Article: Have We Peaked?

by on May 2, 2011

Is it just me, or are there no real good Apple rumors out there? I think we’ve gotten to a state even more boring than the landscape prior to 2006, when even the iPhone was some sort of crazy notion in the heads of just a few.

At any given time in the last few months, someone was certain they knew what the next iDevice was going to be. Whether it was the iPad 2, the Verizon iPhone, the white iPhone 4, or the next iPhone, there was always a vague scoop. Sadly, thr iPod touch was often ignored, due to its predictable upgrade-cycle, and getting the hand-me-downs from the iPhone.

The rumors for the Mac have been the most boring, with the speculation covering mostly the inevitable&mfash;Thunderbolt being added, newer Intel chips, or some other “it’s gonna happen” refresh. Where are the wacky pie-in-the-sky changes we used to see? A headless iMac? A mini-minitower? Have the various rumor sources within Apple become so predictable that everything beyond iOS devices are just an inevitable refresh?

The Apple TV

That being said, I’ve seen some speculation about the Apple TV, the odd duck in the iOS family. Although it runs a special version of iOS, it is not marketed as such, but many are thinking that the next one will feature the A5, found in the iPad 2. While this is all well and good, and would give the Apple TV enough processing power for 1080p video, I don’t see what the fuss is all about. Unless you plan to rip Blu-Ray to your Mac (which may be a bit of a challenge for the average user), buy or rent movies from iTunes in that resolution, or expect bandwidth to support it, you’re probably going to be in the land of 720p or 1080i. Besides that, with many Internet service providers imposing bandwidth caps, Netflix and others have been trying to be bandwidth-friendly.

That being said, what else would be so good about the next Apple TV? I think that at this point, Apple should focus on what they can do with the current hardware, especially since the potential to bring more conent to the tiny, squared-off, hockey puck in your home theater is huge.

The Apple TV?

The other rumor that seems to rear it’s ugly head every so often is the idea that Apple would make their own televisions with the Apple TV technology built-in. This is wrong on so many levels, most notably that people replace things attached to their TVs more often than the TVs themselves. Furthermore, TVs traditionally come in a number of different sizes, so Apple would have to offer at least a variety. Wouldn’t it be easier to simply sell more $99 boxes every few years than sell a TV with the technology of a $99 box that will inevitably get obsolete and require some sort of external component down the road? People won’t be thrilled about having to buy a new TV, just like many hold on to a good quality display for a few computer generations (built-in, nonwithstanding).


I’ve heard a lot of rumors about Apple’s inevitable revamp of MobileMe. I use “inevitable” here because as the service currently is, there are plenty of other free alternatives, and the majority of users may leave if nothing is changed. I don’t hate MobileMe, just think that it needs some sort of “wow” feature to stay competitive, especially since Apple made the Find My iPhone/iPad/iPod touch feature free. Thanks for that.

No, what I’m talking about is that beyond a name change (even though this will be name number four for the service), we don’t really have much else. File syncing isn’t really that spectacular, since Dropbox and others already do it for free. I would love to see something come out of nowhere that we’d feel we couldn’t live without…and for $49/year.

Is That All?

If you had told me in 2007 that the biggest Apple rumors would be about the Apple TV and .Mac, I’d be afraid of what state Apple was in—Are they still innovating?

Fortunately, the company is financially sound, selling products like crazy, and staying ahead of the competition. That leads me to ask, “What is next?” We’ve had some of the most-hyped Apple products released over the last year—the iPad, the iPhone 4, the Verizon iPhone, the iPad 2, and the white iPhone 4. Does this mean we should have a lull until Lion is released? I really don’t know, but I’m anxious to hear what new product Apple will release that none of us could imagine. Maybe Apple has become too predictable, maybe those covering Apple have become apathetic, but think of this as my challenge to those guessing what Apple will do next, because they really can do better, even if creativity doesn’t necessarily lead to accuracy.

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