holland

    Why not just HandBrake the DVDs ?

  • Jack Holland

    Can you seriously imagine Apple doing this ? Their target might be convergence of OSs, but never a Frankenstien’s monster.

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    the Mac Pro is a tower. How does one go about ruining a tower? Eveve a smaller tower wouldn’t ruin it because it’s just another option among many options as far as work station PCs

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    The MacBooks have been dead since the last update, Bro. Where do you live that the MacBook is still alive?

  • Frederick Malouf

    To say nothing wrong with the line-up is a surprising comment to make.

    I can see an easy hole! I bigger iPad type device you take with you everywhere and then plug into a keyboard at home and use as a desktop. No need for separate devices. Add telephony with a headset and it’s better still. 

  • Ian McPhee

    i predict macbook line ups to sport a touch screen ala iPad. Personally, they can’t get here fast enough for me. 

  • liamgreen

    In my opinion it’s a Mac OS X with the UI of the iOS if you remember the iMac touch patent agaes ago does it not seem more likey? the Mac Touch or somthing

  • Chris Marc

    thats tuff

  • Michael Gizzi

    You can still buy it in Education channels.   

  • Adam Chaney


  • Adam Chaney

    Never before with a company with so few products and relative market share has illicit such attention on even the smallest change to anything it makes.

  • letstalktablets

    I love the idea and concept based on the photo, if the side screens can fold in and out like that it would still be quite portable and give you a lot more workspace area! Very clever.

  • David Butt

    Have you noticed how small it really is? The screen is about 6″ tall! It looks like the smallest of netbooks with a double wide screen.

  • Tonyt787

    How about an iOS desktop? Takes Apple into new markets on price and some people just won’t buy anything else. Are there hidden hooks for a mouse/touchpad in ios5?

  • Guest

    Simple solution, they will buy a non-Apple computer. You can’t make 100% of people happy.

  • dagamer34

    Simple solution, they will buy a non-Apple computer. You can’t make 100% of people happy.

  • Silver Bullet

    Nice idea and it makes sense…

    Since Steve Jobs hates hinges and all Macbook Pros will made out of LiquidMetal, their detachable 15″, 17″, even 19″ iPad Pros will be viable by this durable material… All with 2048×1536 resolution…

    The color of the upper menu on Apple website is called “LiquidMetal Grey”.

    Next aluminum 9.7″ iPad 3 would be called “iPad Air”… Model range completed…

    Fits the ecosystem…