Three Guys and a Podcast: Apple News & Analysis
It may be the last day of calendar year 2010, but it's Apple, Inc's fiscal Q1 2011, and it looks to be a pretty hot one Jobs and company. The December quarter may very well be a record for many of Apple's devices:
What calendar year 2011 may hold?
Many analysts and inside-the-beltway tech journalists believe Android is going to be the new Windows that dominates and controls the world as we know it - Don't count on it.
Android is exploding on eBook readers, tablets, phones, HDTV's and probably quite soon, refrigerators and hairdryers. So long as the buzz word "Android" is on a device, that's all that'll matters and Google seems more than fine with that approach. But will that make Android a winner? And what is a so-called "activation" anyway?...
Here's a shocker - Apple's on a tear lately. iPhone's, iPad's, even Mac's, their sales are exploding. Apple has had the uncanny ability to push their financial figures north, defying the growth rules which mandate Apple must flatten out the larger they become. Will Apple succumb to these laws? Perhaps, but it's not likely to occur in 2011 based on recent estimates. According to DigiTimes, Apple's on pace to ship more than 20 million iPhones in 2011, along with new iPads shipping in the quarter. Throw in a newly rumored 65 million iPads for the new year and 2011 is covered.
Apple will defy Wall Street in 2011, but what will Jobs magically produce to keep the numbers piling up for 2012?
Next year, Apple will be bringing the best iOS features to the Mac in their next OS update codenamed Lion. Apple is taking iOS features like App Store, App Home Screens, Auto Save, Full Screen Apps, and App Resume on Launch and bringing them to the Mac. These features will be modified for the Mac interface and will all be welcome additions to the Mac. It is only fitting for Apple to reciprocate and bring Mac features to the iOS.
The iOS can benefit from Mac features as much as the Mac can benefit from iOS features. Apple will need to modify these features to make them fit the iOS and its users. Apple was successful at bringing copy/paste and multitasking to the iOS, now it is time to bring more of those features. Let's look at the top 5 features that Apple should move to the iOS from the Mac.
In an October 2008 Financial conference call, Steve Jobs said this about Apple TV, “Well, again, I think the whole category is still a hobby now—nobody has succeeded at it.”
The sad thing is that at the close of 2010 despite successful sales numbers, the second generation Apple TV still behaves like a “hobby”. The Apple Discussion Forum is now littered with over a hundred posts of people struggling to get the Apple TV to see their computers via Home Sharing.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has become the trade show for new computing products to the latest in remote control vacuum cleaners. To summarize, CES is an absolute circus, but it's a must-attend show for any business serious about the the markets in which they play — unless that business is Apple, Inc.
Since Apple exited MacWorld Expo in 2009 it has shunned industry trade shows and opted to conduct their own media events. Why share the stage when a spotlight can be had? Last year Apple waited for CES to blow by — with all the half-baked tablet announcements. Then on January 18, Apple issued invitations to their special event: "Come see our latest creation". This special event took place on January 27, where Apple amazed all with the iPad. This year proves to be no different. Apple will not be holding a special event prior to CES.
The iPad can do most of the things the average consumer wants in a computer. It is great at email, calendar, contacts, and web browsing for sites like Facebook and Flickr. The iPad excels at watching videos and playing games. It makes a great photo display device, but it has no built in management tools. Most people now have a camera phone or point-n-shoot and they want to manage those photos. It is common to have thousands of photos these days and the iPad needs more tools to help organize them.
With the release of 4.2, the iPad gained the ability to transfer photos with their meta-data between applications. This data was not transferred in 3.2, which was a major draw back. Meta-data consists of Title, Caption, Geo Location, Date, Time, and many more. It is essential when organizing pictures in iPhoto or Aperture. Now, developers are able to add meta-data editing tools to their apps. Most of the developers for the iPad have still not updated their apps to take advantage of the new OS, but hopefully they will soon. Given Apple's track record with software like iPhoto and Aperture, a photo manager should be coming from Apple soon. Until then, we have to look at other developers to fill in the gap.
Could Apple switch to AMD processors as they move the Graphics Processors Unit (GPU) into the Central Processor Unit (CPU)? Historically, GPUs have always been on a card at the end of a bus inside your computer. That may start to change as both AMD and Intel are bringing their GPUs into the Central Processor Unit (CPU). AMD could have the edge in this new battle with the expertise they received from the purchase of ATI.
Intel introduced the iSeries processors this year that are based on the Nehalem microarchitecture. These i3, i5, and i7 processors are big, fast and expensive, which is both a positive and a negative. Intel has gone after the high market with these chips, but they have left an opening for AMD in the middle and low segments. This kept AMD in the game even though Intel still commands an 80% global market-share. Intel chips are faster, but AMD offers a better value for the price.
Adobe Flash has been the King of the castle for website animation, video and other "hip and cool" things for about a decade. Yet, ever since Apple released the iPhone and then the iPad without Flash support, the future of Flash has been in question.
According to the Wall Street Journal, it looks like Big Brother, disguised as the Federal Communications Commission, is going to start regulating the internet.
Although Congress has not given the FCC this authority and a recent case in a Federal D.C. court also said the FCC does not have this type of regulatory authority, it appears the FCC is going to just take this role because it wants to.