New Time Capsules to Run iOS on A4/A5 Processors?

time capsule backup
Earlier this week, we noted that a number of Apple's retail stores have run dry of stocks of Time Capsules, AirPort Extremes, and in some cases AirPort Expresses, leading to speculation that a refresh could come at next week's Worldwide Developers Conference. Reports quickly arose claiming that Apple has been known to have at least internally tested new Time Capsules capable of caching software updates for Macs and iOS devices, delivering them quickly to the machines for updating.

In a separate report, Ars Technica briefly notes that it has received word that the new Time Capsule may actually follow the pattern of the Apple TV, taking on an A4 or A5 processor from Apple and running iOS to manage the more advanced functions that could appear in the device.

Our own source tells Ars that the revised hardware is believed to be built around Apple's own A4 or A5 processor, and will run iOS much like the most recent Apple TV model.

Harnessing the power of iOS directly within the Time Capsule device, even if on a scaled-down basis as in the Apple TV, naturally opens the door to further speculation of how Apple could tie together iCloud services with local storage on users' own networks, whether it be caching some iCloud content to the Time Capsule for faster access when on the local network or even pushing some of the Time Machine functions included on the current Time Capsule out to iCloud itself.

Separately, we've heard an unconfirmed tip that iOS 5 may finally be bringing wireless syncing to iOS devices, including the intriguing claim that the wireless syncing could be performed directly with the new Time Capsules, bypassing the need to sync with a specific computer.

Top Rated Comments

Small White Car Avatar
133 months ago
This could be big.

I know at least one person who considered an iPad as her only computer at home but she gave up on that idea because of the need to sync it with a full computer.

If a time-capsule really could sync/update/backup an iPad then I can think of 3 or 4 people I'd suggest an 'iPad-Time Capsule-Bluetooth Keyboard-Apple TV' home system to. *

As iOS grows there will be more and more people who fit that profile.


* These are people who currently own a single Macbook and only use 1/10th of its potential. So yes, that sort of customer does exist.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
snberk103 Avatar
133 months ago
I'd like to see the reverse. Give them the complete AppleTV treatment. Tiny $99 black boxes, no onboard storage. Put a bunch of USB ports on the back, all compatible with external hard drives or printers. Kill the Airport Extreme (or Time Capsule, depending on which name Apple wishes to keep.)
What if they used Thunderbolt instead of (or along with) USB? Or maybe TB enabled units would be an option?

For strictly wireless access, TB doesn't make much sense over USB. More expensive, less options, wireless speeds won't let you take advantage of TB's throughput. But... if you had some systems hooked up via gigabyte ethernet, having a TB attached HDD would make sense.

If download caching was being built in, imagine how fast an update would appear when wired into the TC/AE?

Next week is going to be very interesting indeed, eh?


This could be big.

I know at least one person who considered an iPad as her only computer at home but she gave up on that idea because of the need to sync it with a full computer.

If a time-capsule really could sync/update/backup an iPad then I can think of 3 or 4 people I'd suggest an 'iPad-Time Capsule-Bluetooth Keyboard-Apple TV' home system to. *

As iOS grows there will be more and more people who fit that profile.


* These are people who currently own a single Macbook and only use 1/10th of its potential. So yes, that sort of customer does exist.
I think you are onto something here. I think this is Jobs real dream. That for many many people, an Apple iPad and an Apple "device" that attaches your iPad to the internet is all the computing power you need. Then you just need external storage for all the Apple provided content you are going to buy. I give your comment 3 thumbs up!!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zin Avatar
133 months ago
Great. Time for arn to create a “Time Capsule” section in the Buyer's Guide. :D
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hitekalex Avatar
133 months ago
the Cloud is gonna take over the internet...

If there was an award for a "MacRumors dumb quote of the day" - I would nominate the above!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iSee Avatar
133 months ago
This is interesting, but... maybe not.

What I Hope: Apple is using A4/5 + IOS because it provides a powerful, flexible, extensible environment. The new TC is an extensible media server that can handle 3rd-party services, protocols and content.

What I Expect: Apple is only using A4/5 processor + IOS because it's convenient. The new TC has some really nice but limited media serving capabilities and is not extensible.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cougarcat Avatar
133 months ago
probably not but they might up the storage, to 2TB and 3TB :)
I'd like to see the reverse. Give them the complete AppleTV treatment. Tiny $99 black boxes, no onboard storage. Put a bunch of USB ports on the back, all compatible with external hard drives or printers. Kill the Airport Extreme (or Time Capsule, depending on which name Apple wishes to keep.)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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