Portable Device Rumors Abound: Apple’s Up First; Microsoft Follows


Reporters have been summoned to Apple HQ in Cupertino Tuesday for an unveiling, giving the always-busy rumor mills even more reason for chatter. On the wishful-thinking list: a touch-pad iPod, an iPod with a full-length video screen (a Circuit City sales clerk told me she’s been told to expect that), an iPod boombox, a PDA, nothing having to do with iPods, etc. We’ll know more midday.

Next up: Microsoft. When BusinessWeek reported last month that the company was working on its own portable media device as an iPod competitor, a senior Microsoft exec insisted to me the company had no such plans and called the BW story “pure speculation.” That doesn’t preclude Microsoft from working with partners to create something new.
But Microsoft’s upcoming announcement about a project codenamed “Origami’ is more likely about technology than a device, although prototypes are out there.
— Engadget: “Given that Microsoft brass recently discussed specs for an ‘ultramobile lifestyle PC,’ it seems pretty likely to us that what the company will unveil later this week will fit that description.”
Todd Bishop: Microsoft says a video of a prototype making the rounds is a year old and that full details about Origami are several weeks away.

NYT: A multimedia tablet device is a possibility but analysts are divided on whether it would be Microsoft branded.

Whatever Origami is, Microsoft is getting points all around for creating Apple-ish buzz. Hope they don’t waste it.

Related: Microsoft Considering Own Portable Media Player: BW

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