Delayed tablet Mac to launch next month?

Finally arrives to celebrate Mac's 20th birthday


The recent launch of an iMac with a 20in display may not have closed the door on the release of a third generation of the consumer-oriented desktop.

And Apple's much-rumoured launch of a tablet-style device may come to fruition early next year - possibly at Macworld Expo San Francisco.

According to Taiwanese sources cited by local news site DigiTimes, Apple will debut a "new iMac" built out of a magnesium alloy.

While the story talks about the material being used for the desktop's case, it also notes that the current iMac is constructed using an alloy of stainless steel and zinc.

So the news doesn't necessarily mean Apple will be offering an iMac in a G5-style metal shell - rather than the internal chassis will be made of a new, lighter and cheaper material.

The latter quality is key: it will allow Apple to cut iMac prices, the better to compete with the growing array of ultra-cheap PCs. High price tags are cited by the source as the reason for "lacklustre" iMac sales of late.

Indeed, the source says the first iMac using the new material will be a 20in model - which, of course, Apple has already launched. So expect iMac price cuts in the January/February timeframe.

Production costs also appear to be behind the decision to delay launching a version of the iMac incorporating a tablet back in September, the source claims. Apparently, the use of the magnesium alloy will now allow it to do so.

It's worth bearing in mind that 2004 is the 20th anniversary of the original Mac's launch, and if Apple follows tradition, it will mark the occasion with a special edition computer. We suspect that the rumoured tablet-based system may well be just that 20th Anniversary Macintosh (as opposed to the previous 20th Anniversay Mac, codenamed 'Spartacus', released to commemorate Apple's 20th birthday). That would imply that the product was never destined for a September 2003 launch.

The source says Taiwan's Quanta will manufacture the machine, but that claim is already known: Chinese-language newspaper the Economic Daily News said as much last April.

Just recently, columnist Robert Cringely suggested that Apple had a tablet in the works.

Cringely comes to the party very late: over a year ago, Register chum and eWeek columnist Matthew Rothenberg suggested Apple would launch a "device that superficially resembles a large iPod with an 8in diagonal screen, lacks a keyboard, packs USB and FireWire ports, and runs Mac OS X along with a variety of multimedia goodies". The launch window was Macworld Expo San Francisco 2003. Matt's prediction may finally come true next month.

The device is believed to be a mobile, wireless display that communicates with a desktop unit. You can use the LCD either as a desktop display, or as a portable terminal. A touch-screen and Mac OS X's Newton-derived Inkwell technology eliminates the need for a keyboard as you check your email, or listen to music streamed from iTunes running on the base unit.

That's the theory, at least.

In fact, the idea goes way back to 2001 and an early concept for what may have ultimately become the second-generation iBook. ®

Related Story

sApple contracts Quanta to build wireless display - report
A Bluetooth iPod (and three other Apple distractions)
Next-gen 'iMac 2001' debuts on Web


Other stories you might like

  • Your snoozing iOS 15 iPhone may actually be sleeping with one antenna open
    No, you're not really gonna be hacked. But you may be surprised

    Some research into the potentially exploitable low-power state of iPhones has sparked headlines this week.

    While pretty much no one is going to utilize the study's findings to attack Apple users in any meaningful way, and only the most high-profile targets may find themselves troubled by all this, it at least provides some insight into what exactly your iOS handheld is up to when it's seemingly off or asleep. Or none of this is news to you. We'll see.

    According to the research, an Apple iPhone that goes asleep into low-power mode or is turned off isn't necessarily protected against surveillance. That's because some parts of it are still operating at low power.

    Continue reading
  • China will produce one in five of the chips it uses in 2026, says analyst
    Well short of planned 70 percent domestic capacity

    China’s integrated circuit (IC) production has failed to keep pace with its appetite for silicon, with market research firm IC Insights predcicting the nation will produce only one in five ICs it uses in 2026.

    That figure is a increase from 2021's one in six, and reflects eight percent compound annual growth rate from 2021 to 2026. But it means China will miss its own targets for locally-made-and-consumed silicon.

    “Although China has been the largest consuming country for ICs since 2005, it does not necessarily mean that large increases in IC production within China would immediately follow, or ever follow” said the firm in a bulletin on Wednesday.

    Continue reading
  • Tencent happily parting ways with loss-making cloud customers
    Cutting costs across sprawling business as COVID makes life hard in China

    Chinese tech giant Tencent has recorded its first ever quarter-to-quarter revenue fall, warned that COVID-19 lockdowns will hurt messing with its business, and cautioned against assumptions that Beijing is ready to enthusiastically support tech companies.

