Apple’s “Brick” riddle, deciphered - Macenstein

Apple’s “Brick” riddle, deciphered

Yes, we feel we’ve deciphered “The Brick” riddle – not that it helps actually clear up anything…

Multiple sites are buzzing with news of a new Apple product, code named “The Brick” that could debut as early as October 14th. Speculation first began when 9to5Mac claimed to have an inside source which spoke about a mysterious new project Apple was working on code named “The Brick”. Unfortunately, aside from the name “The Brick”, 9to5 seemed to have little additional information to go on, leading them to speculate that perhaps the source may have been referring to the long-rumored iTablet. Since then, other sites have jumped in to offer their theories on what The Brick might be. Some say it is the new MacBooks or MPBs – some say a new brick-shaped wireless USB hub or Mac Pro mini tower – while others say the word “brick” implies it will be an update to the already somewhat brick-like Mac mini or Apple TV lines.

Well, not to toot our own horns, but we think we’ve solved the riddle behind the code name “The Brick”, although unfortunately our theory does not shed any real light on what the device actually IS, but perhaps it can help end speculation as to what it is not.. We mulled the “brick” name over in our official, patent-pending Macenstein Lab Think Tankâ„¢, and it is now our belief that The Brick has nothing to do with the device actually looking physically like a brick at all. Rather, we feel it is likely that it is simply a name for an upcoming product (or group of products) that Apple thinks will be sexy enough to pull a huge marketshare away from Microsoft. After all, how do you break “Windows”? You throw a brick through them!

Clever, eh? So yes, we believe that “the Brick” is Apple’s code word for its “Windows-killer”, be it a brand new product, or simply a series of price cuts and updates to existing Apple products so irresistible that no amount of willpower can withstand them.

One reason we like this theory is that Steve Jobs warned investors earlier this year that there were some upcoming killer products from Apple that were going to be coming out towards the end of this year at very aggressive price points, prices so low it would likely affect Apple’s upcoming earnings. It is our feeling that such a drastic break from Apple’s traditional pricing can only mean Apple is looking to make a real push into obtaining market share from Microsoft, and these products represent a “Brick” Apple is launching that will “break” Windows. (Of course, it could also be the code name for iTunes 9, as each iTunes update ALSO seems to break Windows).

So there you have it. “The Brick” will not be a brick-shaped Apple product (at least nothing more brick shaped than what they already offer). However, it DOES represent what Apple feels to be a truly powerful product offering at an extremely tempting price point. Personally, I think it is a $649 MacBook, but that’s just me.

Feel free to tell us how brilliant we are in the comments.

55 Responses to “Apple’s “Brick” riddle, deciphered”
  1. Brandon says:

    This does seem to solve “The Brick” riddle. I too hope its a low priced Macbook but how low would they have to go to compete with other pc companies head on?

  2. Stizo99 says:

    well played, sir! i like that thought…price point does seem to be the thorn in apple’s side from gaining a much larger marketshare. now i’m even more curious to find out what this “brick” will turn out to be.

  3. dizzy says:

    I would love my first apple computer purchase (since my childhood apple IIc of course 😛 ) to come at a discounted price!

  4. YSR50 says:

    home activation returning with a new 32GB iPhone, sounds like a brick to me 😉

  5. Steve H says:

    What about a product that “bricks” your laptop if it is stolen. This is something all laptops need and could help Apple “break” into the corporate and government industries.

    Just a thought, but I really hope it is a new product instead.

  6. jube says:

    Maybe it will be a tablet. Since Gates loves the tablet, but can’t seem to get it adopted by the masses… maybe apple will show gates how to do it right.

  7. El Vez says:

    You’re all wrong. It’s going to be an actual brick, a white one with firewire interface which is needed to illuminate the apple logo on top.

    Or it might be a new low priced mac mini. Which would be my personal favourite.

  8. dmenke says:


    Much more Paradigm Shifting…

    OSX on non-Apple hardware, or Licensing OSX on other select manufacturers.

    The stigma of cost will be very hard to overcome. But if you could legitimately by a PsyStar, or perhaps even a Dell with OSX, that is a threat to the M$ status quo.

  9. Blodwyn says:

    Or the ability to run Windows programs natively on OS X, without Fusion/Parallels

  10. Tom says:

    I’d guess that apple will drop the “Proprietary Hardware” requirement, and open their software up to people like Dell and HP. That’d put them in more affordable, but reliable hardware and in direct competition w/ Microsoft.

