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Ipad Rumour Mill Jumps Shark

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Anything you can do, we can do Spectre

Tired of waiting for the next iMac? So is Dirty Laundry. And so, it seems, is HP. So tired, in fact, that the PC maker has given up hanging on for Apple and made an iMac all of its own.

The next web (thenextweb.com) has the details. ‘The Spectre One desktop, which was released in a PR flood at midnight last night, looks like absolutely nothing other than a complete clone of Apple’s iMac,’ it points out, rather insensitively. And looking at the PR pictures…well, it’s got a point.

Description: Tired of waiting for the next iMac?

Tired of waiting for the next iMac?

Of course we might expect rip-offs from certain companies. But isn’t HP known for a tradition of innovation that, many years ago, inspired the likes of Steve Jobs?

Awkward. ‘This is just a sad day for HP. There are nearly infinite combinations of components and design to choose from here and it decided to effectively clone Apple. Why? How has a company once praised for pushing the industry forward decided that this kind of thing is OK to do?’

The answer to that question may lie in a Wall Street Journal story on HP’s new CEO, Meg Whitman. ‘At Ms Whitman’s behest, H-P is in the process of overhauling or developing more than a dozen PC lines that run a new version of Microsoft Corp’s Windows operating system, including a tablet aimed at businesses,’ reported the Journal, in the quaintly polite style it preserves to make its finance stories feel marginally more entertaining and its right-wing attacks on America’s working class less vicious.

‘H-P has reorganised and nearly doubled the size of its PC design team to 60 people and has opened two new design centres. In January, the company appointed a long-time employee to oversee the design group.’

Sixty people, two design centres, a new design boss, and the best it can come up with is an obvious clone of the iMac? Does Meg have her priorities right? ‘As part of her plan, Ms Whitman is counting on better-looking PCs, hoping her company might one day rival Apple Inc as the standard bearer for sleek design.’ Aha, now we’re getting to it.

‘“Apple taught us that design really matters,” she said. “I think we’ve made a lot of progress.”’ Sure, design maters, Meg. But you know what else maters? Originality. Yes, yes, we know Apple sometimes borrows ideas too – but there’s copying stuff, and then there’s copying stuff.

As The Next Web put it: ‘I’m reminded of something that Steve Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson just after the shuttering of the Web OS division at HP.’ Told you so! ‘“Hewlett and Packard built a great company, and they thought they had left it in good hands,” Jobs told Isaacson. “But now it’s being dismembered and destroyed.”

“I hope I’ve left a stronger legacy so that will never happen at Apple,” he added. “I’m not sure why HP has decided to sell out its legacy like this, but it sucks.”’

To be fair, the Spectre differs from the iMac in that they’ve shoehorned the electronics into the base (which looks like a MacBook Air), not the screen. So there’s nowhere to put an optical drive. Ah well. At least you get a compact wireless keyboard and touchpad with white tile keys, rounded corners, and a curved battery compartment at the back.

Rock, paper…

You’ve heard the one about the iPhone being more powerful than the computer that put Armstrong and Aldrin on the moon – but it’s not all that surprising, since everyone knows computers were crap in the 1960s. Skip forward to the early 2000s, however, and things looked very different. Apple’s PowerBook G4, for example, was an amazingly powerful aluminium-skinned computer worthy of any self-respecting creative professional’s lap.

So it’s rather more remarkable that, as Gizmodo (gizmodo.com) put it: ‘The iPhone 5 is more powerful than the fastest Power Book ever made.’ No. Really. ‘In2005, the best laptop you could buy from Apple scored around 1,000 on Geekbench, a popular performance testing program. The iPhone 5 – a phone – demolishes that number.’

Description: as Gizmodo (gizmodo.com) put it: ‘The iPhone 5 is more powerful than the fastest Power Book ever made.

As Gizmodo (gizmodo.com) put it: ‘The iPhone 5 is more powerful than the fastest Power Book ever made.

What exactly are we comparing here? ‘The 17in PowerBook weighed 7lb, was a full inch thick, and [cost] $2,500. The iPhone5 is less than a third of an inch thick and weighs 112 grams.’ Yet its A6 processor scores 1,600. Faster in the way Usain Bolt is faster than you when you’ve got a hangover, your dodgy knee is playing up and you’re wearing slippers.

Even if it’s true, the rumour isn’t

Dirty Laundry has a confession. It was sceptical, very sceptical, when it first heard whispers that Apple would launch an iPad mini this year. And it’s still not totally convinced. But there comes a point when the crescendo grows so loud that you have to put your hand up and say ‘OK, maybe, just maybe, there’s something in it.’

When no less an organ than All Things Digital claims it’s ‘confirmed’ (thus completely redefining the meaning of that word), even Dirty Laundry is inclined to concede that there may, somewhere beneath all the smoke, be some kind of combustion in progress.

Description: ‘Taiwan’s Economic Daily News cites two local securities firms that say Pegatron has already begun mass production of the rumored smaller 7.85-inch iPad ahead of a possible October debut.’

‘Taiwan’s Economic Daily News cites two local securities firms that say Pegatron has already begun mass production of the rumored smaller 7.85-inch iPad ahead of a possible October debut.’

But that doesn’t mean this column is ready to believe stuff like this from Apple Insider (appleinsider.com). ‘A report on Monday claims Chinese firm Pegatron has secured 50 to 60% of orders to assemble the as-yet-unannounced “iPad mini,” effectively ending Foxconn’s reign as Apple’s sole iPad manufacturer,’ reports the eye-curlingly redesigned rumour site.

‘Taiwan’s Economic Daily News cites two local securities firms that say Pegatron has already begun mass production of the rumored smaller 7.85-inch iPad ahead of a possible October debut.’ We’re agog. Honest. In no way is this just the words ‘October 7.85in iPad’ dressed up with a load of not-quite-sourcing. ‘According to supposed parts leaks, the upcoming tablet is thought to resemble the last-generation iPod touch, and will be thinner and lighter than Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad. Most recently, images of the purported housing surfaced, lending credence to speculation surrounding unit’s design.’

Only in the crazy, crazy world of Apple rumours do badly Photoshopped images ‘lend credence to speculation’. Here’s AppleInsider on yet another set of pictures by some teenager with too much time on their hands: ‘While the legitimacy of the mockup is highly suspect, the unit is one of the first physical representations of how Apple’s rumored 7.85-inch tablet may look if and when it is released this fall.’ We despair.

 

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