Apple plans to take advantage of the Unix core of Mac OS X to "enable a new class of multi-user remote access device", according to reports from California.
Wincent.org, a Web site that tracks the development of Apple's Mac OS X claims the device - based on AMD's x86 chip - will take advantage of OS X's Remote Desktops and PDF support.
However, The Register is sceptical about this rumour, claiming it would cost the company "more than it can hope to make selling the terminals instead of iMacs".
Desktop transfer Wincent.org claims that OS X's "ability to separate the machine Mac OS X is running on and the machine showing its display output is important for Apple's future plans". The report further claims that Mac OS X machines can send live, usable versions of their desktop to any machine equipped to encode them over very little bandwidth.
Wincent.org also maintains that much should be expected of OS X's multiple user support - stating that this also means multiple simultaneous users in the Unix developmental community.
A source told Macworld last week that "at least one developmental version of Mac OS X was scrapped because it would not run on x86 chips", although this could not be confirned. Rumours claiming that Apple is developing versions of its OS capable of running on other microprocessors, have also been rife in recent months .
Apple denials Phil Schiller has said that Apple is not in the business of building Internet appliances. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has twice stated that one inherent challenge to the development of Internet appliances would be the difficulty of adding new features and keeping such devices capable of running emerging Internet technologies. The implication has been that such devices would have very short life spans.
Wincent.org claims that OS X supports the use of a low bandwidth connection to run applications on an OS X-enabled machine through a much smaller access unit. This feature is rendered possible by OS X's Multiple Users, Remote Access and PDF support.
The site concludes: "Apple intends to use this new capability to market a new class of product. The product name is unknown at this time, but it is a diskless x86 running a version of Mac OS X."