  11. Blodwyn says:

    Or how about a dongle, that you plug into a USB port, that allows you to install OS X on a PC

  12. Peter says:

    iWork on iPhone……it would kill off every PDA/smartphone on the market……would deal a significant blow to MS Office (people might run iWork on work machine to complement iWork on iPhone).

    But I’d really like an iMAC tablet!

  13. Peter says:

    But please get Flash sorted!

  14. Thomas says:

    NO! No, No, NO! OS X is not, and never will be opened to generic PC’s anytime within Steve Jobs’ lifetime. He will never allow that. The very REASON they can get OS X to work so well IS that “proprietary hardware”. They know exactly what hardware the code has to work with, and thus can optimize it well. When some long-time PC user decides to try out OS X on his average joe PC, it’s going to work terribly due to hardware conflicting with the code! That person will never buy OS X again! That’s Apple’s secret to the success of its offerings – they have total control and are able to make it the best stuff to work on what they know! Steve knows that, Apple’s board knows that, and they will NEVER allow that to happen!

  15. Thomas says:

    P.S. 9to5 Mac got a slight clarification to the riddle, that the “Brick” pertains specifically to the MacBook. It’s not a separate new product.

  16. Anderson says:

    I know OS X is restricted only to Apple products as a competitive advantage and that good software sells their hardware. However, as dmenke notes above, it is possible that, in order to compete in the sub-$1000 Desktop range, Apple may eventually restrictively select certain OEMs to manufacture a tightly controlled spec machine to compete more effectively with low-cost Windows PCs. They would be able to capitalize on the OEM economies of scale and still have the necessary hardware and quality controls to make OS X play nice.

  17. Adam says:

    I agree that the “brick” is something used to break windows (in this case, the hold Windows has on business users more so than home or game users.)

    But it could be specific to the game console business where Apple presently has no offering.)

    Imagine stealing the hole PC game industry away from Microsoft by bringing out a killer gaming PC that makes XP and Vista unnecessary.

    I’d say “all about” the brick, in the context of a laptop, doesn’t really target gamers. The other meaning of “brick” is the power supply. Maybe Apple finally squeezed the brick to some impossibly small size or got it inside the laptop? But this just doesn’t seem like such a big deal or something that users are clamoring to get in their next laptop.

    Perhaps a means of tethering the iPhone? Not a high demand.

    So that would leave it to software. I guess the idea of free or cheap Office (in partnership with Google?) would be a killer to take the rug out from under Microsoft.

    Maybe they’re bundling Parallels in an OSX update — that would save me a few steps on each rebuild.

    You know what I could really use is a decent home automation solution with security, cameras, off-site monitoring and archives, etc. Maybe the brick is a development of the first back-up device in a router but now with off-site Time Machine data? SO many options.

  18. Johnno says:

    I think Apple has decided to move away from the upmarket artist and musician crowd and wants to directly target the construction industry. Therefore, the ‘brick’ will be exactly that. It will be a laptop/3g iphone combination that looks, weighs and feels exactly like a standard concrete brick. It will be super durable and could be doubled as a weapon when people get really drunk after work.

    I also believe that after Steve Jobs announces this, he will tell the audience that his cancer has moved into his brain and that weird dude that does most the keynotes now, will kill him with the new ibrick.

    Its what steve would have wanted.

  19. Alex says:

    clap clap, man.
    never would have thought about it..

    anyway THIS is the good type of rumor!
    Not those pre-launch photos, or predictions by the wizard of Digg, or hints at the freaking name of the new product.

    I don’t want to see some amateur photo of the new Macbook, I want to see confusing and even wrong rumors of the new macbook, so that when it is presented, I go like WHOA!

    at least that’s what I think..

  20. mb says:

    I agree with Peter – iWork on the iPhone would be great. They should be able to do it – my WinMo PPC from 2003 could do basic Word/Excel.

  21. Fiona says:

    Very good sirs and ma’ams, I like the “Windows-killer” theory. Now, to see it happen… eheheh…

  22. macless says:

    Hehe… wow, you guys were very clever on this one. Hope you are right..

  23. Joe says:

    Perhaps a new OS X kernel update which would run Windows software from within OS X without Windows itself?

    There might never be another PC or copy of Windows sold.

