from December 2010, Predictions
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:
- 20+ million iPhones estimated to be sold
- 4+ million Macs (a first for the company)
- A record number of iPod touch's sold
- iPads breaching the 6 million mark
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.
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.
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.
Not too long ago Apple started building a new sales model. Apple made a shift when selling a new iPhone, as they continued to offer the dated version of the iPhone, but at a lower price point. The forthcoming iPad 2 launch is believed to be no different.
Apple first started this sales model with the release of the iPhone 3GS at $199, while the iPhone 3G stayed in the lineup, dropping to $99. Apple repeated this product positioning with their iPhone 4 launch, slotting the iPhone 3GS to $99. How successful has this sales model been? Apple never reveals a breakdown of iPhone sales by model, delivering only a total number of iPhone sales per quarter, but iPhone 3GS is AT&T's third best selling smart phone (coming in behind a Samsung Android and the number one selling iPhone 4).
One thing not found at One Infinite Loop is mediocrity. Since Steve Jobs returned to Apple their success has been built upon designing and executing excellence. Excellence is found in the iOS — an OS designed just for touch systems. Excellence is found in the Mac Book Air with its super thin sleek design, long-lasting battery life and solid state drive. No matter what Apple product you consider, that product has excellence built-in.
|It’s just an App, right?|
|Facebook has the potential to do to what Microsoft did to all Windows PC manufacturers — turn all computer hardware into a commodity.|
Another way to state this is that Apple does not manufacture commodities. A commodity is an item that can't be distinguished from a competitor's product except for by price, delivery or something that has little to do with the product itself. For example, the Windows PC quickly became a commodity. Speeds and price were the only real differentiators, but in essence, one Windows PC was just like the next one. This commoditization significantly reduced the value of the PC Manufacturer while it raised the value of the Operating System. Apple was able to avoid being seen as "just another PC" by making its products different — better and special — through hardware innovation, design and software integration.
|Never Designed for Touch|
|The Windows interface does not work with a pen let alone a finger... Steve Ballmer may like his strategy, but the consumer does not.|
Trying to fit a desktop operating system in the tablet will never work. These tablets require a new operating system built around its touch display and power sipping processors. Microsoft has been trying to fit Windows into a tablet since 2001. Each time they have tried and failed. The last Windows tablet was the HP Slate, which topped out at 9,000 units sold. These HP Slates could not compete with the iPad three months ago, why does Microsoft think that these new ones will? It may still be up for debate whether Windows belongs on a desktop, but we know that it does not belong on a tablet.
The New York Times is reporting that Microsoft will be coming out with new tablets next month at CES. Before the iPad was released, Microsoft had almost no competition and they still failed. Now these new tablets will have to compete against the iPad. Apple has sold more tablets than anyone else combined. When these new tablets are released, the failures of Windows on the tablet will be obvious when compared to the iPad.