According to a Japanese site, Macotakara — as reported by as noted by Cult of Mac” ( — Apple is planning to create new Macs that are “absolutely different from current products” with a debut “as early as the end of the year.” Not likely.

There have been rumors before that Apple has tested MacBook Airs running the iPad 2′s A5 CPU (central processing unit). I don’t doubt that, though I suspect it’s more of an experiment with an eye toward a long-term future.

In the near-term, there are no ARM chips powerful enough to run OS X. And despite the potential of iOS, a full-fledged Mac needs OS X — at least until that day in the future when OS X and iOS merge into one. Also, OS X apps would have to be reprogrammed to run on ARM processors, and I don’t think Apple’s ready to bite off that challenge right now.

So unless Apple is planning an iOS notebook/netbook device, I’d take Macotakara’s prediction with a grain or two of salt.

What’s more, the site says the radical new devices will be so different that they might be brought to market under a new brand or product name altogether. Right now Apple has its Mac, iPhone, iPod and iPad product lines, as well as its Apple TV “hobby.” I can’t see the company adding a new product category or brand to its portfolio at this point in time.

What we may see are slimmer MacBook Pros that drop optical drives completely a la the MacBook Air. Also, this year we’ll see the iPhone 5 (but no iPad update). But an entirely new computer product? I don’t think so.

— Dennis Sellers