  24. peejay says:

    What about a Mac OS X thin client machine?

  25. Carlito says:

    Well, it seems to me that Apple will present a series of multi-touch MacBooks based on the ipod touch platform. They differ in size und function; for example a bigger ipod touch as an ebook reader device with WLAN, GPS and a specific gps-based software that gives you information about author, story-writing and other related informations on the place you are at that moment. Combined with an ebook store in itunes this would be a first “brick” in a huge market (forget the kindle!).

    A second multi-touch device could also be a smaller one (maybe 11″) which is very cheap and affordable especially for people in the second or third world. I think Apple has everything you need (cultural insights and also big financial resources) to develop such a device that is adapted to specific terms in developing countries.

    Third, they present new multi-touch based MacBooks and MacBooks Pro at nearly the same price as today.

    We´ll see what happens! Cheers, Carlito

  26. issakainen says:

    When you see a brick, first thing that comes to your mind is “hey – let’s find a window to throw this at”?

    Or that “wow, I can use this to build a foundations for a home”?

    Let’s speculate, what about “the Brick” isn’t just one computer or software – what about it is a full concept? An iMac like _foundation_ (or cradle) that can _house_ your iTablet? With build-in TimeCapsule? And iPhone/iPod cradle?

    iTablet would be cheap enough for anyone to buy. It would work well on it’s own. The iCradle is also cheap (and hey, it come’s with TimeCapsule) so after little bit of after-school work you could easily buy one? And who knows, maybe the iTablet comes with Bootcamp/WindowsXP pre-installed for those you-need-windows -applications that you might run into at work or school?

  27. issakanien,

    I think “hey – let’s find a window to throw this at”.
    But then, I hate Windows.

    -The Doc

  28. Alpay says:

    Well, I have heard the brick first time here. From all the comments and other articles on the web, I believe the most suitable one is the iWork on iPhone. Yet, I have another idea.

    What about an all purpose component computer that you bring together to have different functionalities. Like a DVR, and an iTunes server, and a time capsule. A basic block that you use to build a serve at your home and use iPhone, iPod Touch to access from anywhere.

    Well, I think this idea sucks big time 🙂 never mind…

  29. WH1T3 H4T says:

    Sorry to spoil your fun guys.

    I know a hacker who has found partial evidence in Mac OS X 10.5.5 that frameworks will be made to run windoze programs exactly the way as it would be on windoze, except the whole gui will be converted to support apple’s HIGs. It would look and run the same way as normal mac os x apps, and have access to the same areas. It would support the directories, and the different way of filing things. My guess is that it comes separate from mac os, because if it were to come built-in it would have to be with a major update, such as Mac OS X 10.6. I think they will either sell it to make up for lost revenue through creating it and hiring engineers to write the frameworks, or give it away free on apple’s website. This and a big security update for mac os x, a refresh for the mac mini and the laptops, and maybe the “mac mini pro”, and huge price cuts would be the proverbial brick for microsoft. Every shred of reason for buying a microsoft-running computer would be lost, allowing Apple to take over the world

    ~WH1TE H4T

  30. dmenke says:

    “NO! No, No, NO! OS X is not, and never will be opened to generic PC’s anytime within Steve Jobs’ lifetime.”

    Really? And how sure where you that Apple would never give up on the PPC architecture?

    “they will NEVER allow that to happen!”

    Other famous “nevers”…

    “A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.” — New York Times, 1936.

    “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” — Lord Kelvin, British mathematician and physicist, president of the British Royal Society, 1895.

    “The cinema is little more than a fad. It’s canned drama. What audiences really want to see is flesh and blood on the stage.” -– Charlie Chaplin, actor, producer, director, and studio founder, 1916

    Never is a very dangerous word.


  31. ThatGuyOutThere says:

    ““A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.” — New York Times, 1936.

    “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” — Lord Kelvin, British mathematician and physicist, president of the British Royal Society, 1895.

    “The cinema is little more than a fad. It’s canned drama. What audiences really want to see is flesh and blood on the stage.” -– Charlie Chaplin, actor, producer, director, and studio founder, 1916

    Never is a very dangerous word.


