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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Linked by Jason Snell

‘Star’: Apple’s next… something?

The ever-resourceful Guilherme Rambo at 9to5Mac reports on early rumors of Apple testing a different sort of product:

Apple is now working on a new device, codenamed Star….. There’s not much information on what the device could possibly be, but we do know that it has a touch screen, a sim card slot, GPS, compass, is water resistant and it also runs EFI. EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) is the boot system used by Macs, which leads us to believe that the Star project could potentially be the first ARM-based Mac, with a ship date as soon as 2020….

The new device also is classified as a brand new device family and runs a derivative of iOS. Device families are categories that describe characteristics of different iOS devices. For instance, iPads and iPhones have different device families (2 and 1, respectively). ARM processors already support LTE and GPS, which means that the ARM Macs could be more different from the current Intel-based Macs than we initially thought.

This is more blind-men-and-an-elephant stuff, but the idea that Apple is testing a product that mixes things we think of as traditionally Mac with things that are traditionally iOS is intriguing. Then again, the Touch Bar MacBook Pros and iMac Pros also have components that were once considered “traditionally iOS”. Were it not for the report of EFI support, I’d say this was probably an iOS laptop, but who knows? Is it something else entirely? Or is it a weird test product fated never to see the light of day?

I don’t know, but I feel like in five years we’re going to look back on our current era and realize that Apple was laying the foundations for major changes.

Update: Mark Gurman says this is garbled information related to Apple’s low-cost LCD iPhone.