The Apple Horizon

Can you foresee an Apple horizon, where one day the average Mac consumers out weigh a PC user? How long do you think that’ll take to happen?

The iPod began a new quest for Apple. A company set on innovation has taken our hearts with a simple, compact device for music. Well, it was music at first. Now with the mobility of the browser thanks to the iPhone and iPod Touch, we can love a new device and rely on it much in the same way. The question to me, is where can they go from here?

Apple TV

Take the Xbox 360 as an example and compare features with the updated Apple TV. From what I can tell besides the current inability for gameplay on an Apple TV, you’ve pretty much got the same devices. Both network easily, both stream content, and both rent content. However, both are still dependent on the back end for music and non-rentable content.

The most recent updates to the Apple TV do appeal to me. I’m still curious why we cannot rent TV content, and why we aren’t offered a subscription model? I see the technology all around us for all the things we want as consumers, all in different projects, all in different companies. Who’s going to be the one that finally brings it together collectively for the betterment of the consumer?

Several have noted Apple’s most recent Apple TV filing for Widget/iChat patent. Apple TV Widget PatentThe example in the patent expresses the ability to have a live widget on top of a Sports Broadcast providing you with the score. Will or can it be a live broadcast streamed to your Apple TV? Will the Apple TV finally be getting a tuner to help it’s goal of becoming the ultimate media destination?

I don’t know, but either way you look at it, the Apple TV, in its current form looks set. Right before MacWorld a refreshment was rumored to consist of a vast redesign, but what did we see? Only a UI redesign with new features. The features are great, don’t get me wrong, but what’s important to note is there was no hardware redesign. The product itself is exactly the same as it was before. Great for users who previously purchased it and want to take advantage of the new features, but is it great for the users who are left expecting more?

I know for myself, I’m looking for the simple solution to everything. Naturally I’ve found Apple to be the shortest path to a great thing, whether it’s OSX, or actual devices, but when it comes to a feature I expect and don’t receive, am I only left to blame myself?

Portability

If the Amazon Kindle can feature full time wireless access, why can’t other devices? I imagine the usage from a Kindle is extremely minimal, but if, including the added cost, a one time payment can allow permanent internet access on a single device, don’t you think the world could benefit far greater if more devices offered the same permanent connection?

I’m curious to see if during the SDK launch Flash support will be announced for the iPhone and iPod Touch as has been rumored. Again only usability is affected. Hardware seems to be rumored around the year mark for a new 3G iPhone. Will it be a simple upgrade, or will a new, redesigned device be introduced? My money is on a simple redesign, possibly just a thinner profile and nothing more. I see the iPhone taking a similar course as the iPod itself. Very minor changes in the actual input method (think 3g iPod with the touch buttons), overall increase in storage, and a thinning profile over time. As far as an iPhone Nano goes, I think if you want an iPhone Nano you get an iPod Touch.

Desktop

With sales up on Notebooks, I think it’s clear the term “desktop” is due for a change. It seems more evident that laptop computing and portability are what matters to the average consumer. Does this mean Desktops and iMacs alike are a slowing trend?

.Mac and the like certainly can allow users to forgo large machines. For the average user, where Pro Apps are of no concern, even for the working professional, cloud computing is the way to manage tasks and contacts. It’s simple, efficient, and allows you to access it from anywhere. Will this create a demand for lighter operating systems such as gOS?

gOs

Your Life

Apple seems to have you covered from the desk to the plane. So what’s left in between? Besides refreshments, re-modifications and SDK launches, I think the next couple years seem pretty set. Plenty of “me toos” will pop up, but as far as innovation goes, what’s the real story?

For the record I’m not doubting Apple’s ability to stir public appeal with useful devices, I’m simply wondering what’s next. Maybe I’m asking too much too quick, or maybe everyone’s already hoping for the same, but I’m waiting to see it so I can believe it.

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