    Yea 100 years ago. 9_9

  32. Chris says:

    I will be buying my very first MacBook later this year, and I can’t wait to see the new industrial design for the product family. I have an iMac (circa 2005) as well as a Dell desktop with Vista; every day, I more and more happy with the whole Mac way of life: the way the computers perform, the fact that it’s a really, really thin list of things that I cannot do on the Mac (I’m not a ‘gamer’). and so on. The ‘fear’ of switching to the Mac isn’t really a fear at all for those of us who are quite happy and capable in either camp.

  33. m says:

    i think it is brilliant, most of all for its simplicity. i think you’re 100% right about cheaper macbooks, too, no matter how much it will disappoint the most rabid macbook pro fanboys. some–no, most–of the other ideas i’ve read (especially in blog comments, no surprise) have been so incredibly outlandish and stupid as to be irritating.

  34. mot says:

    A wireless usb hub of sort would be great — if they strip out all the under used parts of the laptop and let you just use a small wireless device to plug everything into, that’d be amazing. I rarely use any of my laptops external ports, and don’t use the dvd writer much at all (i’d prefer to save on weight and gain more portability). The Air is nice, but I really don’t need something so thin — a stripped down macbook for travel would be ideal, with the ability to wirelessly add devices like a dvd drive and usb ports.

    Personally I think “the brick” may mean the removal of the “brick” from the power cord/supply. A single cable with no added bulk or weight would be (afaik) the only modern laptop to have the feature. Now I think that’s an engineering task Apple would take on and succeed with, and add the the elegant design of the Mac brand.

  35. Tommy says:

    A $649 MacBook makes since, because if that was announced than I would sh!t a brick.

  36. Lasse says:

    One thing is always sure about guesses and estimates… They are always wrong!

    But it’s nice to read what people want to see in the future. 🙂

  37. Darwin says:

    It is a desktop Mac, but at a price that will smash Windows to pieces.

  38. Chris says:

    The Brick will smash the heads of the people how agree with the “I’m a pc” ad… They say something about walls right?

  39. Pete says:

    Maybe the brick is a removable ipod touch like trackpad? Now that would be cool. Two devices in one?

  40. macman says:

    When one speaks of computers and “bricks,” one often times refers to the “power brick.” Think they might be getting into some wireless power soon?

  41. powers says:

    Mac Mini $299

    I’d like to have iWork on iPhone also, only makes sense.

    But this is the best theory going by far. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall of that smoke filled think tank of yours.

  42. David says:

    One possible rumour i have read about is that Apple will potentially be releasing Snow Leopard for the PC. If you look et the Apple web site on the Snow Leopard page they have dropped the term “Mac” from “Mac OSX” possibly meaning that OSX will be released for the PC. In my opinion this would DEFINATELY be a Windows killer(or brick as you so aptly put it)
    Just my 2cents.

  43. Darwin says:

    Just looked at the Snow Leopard Page, it says Mac OS-X, several times.

  44. Philip says:

    Yay! New iTunes!

  45. joe says:

    HEADLINE: “On october 8th 2008 Apple strikes an agreement with Google which gives birth to SKYNET, which within 20 minutes of coming online becomes self aware and launches ICBM’s at america’s enemies…”

  46. johnmac says:


    1)A micro laptop with ipod touch guts and OS. $ 299.
    2)A new Mac Minitower. $ 399.
    3)Price drop of new Macbooks $ 599.
    4) big ipod touch tablet type device $ 399.
    5) Resurrect Yellow box (attract developers to mac platform, get the best software first)

    1) OS-X on PCs (remember – Hardware company)
    2) iwork on iphone (maybe next year)
    3) windows apps on OS-X (all developers would move to develop on windows since it would be cross platform…deadly. very bad idea

    Just my 5 Cents

  47. samienela says:

    If “Brick” is a line extension or an improvement over any current hardware, the price on the older product should drop off nicely in anticipation, to clear out inventory before the new product arrives.

    I think I’ll hold off buying that new Mac for now, and watch prices for a week or two.

  48. Matt says:

    Personally, I like the theory of running windows apps natively on osx. I can’t think of a better way to make good on the idea of being a windows killer. however, this theory doesn’t fit well with Jobs warning to shareholders so it seems likely that it will be some sort of pricing strategy. Apple’s pricing structures have always been a bitter pill. Early adapters pay dearly and then see better units at half the price. Those that want in early but can’t afford the ticket keep the sales numbers low. Hopefully Apple has decided to START low in order to gain huge market momentum right out of the chute.

  49. Consumer says:

    Please let it be a lower priced upgraded MacBook Pro.

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