Exclusive: Apple Plasma Displays to Rock MWSF (is this the Apple television?)

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Date: Friday, January 6th, 2006, 12:22
Category: Apple TV, Macworld Expo, Television

[Note: This post was originally published on January 6, 2006.]

A funny thing happened when I walked into the convenience store this morning: as I was grabbing my usual breakfast sandwich (sausage, egg and cheese on a english muffin if you must know) from the warming rack at Wawa (a favorite shop for those in PA/NJ) the guy re-stocking the rack whispered something to me. I was wearing my Apple logo’d sweatshirt, so he says “so you like Apples, huh?” to which I replied “yeah…” not knowing where he was going.

He went on to tell me that he had a friend who had a friend who knew something about a new and special Apple announcement that was going to be made on Tuesday’s Macworld Expo keynote address in San Francisco. Sandwich Man (not his real name) elaborated that this was an announcement that he hadn’t seen reported anywhere on the Web. Intrigued, I asked him for more…

Sandwich Man proceeded to tell me that Apple was about to rock the consumer electronics world again with an entirely new product line that they’ve never sold before. After some prodding he told me that Apple would announce two new widescreen HDTV plasma displays at Tuesday’s keynote address at Moscone.

“Plasma HDTVs?” I yelped.

“Not so loud,” Sandwich man replied.

“The shift manager is the former Asteroid PM from Apple and I don’t want him to hear me!”

We shuffled over to the coffee bar where I pressed him for more. He went on to say that Apple would release 42 and 50-inch widescreen plasma HDTVs loaded with DVI-HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) and VGA Inputs.

Most will shiver at the thought of built-in HDCP because it limits the capabilities of their products. Sandwich man tells me that “High-definition digital video content is restricted to DVD quality on non-HDCP video outputs.” Bummer.

“But why?” I ask.

“Because it’s more than a run-of-the-mill plasma” he says.

Walking over to the prepared foods area he mumbles that the new plasma displays are powered by Intel’s newly announced Viiv multimedia technology as he pretends to re-organize the salads. Picking up a chicken, cherry and walnut salad (my other favorite Wawa item) he mentions that it will run Mac OS 10.4.4 for x86.

Almost dropping my Ken’s salad dressing, I exclaim “No way!”

“Way” sandwich man says.

I can tell he’s getting nervous telling me so much, especially now that a few of his co-workers notice that he’s been talking to me for a while. Nervously he asks me “Would you like me to ring that up for you, sir?” I play along and walk with him over to the register.

“How much will they be?” I ask.

“$25.99 and $32.99” he mutters.

“For a sandwich and a salad?!” I practically yell.

“No. Ahhh, just forget it man” he says in disgust.

“You don’t get it, do you?”

Mildly confused I ask him if there’s anything else he can spill about the new plasmas. Sandwich Man nervous stuffs a few soft pretzels into my bag and tells me that the new sets will feature built-in Bluetooth and Airport technology. “… and the new 12-button remote with LCD display will blow you away” he says.

“Will it include a keyboard and mouse?” I ask.

Rubbing his thumb and index finger together tells me that these will cost extra, in Sandwich Man code.

Not wanting to wear out my welcome, I thank him and grease him with a little New Year’s present (the least I could do). As I walk away he says something really bizarre:

“Hey AirMac, I’ll see you on Tuesday!”

Whatever that means…

Apple television mockup: Tabletis.com

Update 2006-0106: The story has been has 1,000+ Diggs and 140+ Digg comments!

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15 Responses to “Exclusive: Apple Plasma Displays to Rock MWSF (is this the Apple television?)”

  1. C ee U N ext T uesday…..hahahahahaha

  2. Heh heh.. nice.. 🙂 Funny too.

  3. As long as it’s 1080p for use as a Mac monitor (like the cult Westinghouse LVM-37w1), we won’t care whether it’s plasma vs LCD.

    Although the genius bar uses plasma at 1024×768, state-of-the-art has improved since Apple specified these (Hitachi 4000 series?).
    Also, how does this all square with the joint
    Intel/Apple work on UDI not finished until
    spring/summer?

  4. sounds like one of those BS rumors you hear right before a MW keynote to me

  5. Amazing article. Let’s see if it’s true!

  6. Hahaha, that’s the greatest bullshit i’ve read in a while. Great story though

  7. lol, you can find teh kindest people in the wierdest places…

  8. Vewy Vewy interesting …. I can picture one being on my wall and me blogging about it lol

  9. Some guy at a sandwich bar is passing out information is passing out info on sekrit apple products?
    From the humorous way you’ve written this, you obviously realise people will question the credibility of this.
    Really, why would anyone think this was for real?

  10. If Apple wanted to start selling TVs, its unlikely they’d go back to adding VGA.
    Compare the Cinema Displays (now many years old) which NEVER had VGA inputs, to the run of the mill TVs and the kind of displays Dell sells, which have twice as much electronics in them to support analog video inputs and VGA.
    Kinda blows the story – I’d edit out the VGA part.

  11. LOL

  12. this sandwich guy reminds me a lot of the bagel guy in 40 days 40 nights……i really would not know if to belive or not…..the guy is pretty well informed of tech specs and for not being an apple fan….so the chances as all of you know are still 50-50. it sounds good, but it would be something i wouldn’t be able to afford for now,…..on the other hand a mac mini just like (media hub) would actually make a lot of sense. and would sell like hot cakes. as the prevous post said….it dose sond apple because it would be an ultimate convergence device. simply plug and play…….simple and easy…..just like macs…so even if it is not true…..it makes sense.

  13. Settle down! The convenience store story was just a fun way of describing the rumor.

  14. To the people taking the story literally: You’re morons.
    The idea, whether told to Jason by someone else, or something he just dreamed up, is interesting.
    Apple coming out with a plasma display is kind of boring, unless they were to somehow spice it up a bit. A giant iMac, as someone mentioned earlier, is a great idea.
    Such a machine would have to include a good-sized drive, and preferably space to include a few more, but that shouldn’t be a problem. I’d be willing to add an inch of thickness to my plasma display if it would mean I could just pop off a bezel and add a new drive. Since this thing would basically have the “media center” inside of it, it would have to have a lot of outputs for audio, and a lot of inputs as well, and an iPod dock would be nice.
    I think this would mean Apple would have to start offering higher-quality downloads from iTunes. DVD quality would be a minimum, but high definition would be needed eventually. I don’t think any of us has the patience or bandwidth for that just yet. Maybe in a few years.
    It’s an interesting rumor. A *very* interesting rumor. If this pans out, Apple could do for home entertainment what they did for portable music with the iPod.

  15. Funny, I found this…I do however, hope this is true, it has been awhile since Apple innovated…
    http://www.antipixel.com/blog/archives/2003/11/18/apple_releases_42inch_plasma_imac.html