Saturday, January 08, 2005

This is not the iHome

Someone looks to have gone to a lot of trouble, Engadget is reporting pictures porporting to be of the "new" Apple iHome. It seems likely that these are fakes, as there are some telling slips. The word "Centre" while spelt correctly for the UK isn't spelt correctly for the US, and it seems unlikely there would be an "international" version of the product so soon. Surely they wouldn't announce the product at MacWorld using a UK box? Also, amoungst other things, at least one of the photos seems to show the product with a dented corner, implying that it could be a cardboard mockup rather than an actual box.

The Apple iHome Media Centre?

More pictures and video can be found elsewhere, however nobody seems to have a back story or to be able to offer any credible evidence that these are shots of a real product. I think we're going to have to write this one off as fake until, or unless, Steve Jobs proves us wrong at MacWorld next week in San Francisco.

Update: Rui Carmo has done an analysis of the image headers and they seem fairly self consistent, if it's a hoax, it's a good one. However, Simon Woodside has done some forensic analysis of the photos and I'd agree they don't seem to hold up to scrutiny.

On the other hand, Robert Cringley has some interesting reasons why even if these photos aren't real, a (very) sub $500 headless iMac could definitely be on the cards.

Update: Steve Jobs' keynote speech at MacWorld did indeed produce a sub $500 Mac, but it was the Mac mini not the rumoured iHome (above) that was finally unveiled.


  1. One thing I haven't heard discussed about these photos is the styrofoam packaging. Apple would not package one of their products like this, there's a lot of mistakes here.

    Firstly, it is not centered. Open any Apple product and the first thing you'll notice is the booklet/welcome pack is centered in the middle, while these photos show it slightly to the left, presumably the right section is where cables and whatnot is placed, but Apple doesn't package like that.

    Secondly is that manual is sitting there with probably about a half inch gap around it and the edge of the styrofoam that would be holding it in place. I doubt the person who opened the box would have found the booklet perfectly centered like that if that really were the case.

    And thirdly notice that the machine sits directly below the booklet, which would mean it has no padding, other then about a eighth inch of booklet, from the outside box. If this were an actual Apple product, after you opened the box, you would then have to remove a piece of styrofoam to find the machine situated in center of the box (with about equal padding from every outside edge of the box to protect it).

    And it cannot just be that this is a sample box, because they never would product something like this to begin with. Any sample computer would probably be sent around in a plain box to hide it's identity.

    An actual Apple product would have the manual centered and below that the cables and adaptors, not like this at all.