In my Apple developer newsletter today, there’s a request for suggestions for Apple’s Powerbook/iBook division. Here’s the email I sent them.
To: powerbook marketing
Subject: Powerbook Suggestions
Smaller, lighter, more durable.
I like to take my iBook everywhere. I’d like a tinybook to combine my iPod, Palm, and iBook; and maybe eventually my GPS, digital camera and cellphone.
The Sony PCG-U1 (http://www.dynamism.com/u1/index.shtml) or the Sony Picturebook (C1 series) are good examples of what I’d like to see. If you could get Sony to OEM you one of these, with OSX, that would be perfect.
Fantasy specs: OSX, 40GB HD, 256 MB ram, 6″ 800×600 screen (or so). Single USB and Firewire ports (or extras in an expansion port connector). Airport, of course, could even be non-optional. Don’t even offer an optical drive (or if you do, make a detachable firewire one that attaches to the bottom of the unit). 10-hour battery. Compactflash card for expansion. Build a solar charging panel into the lid! Camera lens, if that’s easy enough to do. GPS receiver antenna/chip (license from Garmin). Even a cellphone would be possible, with either strategically placed speaker/mic or external headphone/mic. Now – to really go out on a ledge – make it durable as heck and at least a little bit water resistant. Sell it for $1000-$1500; or a stripped down model for under $1000.
I’ve owned every “subnote” Apple has made: the Powerbook 100; every model of Newton; the Powerbook 2400; and now the iBook is as close as I can get. Notice how all of these have been “legendary” models of Powerbook that all still have an enthusiast following.
You’d get the annoying PDA rumor people off your case (well, a little), and I’m sure it would sell amazingly well in Japan. In fact, you could sell it only in Japan so far as I’m concerned – as long as I can order one for a reasonable price from the Apple store.
I’m a Mac user (since 1983) and a Select developer. Was a Newton developer. Now a PHP/mysql developer on OSX!
Thanks for your attention!