What next for Apple in 2009? Netbooks? Tablets? Hovercars?
We've all got opinions on what Apple should wow the world with next; something like the tactile screen-displays out of Minority Report, or a teeny tiny netbook that looks sweet and more than compensates for not having a girlfriend. Or an iPhone with a battery that lasts longer than an hour. Or...
Well, whatever new gizmo or gadget you want from Miter Jobs and his development team of bulbus-brained Mekons, you're going to get it. Well, not all of you, just some of you. Possibly. There are rumours spreading quicker than a case of chlamydia in a nursing home, that Apple will launch "an entirely new device category next year". The rumour is fuelled by Apple's purchase of a semi conductor design company in April, and an analyst who may (or may not) prove to be talking utter, utter bollocks.
What could this new product be? Pundits have speculated about Mac Tablets for over a decade, so it's unlikely we'll see one now. The smart money might be on a range of netbooks - if Apple brought out a low cost product decorated with aspirational fruit molding, they could grind the likes of ACER into dust.
It may all be nonsense and nothing more than an educated guess. Next year will probably see a third generation iPhone released and Apple make substantial gains in the handset market, new versions of the Mac Book are now available, and there isn't much more tweaking that can be done with the iPod range. It all suggests the company needs somewhere new to go if Jobs is to keep defying the economic downturn and building the Apple brand.