Today, thousands of Apple faithful lined up at Apple Stores across the U.S. to see the result: iBox.
iBox has no touchscreen, no battery and no software. But what it lacks in technology, it makes up for in magic. As Apple’s press release explains, “iBox is pure imagination — the first Apple product that can be whatever you want it to be.”
In fact, iBox’s only specs are its measurements: 10 x 14 x 2. Thanks to Apple’s unibox engineering (iBox is machined from a single piece of cardboard), its skin is as thin as an eggshell, yet stronger than a pizza box.
Despite its infinite possibilities, most people will use iBox for the obvious: putting stuff inside. Apple claims that iBox’s 280 cubic inches can literally store over 26 million combinations of different-sized objects.
“This is light years ahead of other containment devices,” raves Morgan Stanley analyst Harrison Gerber, “No tabs, no slots, nothing tricky. To open it, you just lift the lid. Pure Apple genius.”
Though sparse in the innards department, iBox out-performs MacBook Pro in one key area: it’s available in both glossy and matte finishes. Even better, it can be viewed from absolutely any angle. iBox is also coated with an invisible polymer that resists finger sweat.
Apple is making two iBox accessories available at launch. The Smart Cover protects the top surface of iBox and lets you prop it up at a pleasing angle. The iBox Box is a plastic case that lets you carry iBox from place to place without risk of damage.
To help customers enjoy iBox right out of the box, Apple Stores are offering free One-to-One sessions with each purchase.
“Once again, Apple owns a new category,” says Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray. “It’ll take competitors a year to get in the game, and by then Apple will have a second-generation iBox.”
Indeed, iBox 2 is already the subject of speculation. Experts believe it will be up to 33% thinner and offer a choice of colors. Apple refused to speculate on future plans.
iBox has a list price of $69 and is available immediately. AppleCare is optional, covering all damage to iBox except that caused by sitting on it.