Pending Apple Announcements
There's a lot of excitement in the rumor mills about the pending Apple announcements of what is rumored to be the iPhone 5, the news about the Apple TV, and the iPad Mini or new iPod Touch Grande. The rumors of features are interesting, and I'm looking forward to the announcement coming, as rumored, this next month.The iPhone 5, I think, is pretty much a foregone conclusion. It's coming a year after the iPhone 4S, it's getting released with the other handsets and iOS devices (assuming there is a replacement for the iPod Touch), and it's pretty much a schedule thing. As for the changes, it's rumored to have a larger screen (16:9 for movies), and a new connector that's a 9-pin connector instead of a 30-pin. There is also a rumor about LTE being supported, but I'm not sure I would trust it as a rumor: it's practically a fact. If it didn't have 4G LTE, when the iPad does, then that would be a great disappointment. In fact, I think there would be a lot of complaining from customers. The Apple TV announcement seems.. interesting. The rumor is that Apple has been trying to work with major Cable companies to turn the Apple TV into a set top box to replace your cable box and add DVR. That's great and all, but I'm not sure I believe that is the case. The Apple TV has been all about streaming content, and building an Apple TV that connects to your cable: that seems pretty limiting. What if you have a dish? No, I actually see it work this way: Apple wants to have the Cable companies stream their online content to their customers through the Apple TV. Why do I think that's the case? Most major cable companies, like Comcast, Time Warner, and Cox, all have online streaming applications. Some even have apps for the iPad and iPhone (and most likely Android), and allow existing customers to connect to their online content. The infrastructure is already there, they just need to provide their content to their subscribers through an "app", much like NetFlix and Hulu Plus subscribers can. It makes more sense, would be easier to keep it up to date, and cable companies could start providing low-end "no box" subscriptions to their content for bargain prices. I think it would be a win for cable companies, consumers, and Apple. Anyway, if there is an announcement, we will find out in which direction they are going. The iPad mini.. A lot has been said about this new device, some of it good, some of it bad. Steve Jobs had quite a lot to say about it publicly, denouncing the form factor for general use. Personally, I don't like trying to type on the smaller screen. I can type just fine on a landscaped iPad screen. I haven't been able to successfully type on a landscaped 7" Galaxy screen (the last time I tried). My fingers were just too close together. Perhaps the landscape has changed as wireless keyboards have become more common. But if the goal is to be mobile, those form factors require thumb typing to be anything close to useful (and I hate thumb typing). That being said, if it were an iPod Touch, just bigger, and targeted even more than the iPad toward consumption, than I can see it. In fact, I see it as a great size for my kids, and would probably be a great reader. I think I would still most likely have an iPad as a laptop replacement, but if the screen on the new iPhone didn't quite cut it for a reader, I could go for something smaller. That being said, it would all come down to battery life. I could live with using a wireless keyboard on a smaller screen if it meant I had a longer battery live. 10 hours is incredible, but 14 would truly be an all day device. And, of course, my opinion is free to be changed at any time, should I find that size to be useful. In fact, it might be a good move overall, if performance matched the iPad, all the iPad apps worked on it, and it had a killer battery life. That would be a game changer for me, particularly since it's rumored to be starting at a very reasonable price. And as far as the name, I'm pretty sure the new device will be called the New iPod Touch, instead of the iPad mini. It would make more sense to replace the iPod Touch market (and shift sales) than to have three devices that are not phones. Anyway, that's what I'm thinking. But we will see what Apple has in store. What do you think will happen? What devices, features, or services are you expecting or would like to see?