    On its Q1 2022 earnings call yesterday, the company offered more explanation of its shifting cloud strategy.

    Chief strategy officer James Mitchell told investors the company is pleased to have shown loss-making cloud customers the door, and “proactively scaled back … deeply discounted infrastructure-only contracts for basic services such as cloud compute and content delivery network.” Projects that had high costs and/or relied on sub-contractors have also been scaled back.

    Continue reading
  • Will this be one of the world's first RISC-V laptops?
    A sneak peek at a notebook that could be revealed this year

    Pic As Apple and Qualcomm push for more Arm adoption in the notebook space, we have come across a photo of what could become one of the world's first laptops to use the open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture.

    In an interview with The Register, Calista Redmond, CEO of RISC-V International, signaled we will see a RISC-V laptop revealed sometime this year as the ISA's governing body works to garner more financial and development support from large companies.

    It turns out Philipp Tomsich, chair of RISC-V International's software committee, dangled a photo of what could likely be the laptop in question earlier this month in front of RISC-V Week attendees in Paris.

    Continue reading
  • Did ID.me hoodwink Americans with IRS facial-recognition tech, senators ask
    Biz tells us: Won't someone please think of the ... fraud we've stopped

    Democrat senators want the FTC to investigate "evidence of deceptive statements" made by ID.me regarding the facial-recognition technology it controversially built for Uncle Sam.

    ID.me made headlines this year when the IRS said US taxpayers would have to enroll in the startup's facial-recognition system to access their tax records in the future. After a public backlash, the IRS reconsidered its plans, and said taxpayers could choose non-biometric methods to verify their identity with the agency online.

    Just before the IRS controversy, ID.me said it uses one-to-one face comparisons. "Our one-to-one face match is comparable to taking a selfie to unlock a smartphone. ID.me does not use one-to-many facial recognition, which is more complex and problematic. Further, privacy is core to our mission and we do not sell the personal information of our users," it said in January.

    Continue reading
  • Meet Wizard Spider, the multimillion-dollar gang behind Conti, Ryuk malware
    Russia-linked crime-as-a-service crew is rich, professional – and investing in R&D

    Analysis Wizard Spider, the Russia-linked crew behind high-profile malware Conti, Ryuk and Trickbot, has grown over the past five years into a multimillion-dollar organization that has built a corporate-like operating model, a year-long study has found.

    In a technical report this week, the folks at Prodaft, which has been tracking the cybercrime gang since 2021, outlined its own findings on Wizard Spider, supplemented by info that leaked about the Conti operation in February after the crooks publicly sided with Russia during the illegal invasion of Ukraine.

    What Prodaft found was a gang sitting on assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars funneled from multiple sophisticated malware variants. Wizard Spider, we're told, runs as a business with a complex network of subgroups and teams that target specific types of software, and has associations with other well-known miscreants, including those behind REvil and Qbot (also known as Qakbot or Pinkslipbot).

    Continue reading
  • Supreme Court urged to halt 'unconstitutional' Texas content-no-moderation law
    Everyone's entitled to a viewpoint but what's your viewpoint on what exactly is and isn't a viewpoint?

    A coalition of advocacy groups on Tuesday asked the US Supreme Court to block Texas' social media law HB 20 after the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals last week lifted a preliminary injunction that had kept it from taking effect.

    The Lone Star State law, which forbids large social media platforms from moderating content that's "lawful-but-awful," as advocacy group the Center for Democracy and Technology puts it, was approved last September by Governor Greg Abbott (R). It was immediately challenged in court and the judge hearing the case imposed a preliminary injunction, preventing the legislation from being enforced, on the basis that the trade groups opposing it – NetChoice and CCIA – were likely to prevail.

    But that injunction was lifted on appeal. That case continues to be litigated, but thanks to the Fifth Circuit, HB 20 can be enforced even as its constitutionality remains in dispute, hence the coalition's application [PDF] this month to the Supreme Court.

    Continue reading
  • How these crooks backdoor online shops and siphon victims' credit card info
    FBI and co blow lid off latest PHP tampering scam

    The FBI and its friends have warned businesses of crooks scraping people's credit-card details from tampered payment pages on compromised websites.

    It's an age-old problem: someone breaks into your online store and alters the code so that as your customers enter their info, copies of their data is siphoned to fraudsters to exploit. The Feds this week have detailed one such effort that reared its head lately.

    As early as September 2020, we're told, miscreants compromised at least one American company's vulnerable website from three IP addresses: 80[.]249.207.19, 80[.]82.64.211 and 80[.]249.206.197. The intruders modified the web script TempOrders.php in an attempt to inject malicious code into the checkout.php page.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022