It's just one of those weeks; chalk up another day in the lull. As confirmed Apple drama junkies, we're so starved for Mac-themed news, we've taken to monitoring CNN on the off-chance that maybe, just maybe, Steve Jobs flipped out and is holed up in a clock tower with a rifle and a scope; alas, no such luck (so far). In the meantime we find ourselves reduced to endless speculation about the new iMac that, Jobs willing, will debut at Macworld Expo in-- heaven help us-- thirty-six days. (Hopefully this drought won't continue for another five weeks, because we'll be dead of boredom in two.)
Granted, last week's scoop at The Register provided a short burst of excitement: the pulse of even the most jaded Mac watcher must have quickened a bit at the prospect of an iMac 2 that not only features the widely-expected LCD display, but also functions as a wireless remote-terminal "Web pad" via a stylus and a detachable screen. Of course, it was an unsubstantiated rumor, but in the absence of any real news, wild speculation and potential hoaxes are better than nothing. Heck, sometimes they're far better than news in the first place.
Unfortunately, after a bit of rational thought, most people decided that, due to the intrusion of a pesky thing called "reality," the introduction of such a system next month lacks feasibility. Between component costs for pressure-sensitive LCDs, the necessity of including both a battery and a second processor in the detachable screen unit, the cost of dark and powerful magick to overcome current wireless bandwidth limitations, etc., the alleged proposed Webpad iMac would carry a price tag of roughly $74,000. Call us crazy, but the Cube debacle notwithstanding, we just don't see Apple introducing any new iMac at a base price point much over $999.
Still, we at AtAT are usually pretty good at ignoring rational arguments in favor of the far more exciting practice of blind speculation. We managed to shrug off most of the naysaying, but when Mac OS Rumors-- a site that many would proclaim the king of blind speculation-- stated that the iMac picture and description posted at The Register "blatantly ignores a number of realities," well, that was pretty much the end of the party for us. Sure, we looked for holes in MOSR's argument (since when does the iMac's "existing enclosure" have a port door?), but eventually, we had to agree: a Webpad iMac next month is pretty much a pipe dream.
Don't despair, though; as a consolation prize, MOSR claims that next month's iMac is coming, and it does feature an LCD display. However, it's a "vertically oriented" one-piece design (Son of Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh?), and you can forget about removable-tablet functionality-- at least for now. For our part, we're finally willing to have our expectations lowered; after all, that way if Apple does somehow manage to overcome the laws of time and space by unveiling a Webpad iMac, we'll get to enjoy one of those surprises that requires you to search around on the floor for your jaw afterwards...