Fun with rumors: Ion-based Apple flat-screen TV imminent

Your Inside the Cult blogger has put on hold his dreams of a Mac-based media center since updated Mac minis failed to materialize at Macworld this past year, both for lack of the right bit of hardware and the usual run-of-the-mill oh-hey-this-costs-money issues. But what if something's brewing that will make me simultaneously lust for new gadgets and yet scream in frustration? Let's take a look at three recent and possibly related rumors:

The logical conclusion, if you like jumping to conclusions, is that Apple is preparing to unleash some kind of flat-screen TV with a built-in souped-up Apple TV -- an iMac, essentially, only much larger, and with the Apple TV version of OS X, and, let's say for the heck of it, a DVD player, because people expect that. And since we're adding things, why not DVR functionality as well? Whee! This would be a very intriguing device, which I would never, ever buy, seeing as I just shelled out too much for a flat-screen TV less than a year ago. Curse you, Apple, and your expensive gadgetry!

Appleinsider has a fairly detailed breakdown of what such a device would be like, which, I must emphasize, is based almost entirely on analyst speculation of the sort that really almost never pans out when it comes to Apple. The reason I find this most doubtful is that such a gadget would really be a pretty new category of thing. Apple's two big forays into consumer electronics -- the iPod and the iPhone -- haven't created new categories; they've taken existing categories and redefined them.

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