Borders, the bookstore, might be unto something. The word might being the imperative word. Engadget got word that in an online survey about the “Early Read Book Preview program” you get to a question that asks about “Digital Reading Devices” that includes the familiar: Amazon Kindle, Kindle DX, Sony Book Reader, Plastic Logic Reader, Apple iPhone, Blackberry and Palm smartphones. And the unfamiliar: an Apple iPAD and an iTouch.
iPAD Now that’s an interesting name! iPod, iPAD. If the iPAD is true then the name would suggest that you use it to write and draw stuff on. I’m sure multitouch would be a feature that will allow you to manipulate what you wrote and drew in different ways. For instance if you wanted to save a note you’d point at it and drag it to the file drawer. Or something like that. I don’t think you’d see the normal menu bar with drop-down items.
iTouch This name conjures up imaginations different from the iPAD. The iTouch sounds like it’ll be some type of controller device. You’d get an interface to control your music, video, photos, etc. The iTouch would probably have the capability to be used as a keyboard–any keyboard since it would be a multitouch screen.
iPAD + iTouch Could the iPAD and the iTouch names be pointing to the same device? There certainly is that chance. Could the device have two screens? That’s also a possibility. A strong one. OLPC‘s next version might be sporting a similar design. I reckon Apple will continue toward its utopian device where less is more where close to nothing is close to perfect. A quick example would be the trackpad: Apple bucked the trend by applying the single button from the mouse to the trackpad. Dell’s M4400 that I had for a while had three buttons on the trackpad! With the new unibody MacBooks, Apple deleted the button and integrated it into the trackpad itself. I think Apple will continue to reduce the number of components…
Two LCDs Let’s brainstorm a bit more. How beautiful would it be for the many keys on a keyboard to be integrated into a single slab of glass. Heck, absorb the track pad too! Make the display depressable somehow by using a combination of resistive and capacitive touch technologies (RIM’s BlackBerry Storm makes use of these technologies but in a less-than-perfect way). Apple won’t need to offer different keyboard configurations for different languages. You have a single SKU and should reduce manufacturing complexity. The user would benefit too since you can change the keyboard on-the-fly: no more stickers.
iStick, iStick Pro I would also get rid of all the nasty-looking ports on the side and develop some kind of super duper all-encompassing wireless link to an external stick that has all the ports you’d want away from view–the iStick and the iStick Pro (for those who need FireWire)! And when I say get rid of all the ports, that includes the power port too.
iPower: S, M, L With Palms’ really cool Touchstone cordless charging dock that was introduced with the Pre, I think we’ve hit an inflection point where we can possibly see a mass transition to decording power connections. Introducing Apple’s iPower technology that comes in Small, Medium and Large sizes that charges all future iPower-compatible gadgets from Apple including the iPAD or iTouch. Simply lay your iPAD, MacBook or iPhone on iPower and they start recharging. Other positives include closing up the bottom connection on the iPhone: a lot of crap can get in there. The MagSafe connector on the MacBooks is a great idea but go one more step and just get rid of it–0% chance that someone would trip over the wire since there is no wire.
I’d definitely buy something like this for between $700 and $900.