Apple reportedly lining up a new "Star" family of devices

Apple is preparing to launch a new family of devices under the "Star" codename, according to a report from 9to5Mac. The secret project apparently involves a line of lightweight Macs running ARM processors, which might combine the best bits of Apple's laptops and mobile devices in one piece of hardware.

Treat this as speculative for now, even though rumors stretching back to last year have claimed Apple wants to get macOS and iOS merged together in some way. That's an idea that Apple boss Tim Cook shot down in an interview last month.

Apparently Star prototypes have already been made and feature a touchscreen, a SIM card slot, GPS and a compass. They run the same basic firmware as current Mac devices, according to 9to5Mac's sources, and that points to them being some kind of ultra-portable MacBook line of devices.

Reach for the Stars

At the same time, the new pieces of kit are also said to run a derivative of iOS, and are labelled as a different family to the iOS devices Apple currently makes – in the same way that the iPhone and the iPad are labelled as different families of devices.

That's just about all the information we have, and even if this prototypes are real, there is of course no guarantee Apple is going to bring them to the masses. The company is no doubt experimenting with a variety of different ideas for upcoming hardware launches, with plenty of refreshes expected later this year.

What we do know is Apple has been pushing the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement for a while now, and seems to want to redefine what a computer is as we head towards the third decade of the 21st century. If the Star line-up does make it to market, expect to see launches by 2020.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.