CES has come and gone in another stimulus overload blur. Only remnants of ideas and a few actual products making it to market will remain, but two themes stood above the rest at this year’s show: wearables and home automation. I reserve any judgment on wearables and their acceptance by consumers until Apple releases Apple Watch. It is ironic that many wearable manufacturers are relying on Apple Watch to be a success in order to ride Apple's coattails, which, by the same measure, will likely put dozens of device makers out of business entirely. The massive onslaught of home automation was the true heart of CES. From massive touch-screens controlling virtually every light bulb and security service in the home, to Bluetooth controlled hand locks — nothing was out of bounds. It left me wondering, does anyone really care, or more precisely, how many will justify the costs to use their iPad in order to control turning off their lights instead of just flipping a wall switch or bedside lamp before going to sleep? Is changing the hue or precise brightness really that a big deal?
The rumor mill is rife with speculation, claiming Apple will be releasing an all-new 12-inch iPad Air Pro. Or is it a 12-in MacBook Air?... The latest information on the matter comes from Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac. Gurman is well connected within the Apple ranks, and reported his findings about as close to fact as one could do without it being set in stone. So which is it? Which rumor makes sense, if either do at all?
First, there is the 12-inch iPad Air Pro rumor. Most of the iPad information has stemmed from Asian tech publications, siting upstream supply chain contacts. DigiTimes leads the pack with such rumors, and is a publication having as good a track record as a broken clock (even a broken clock gets it right twice a day).
On Monday, Dish Network announced “Sling TV” at CES (Consumer Electronics Show). Sling TV is a $20 per month steaming service that contains a powerful package of networks, including: ESPN, ESPN 2, TNT, CNN, TBS, HGTV, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, and more.
Apparently, Dish is the first provider that has finally identified what every consumer already knows – live sports and live news are the only valued reasons to have a cable subscription. ESPN and Fox News are the gold standards, but Dish Network has come pretty close to hitting the bulls-eye. For only $20, even I, a long term cord-cutter am considering this bundle. The package represents an incredible value. But there is a mammoth unanswered question hanging around this service — Why hasn’t Apple been able to make a deal like this?
The long reigning king of the desktop OS is in trouble. Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, is rapidly steering the company into the back office and service spaces, while their nascent mobile and desktop platforms are crumbling around them. Microsoft is putting on a brave face continuing to heavily advertise the 2-in-1 Surface debacle, but Nadella is only buying time, as he must surely know that Apple and Google is the two-headed beast that Microsoft can not stop. In less than a decade, Microsoft will be associated with IBM or Oracle, not Apple or Google.
Apple’s iOS is poised for massive world-wide growth in 2015 and beyond, while Android is finding its way into embedded systems, cars and medical devices. Android is free, it is customizable and is a platform which is easy to develop upon. C for microcontrollers, Linux and variants of, are being replaced by Android. And while Google pushes Android onto smartphone hardware that has no Apple logo on it, its permanent home may reside within your next generation cars, boats, microwaves, ovens and smart-fridge. The adoption rate of Android may be subtle, and Google is not able profit from the solutions their software empower, but it will be almost everywhere without anyone even knowing it is there. Microsoft has no ability to play where Google's Android is headed.
Happy New Year. It is that time of year where predictions rule supreme, and we are never short of opinions here at T-GAAP. Therefore, here are our 2015 Predictions for Apple in 2015.
So you got a new iPhone 6 or 6+ for Christmas. Now the next thing you need to do is to get a case for it. If you are anything like me, wandering around with your iPhone without a case is like betting against the House in Vegas — eventually the House always wins. And with my iPhone, eventually gravity always wins... I will drop it or it will fall to the ground. Whether my fault or not, the fact is gravity will eventually find a way to bring my iPhone to the ground one way or another.
It was a strange scene during Apple’s WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) keynote in 2005. Steve Jobs stunned the audience by announcing the end of the PPC processor and ushering in a new era with Intel. Intel’s then CEO, Paul Otellini, strolled onto the stage in a clean room suit, looking absolutely ridiculous, but it was a crowning achievement for Intel. Apple, the lone holdout, was now an Intel Inside brand, and would bring additional margin to the diminutive chip maker. Apple transitioned its entire lineup of Macs to Intel within 12 months — a year ahead of schedule. But for all the success Apple has had in switching to Intel as a processor supplier, the Intel era appears to be coming to an end.
OS X Yosemite has taken Spaces to yet another level. These improvements continue to help the OS X power user stay organized and improve their work flow.
As 2014 comes to a close, it's time to take out our retina display crystal 8-ball and peer into 2015. What new goodies will Apple bring forth? Combining our inside-the-beltway information, rumors and amassed knowledge of Apple, here's a look at likely all-new Apple products in 2015:
- All-new MacBook Air (MBA): This will be the much talked about 12-inch MBA w/retina display, in an all-new enclosure design. This will boast Intel's latest Broadwell processors, delivering best-in-class performance, while providing battery sipping efficiencies.
- Photos: Apple's long awaited iPhoto and Aperture replacement.
- Apple Watch: No surprise here, but whether or not Apple Watch Sport Edition comes in at at a reasonable price, or the software provides a "must have" feature not yet revealed is still unknown.
- iBook: This isn't an iOS software update, rather, this will be an all-new ultra-portable laptop, running on a quad-core A9 Apple processor. Whether it supports a new type of iOS, or ported OS X onto the A series processors is unknown. While we have leaned towards are re-designed iOS, the latest information we have is that Apple will migrate OS X to ARM. This product represents the beginning of the end for Intel as an Apple supplier. But unlike the rapid PPC to Intel migration, which Apple accomplished in under a year, the process of moving from Intel to Apple's ARM architecture will be a slow transition, especially when considering the Mac Pro. Expect the iBook announcement to take place during Apple's WWDC keynote address. And no, we don't know if will actually be called iBook.
- iPhone 6S mini: Apple will deliver their annual iPhone updates, with an iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, but will also introduce an all-new iPhone 6S mini. iPhone 6S mini will be the thinnest, lightest, most powerful 4-inch iPhone – or smartphone – ever made. Apple dominating the small and large display smartphone market should continue.
This list comprises only new product introductions, and not include the dozens of software and hardware updates Apple will bring to market. Considering the overall gamut of product releases due in 2015, this may be the busiest year ever for the diminutive Cupertino company.