As many of you know, I like to try and bring the hype machine down a notch here at Apple Gazette. I’m excited about Macworld – we all are – but there are times when our excitement and imagination get the better of us. I know, I’m guilty of it too. I’ve fallen victim to the interweb hype machine on more than one occasion – but if there is one thing I have learned in the year and a half i’ve been doing this, it’s that the Internet rumors WILL ALWAYS let you down.
For example, we’ve all heard about the iTablet, or MacTouch, or whatever the hell you want to call it. It’s coming, it’s coming, it’s coming….but there’s just one problem with that.
It’s not coming.
It’s just plain not the right time for it. The MacTouch concept is an interesting one, to be sure, but now is not the right time for a variety of reasons.
1. Flash Memory is too expensive – The price on solid state hard drives just isn’t there yet. It’s too expensive to get a decent sized hard drive in one of these things, and if Apple is truly going to make it a Powerbook Duo styled docking device, it’s going to have to have a very large hard drive to be useful for people as a desktop and mobile system. You simply cannot expect someone to invest the kind of money this type of device will cost into a system with a 30Gb or less hard drive.
2. The device is too Niche at this point - Apple is not looking to develop products that only fill a small niche right now. They already have iPhone users, they already have iPod Touch users, and they already have Macbook users. The person that is in-between these two is just too small a market right now for Apple to spread their resources into developing.
3. The Modbook is available now – If Apple truly planned on a touch screen UMPC right now, I have very, very serious doubts that they would be allowing the creation and distribution of the Modbook. The Modbook is direct competition to the proposed MacTouch market, and Steve Jobs is just flat out not the type of guy to allow someone to create a competing product out of his own hardware.
The MacTouch, I’m afraid, is going to be like the long rumored ‘true’ video ipod. We read about it for months, if not years, before it ever became a reality. I think, at some point in the future, we might see a device kind of like the MacTouch that’s been rumored – but it isn’t happening at Macworld 2008.
The image above is a fan created mock-up. You can see more of it here.