Apple to unveil 'revolutionary' product this year, says designer

With an air of mystery and few details, a French designer says he's been working on a project with Apple that will produce a "revolutionary" product in eight months.

Lance Whitney
Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
2 min read

Editor's note: Please see update at end of this post.

Apple will give birth to a "revolutionary" new product in just eight months, according to a well-known French designer.

Speaking with French radio and French newspaper Le Figaro (English translation), French designer Philippe Starck is claiming that he's teamed up with the company to cook up a new product, the results of which will surface by year's end.

As reported by blogging site Hardmac, Starck seems to have dangled just enough bait to arouse interest but was mum on specific details, citing Apple's "religious cult of secrecy," according to the English translation.

But he did reveal that he met in California with the late Steve Jobs once a month for seven years and that he continues to travel there to see Jobs' widow Laurene Powell.

One obvious candidate for this revolutionary product is the much-rumored Apple television, which some analysts say could launch this year. But Hardmac speculated that it might be the remote control that would power the TV, citing this as an area where Starck and his team could contribute their design expertise.

Of course, another eight months take us into late fall, the same season that could see the launch of the iPhone 5.

Apple's iPhone changes are typically evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but the company is facing increased competition from Android in general and Samsung in particular. So it could always be plotting a major ergonomic overhaul for the next iPhone.

Starck is known for designing an eclectic array of products, from chairs to toothbrushes to restaurants to electric cars.

His design style is considered simple yet elegant, which fits right into the Apple mindset. And he's already brought his talents to the world of tech by designing speakers, headphones, and even external hard drives.

Without more concrete details, this latest tidbit has to be filed in the rumor department. But it's unlikely that a designer with the background and prestige of Starck would make such a claim without the actual product to back it up. For now we'll just have to wait until we see something more tangible come October.

Update at 12:45 p.m. PT: Attendez, Moniseur. To AllThingsD, an Apple spokeswoman said Starck's claim is news to them.