Apple Cube reborn

Apple II Cube inside

The famous Apple Cube Power Mac G4 computer may be reborn soon.

When released in July 2000 Apple Cube was widely praised for it’s unique design but did not sell very well. There were a lot of problems with it – high price, limited upgradability, cracking cases, etc. After selling only 150 000 units Apple seemed to abandon the idea and suspended Cube production indefinitely after one year.

However, interest in Power Mac G4 Cube did not die. Third party vendors started experimenting with various upgrades and customers were pretty happy with the results.

And it seems that Apple too did not completely forget the Cube idea. Recent patent filing for “Ultra compact computer arrangement” shows that Apple is working on another Cube computer which solves many of the problems that plagued it’s predecessor.

Apple Cube II

New apple Cube should be easy to ugrade and expand. It will have two removable sides for the easy access and upgrade of components such as hard drive, memory and PC cards. Apple has designed innovative heat sink that can use separately inserted cooling fan, but can work without it in some cases. All of that packed in a nice compact cubic case.
Apple Cube II brainsApple Cube II Heat Sink
Clearance Sale of iPods, MacBooks & more.

This new Apple Cube design appears to a lot of the problems that affected the the previous machine and may be a great hit.

So where’s my Apple Cube II?

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • Whappo

    If they managed to fit a dual-core in the mini they (now) can make the cube.

  • http://www.joeslife.net Joseph

    uhh, isn’t that what the MacMini is?

  • Nevin

    Your “Apple Cube II” is the Mac Mini

  • Jose Fuertes Salazar

    Maybe its the new solution for DVR lovers…

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  • Big Nah

    Don’t we already have an update to the G4 cube called the mac mini?

  • John

    The new cube, its called a Mac Mini :)

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  • tnkgrl

    I own a heavily upgraded Power Mac G4 cube (PowerLogix dual 1.2 GHz G4, Radeon AGP video card, 8x DL Superdrive, 120 GB HD, 1.5 GB RAM. Airport), so I’ve disassembled it many times…

    And I can tell you that all these patents drawings apply to the Power Mac G4 cube – Fig 4 above illustrates HD mount with its heat sink (a rail is attached to one side of the HD and fits in the groove at the bottom of the HD mount – 3 screws then secure the HD and its heat sink to the HD mount).

    Fig 3 above illustrates how the Power Mac G4 cube is coooled by convection, or using an optional fan, with the CPU heat sink sandwitched between the CPU card and the HD mount.

    There’s a fan mount (and fan connector) in the cube that was never used by Apple, but is used by third-party CPU upgrades – it was actually designed so that it could be shipped with faster/hotter CPUs in the future! Alas, this would never be implemented as Apple nixed the cube prematurely…

    For more information, visit http://www.cubeowner.com/

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  • ^3

    After reading through the filing, it seems this is just an updated amendment to the original Cube patent with very little differences (probably just to insure no one else can duplicate the design based on current standards).

    The original Cube (I own one myself) has holes for installing a fan below the heatsink so even from back then, it was designed to handle future processor upgrades (probably dual G4’s considering the timeframe).

    Interestingly enough, building off the miniturization of the Mac Mini, a more expandable Core 2 Duo setup could be done including a 3.5″ SATA and an open PCIe slot if they utilize integrated graphics or an MXM like the 24″ iMac.

  • Bob

    File this one under, WGAF? WHO GIVES A ”””’

  • ModernGeek

    Maybe apple is just trying to protect its intellectual property. The old cube could be upgraded easily, ran without fans, etc. It had a handle that you’d push when you would turn it upside down, and you’d just like the thing out of the plastic enclosure and wa-la, you had everything right there. Sometimes apple patents random crap that never surfaces.

  • http://www.apple.com/retail/fifthavenue/gallery/ Mac Man

    The Cube will be the next flagship Mac post the iMac, this will be “the” Mac for the living room, coming Sep 2007. What iPod did for the pocket, the “Mac Cube” will do for the living room. This piece of art was just a little ahead of it’s time… I’m in line for one already!

    More proof of a glimpse into the future…
    http://www.apple.com/retail/fifthavenue/gallery/

  • bri

    D’oh! Forgot about the mac mini. Never mind.

  • Ronc

    The Mac Mini is NOT shaped like a cube!!!!!!!

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  • Rumor mill

    you will all get a good chuckle after reading this

    http://www.misterbg.org/AppleProductCycle/

    its the “real” apple cycle

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  • Weenie

    I have a picture of the earlier protoype
    http://www.channelu.com/Turbo/NeXT/i/cube1as.jpg

  • Mac Man

    3 words….Aluminium, Aluminium, Aluminium.
    It will match the Cinema display look and 2 new “Cinema TV’s” LCD HD TV’s, 34″ + 40″ to one up Dell Hell.

    The Mac Cube, will be Core 2 Duo, with all Aluminum enclosure, laser etched apple logo, MacPro style air grill top and bottom, and more expandable than the original, Gaming able with ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 or similar, up to 3GB Ram, and a sliding hard drive bay (MacPro style) all wrapped into the genius of the 8″ cube format.

    Oh, and i’m changing my prediction date to 12.9.06. :-) Bring it on Steve.

  • Roll

    The new iCube or xCube should have nothing to share with a Mac Mini starting with a Conroe processor (cheaper and faster than Merom), a 3.5″ HD (cheaper and with greater capacity than 2,5″) and generally easy to expande.
    Finally it shouldn’t cost more than a Mac Mini, if not less, since the components i enumerated are cheaper.

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