I Don’t Typically Do This

by Martin Gordon

The rumored Apple mini-notebook/big-iPhone


Which OS does it run?

  • Mac OS X: Without a keyboard, and with a ~40px-wide finger as a pointer, this would be awkward and impractical.
  • iPhone OS: What major advantages would it have over an iPod Touch? If the screen is a significantly different resolution, as it would probably need to be, a lot would need to change in applications (both Apple’s and third-party) and interface design. (I think this is the best and most likely option.)
  • Something else: Is it worth fragmenting both Apple’s OS resources and the developer community’s time for yet another major Apple platform that’s likely to make everyone far less money than iPhones and Macs? Realistically, how likely is it that they’d sell enough of these devices to make that worthwhile?

Forget anything else anyone might say about these rumors. This is the reason Apple will not do a tablet any time soon. Even though there’s 37 million devices out there and 35,000 apps, people tend to forget that the iPhone OS has been available to the public for less than two years and open to third-party applications for less than one.

OS X is discarded for a device with a screen any smaller than 10-12". A screen any smaller would not be able support a full keyboard and OS X in it’s current state would not support any reasonable user experience without a keyboard.

Putting iPhone OS on a device without a 320x480 screen is forking the platform, and putting 320x480 pixels on a screen larger than 3.5" degrades screen fidelity too much. The iPhone OS on anything but an iPhone-sized device is a new operating system.

Simply put, Apple is not ready to develop and support a third operating system and they can’t expect the developer community to do the same. Remember when Leopard was delayed six months because of the push to get the iPhone out on time? And when was the last time the public heard anything about Snow Leopard?