Last week, 9to5 Mac spotted an interesting post on Apple’s website that showed a yet-to-be announced Mac mini model — Mid 2014. This mistake was quickly taken down but not before much could be written about it. The question now is not whether Apple has a Mac mini update, but when Apple will release it?
Last night, while stumbling upon Penn & Teller’s whimsical Fool Us TV show (sorry, I really don’t watch much live TV anymore — thank you Apple TV), I found myself watching what I thought was another Microsoft Surface commercial, wasn’t a Microsoft ad at all. Rather, it was a generic Intel tablet commercial, pushing the idea that Intel-based tablets are what people need (not ARM-based or iPad tablets). Just how desperate is this dual-force Microsoft and Intel I wondered?
Microsoft’s failing campaign to sell their heavy, battery draining 2-in-1 Surface Pro is one thing, but Intel trying to sell the idea that the only type of tablet worth buying is due to something the user will never see, touch or understand – the processor. Apple’s dark decade of the 90’s laid the groundwork for Intel to advertise to, what could be described as, low technology information consumers. Intel was successful in pushing the idea that when looking to buy a new PC, that only an ”Intel Inside” PC was worth considering.
2010 was the last time the Apple faithful were treated to a new product category launch. The iPad made its debut just three years after the incredibly successful iPhone introduction. Over four years has passed since the iPad was announced, yet Apple has produced nothing “new.” Over the years iPhone and iPad have certainly improved — iPad now has a mini companion — but Apple’s history has set expectations for the company to launch something yet unseen, yet unknown, or yet to be done, every few years.
This Fall presents Apple another opportunity to break the cycle of just another set of upgrades to current product categories. The iPhone 6 (aka iPhone Air) is most likely going to sport a larger display (or displays), but it may be a new product that steals the show. Under Tim Cook’s leadership, there have been two special events in the Fall. A September show (2012, 2013) and an October show (2012, 2013). October is a special month for Apple as it is the beginning of its fiscal calendar. If you have never worked for a fortune 500 company, let me tell you, that is a big deal. Never under estimate when products launch and how they are tied to how bonuses are calculated.
One feature of Apple’s forthcoming iWatch is becoming abundantly clear. Whether it is Apple suppliers yielding information, or reviewing Apple’s long-standing patents, the company's first-ever wearable will be stunningly flexible. The band will be flexible, the display will be flexible, and even traditional areas where a thick printed circuit board and battery pack should be — it will all be flexible. iWatch will not only be thoroughly pliable but it will also be stunningly thin.
Yesterday, Apple released two additional networks onto Apple TV: CNBC and Fox Now. While both have clips or what often amount to short promo videos of full length shows, neither network ads much value without a key or a cable or satellite subscription. Without a TV subscription service, these, and dozens of other networks, on Apple TV are virtually useless.
High value networks such as EPSN, CNBC, HBOGO, ABC, Disney Channel and over a dozen other networks all require TV subscriptions to access popular content. Apple TV is being manipulated by carriers into a cable TV accessory.
The heavily rumored Apple iWatch is most likely to become a reality this Fall. While competitors such as Samsung, Google and others have created high-tech “wearables”, Apple typically does things differently — and better. Before iPhone, it was Blackberry who ruled the day as the serious smart phone with a physical keyboard, email and some limited web browsing capability. Then Apple entered the market with the iPhone and the industry was changed forever.
Earlier this year, the rumors were that the iPhone 6 might be released at WWDC. Then other rumors came out for a summer release. August is almost here and we have yet to hear anything from Apple, as it appears both sets of rumors are incorrect.
Current rumors show the new iPhone 6 coming in two screen sizes: a 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches. Along with bigger screens the new iPhone may have a faster A-series processor, a more durable sapphire display, smaller bezel, and thinner chassis. The larger iPhone may have Optical Image Stabilization to set it apart from the smaller one. However, what do the current rumors say about a release date?
Years have gone by and even Gene "no lines" Munster of Piper Jaffray seems to have given up reporting that an integrated Apple HDTV of some sort is just around the corner. When Gene gives up on the idea, it must be a dead product, right? Will the mythical Unicorn Apple HDTV ever arrive?
During the past year, attention has shifted away from an Apple TV and towards the idea of Apple launching a watch-like device, and more recently, chatter has surrounded the forthcoming iPhone. But Apple has become a master of "look at the shiny object in this hand while you ignore what we've got in the other." Just because focus has shifted away from a living room device going above and beyond the current Apple TV in no way means it isn't be developed, or waiting for an opening in Apple's schedule to launch.
When Apple showed off OS X Yosemite (aka 10.10), the Moscone crowd’s excitement grew at the turn of each new slide. OS X Yosemite promises to polish off some rough edges that Mavericks attempted — away from skeuomorphic design and to a more simple, elegant (aka flat) user experience. In addition Yosemite will deliver a host of new features and connectivity with iOS devices.
Rumors continue to mount that Apple’s Sapphire glass production continues to plot along at a pace which cannot meet a heavy launch demand come September. Many are pointing towards 5.5" Sapphire production issues, which would make sense due to the overall display size, let alone the production volumes which Apple’s heavily funded supplier, GT Advanced Technologies, must produce at an ever increasing pace.
The Sapphire glass is being manufactured in a new production facility in Arizona. If it is unable to achieve output numbers sufficient to launch the a 4.7" and 5.5" iPhone in tandem, it could have a disastrous effect on the overall launch of iPhone line. The tech media is always ready to pounce on Apple if it takes a misstep, especially on such a prestigious product as the iPhone.