In September of 2010, I wrote a column in this space deflating the idea that Apple would ever make and sell a wristwatch.
I still think my reasoning was sound. But I didn’t know then what I know now. Specifically, two Apple technologies have become central to Apple’s long-term strategy. These two products — Siri and iCloud — change everything.
And because of this new information, plus a few new things we’ve learned about Apple in the past year, I’m completely reversing my opinion. I now believe the current rumors that Apple is getting into the wristwatch business.
I even think we can accurately imagine what Apple is likely to do in the wristwatch department.
With the release of Mac OS X Lion Apple is changing the way it handles pricing and distribution of Mac OS X Server. Rather than issuing a separate release priced at $499 or more, Server will now be a $49 upgrade to the standard Lion installation, available for download through the Mac App Store.
Who is Apple targeting now with Lion Server, and why?
We’ve been hearing that Apple’s next desktop operating system, OS X Lion, will be released on July 14th. Alongside Lion, there have also been rumors that Apple will release a new MacBook Air and Mac Pro model at the same time.
Apple is reportedly set to release new machines with Intel’s Sandy Bridge chips. The new MacBook Airs aren’t expected to have an exterior design change, but instead focus on improved internal hardware. The updated Mac Pros are rumored to have a rack-mountable, narrower enclosure.
In an unprecedented move, last Tuesday Apple outlined what they would be announcing at next week’s WWDC keynote. This, in combination with plenty of plausible rumors floating round the blogosphere, leaves little left to speculate about. But I’m going to have a go anyway. I think the main theme for iOS5 will be independence from iTunes and the Mac/PC, and the big surprise for iCloud will be Facebook-style apps.
Every so often, a new Apple product comes along with a breakthrough form factor that Jonathan Ive’s design team will riff on for years to come. As a result, there are many recurring motifs that provide clues to where Apple’s industrial design is heading.
As the fervor surrounding tomorrow’s big announcement builds, fanboys and fangirls are eagerly sitting around their computers gulping down all the latest iPad 2 rumors that the Internet has to offer. One of the popular rumors out there is that tomorrows iPad 2 unveiling will be a disappointing spec bump and that the real grand daddy of tablet computers, the iPad 3, will be unveiled later in the year (possibly in September if Gruber and others are correct).
Cult of Mac has published a number of articles supporting the idea that Apple will be releasing two iPads in 2011. While there have been a significant amount of doubters to this theory of two iPads being launched, one must take into account that such a move wouldn’t be completely unprecedented. I’m referring to the iPod Mini 2G vs. the iPod Nano in 2005.
UPDATE: The scheduled launch of News Corp.’s iPad app The Daily, referred to in the post below, has been put off — “for weeks, not months” — according to a report by All Things Digital, the Wall Street Journal‘s tech blog, which is owned by News Corp. The launch delay may be related to issues with the recurring subscription functionality of iOS 4.3 (referred to in the post), according to the All Things Digital report.
Apple may be trying to pickpocket subscription revenue from European publishers, according to separatereports issued Friday.
Under new rules regarding publishers’ apps running on iPad, print subscribers to European newspapers will no longer have access to iOS apps allowing them to read content for free on their iPads, according to the reports. By offering free apps to print subscribers, newspapers avoid giving Apple 30% of the revenue they would earn by requiring subscribers to pay for access to content through apps sold in the App Store.
The supposed restrictions come amid speculation over the kinds of subscription functionality the next iteration of iOS firmware may support. The iOS 4.3 beta was seeded to developers this week.
Some believe the next iOS build will permit recurring App Store software subscriptions, a prototype for which could be the rumored joint venture between Apple and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., The Daily , which could be the topic of an event scheduled Jan. 19, at which rumors have Murdoch and Apple CEO Steve Jobs appearing together.
Thus far, no similar complaints have issued from US publishers and it seems strange, at best, Apple would feel entitled either to a cut of publishers’ print subscription revenue or to dictate whether publishers’ had to charge for apps developed for the App Store.
UPDATE: TechCrunch is quite vociferously denying any hanky-panky in this affair. “Hey Cult Of Mac, We Didn’t Photoshop That Deleted Verizon iPhone Tweet,” they say in a new post. TechCrunch notes the original Tweet is still in Google search and that they weren’t the first or only outlet to notice. See here. With apologies for jumping the gun on a bit of a slow news day, we also note TC is likely right that “somebody at Verizon panicked.”
Given the standard pandemonium in Apple-oriented corners of the Internet whenever a special “invite-only press event” is scheduled that might have something to do with the Cupertino company’s products or personnel, it stands to reason a Verizon employee’s tweet from an iPhone on the cellular carrier’s official Twitter account days before the entire tech world expects Verizon to announce it is finally going to start selling iPhones might be seen as a newsworthy event.
But could it also be an opportunity for one of the most widely followed tech blogs on the net to indulge in a bit of traffic-ramping scammery?
The ever-lovable China-based MICgadget blog waved a red flag at everyone drooling over new and possibly never-to-be-released gadgetry on the CES showfloor in Las Vegas Thursday, teasing web surfers with a headline about leaked photos of the much-anticipated iPad2.
These are pretty clearly mock-ups but with CES in full swing and an Apple vacation black-out in place, they signal a revving of the hype machine and ramping of new-gadget lust that ought to be at a near fever pitch by the time Apple announces a “special event” sometime in late January/early February.
What do you think Apple has in store for us in 1Q11?