Friday, January 02, 2004

Brought to you by the letter "i" and the word "box"...

Mac Rumors is reporting on a sudden wave of Apple "Set Top Box" rumors describing a TV-top device known as the iBox. Of course, Mac Rumors is also quick to point out that these rumors are fairly unreliable and that the "Set Top Box" made the site's 2003 Rumor Reject List.

Some of the latest rumblings are coming from this MacOSX.com report claiming that the "iBox" is already in production and on its way to release. They claim that the box plugs into one's TV and provides digital hub-ish features, kinda like iLife-in-a-box meets TiVo. Features are said to include TV recording, 802.11b/g wireless, special versions of iTunes, iPhoto, and iDVD, as well as a SuperDrive. All of this - as well as a decent sized hard drive for holding all this stuff - is said to be powered by a G3, and Mac Rumors points out that Apple has never produced a G3 computer capable of DVD burning.

One thing going for this rumor however, is the fact that it's something Apple tried once before. In 1995 (pre-Jobsian era) Apple actually produced and test-marketed a set top box. And guess what? It, like many other Apple products of that time (from the MacTV to the Quicktake cameras to the Pippin gaming system), failed with flying colors! So maybe that's not really helping the iBox's case.

And of course, "MacOSX.com isn't in the business of spreading rumors." In fact, they said that themselves (hence the quotes)! Also, Steve Jobs has been noted as saying that he doesn't believe the TV and the PC are destined to join together in some crazy hybrid device, though one could easily argue that this "iBox" wouldn't be a TV/PC hybrid (because, as the describe it, it isn't). Still, Steve Jobs is one stubborn man.

So, will Tuesday's Stevenote bring a box full of surprises, an iBox full of surprises? I personally don't think so, but who knows what that "One more thing" will be...

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