What next for Apple in 2009? Netbooks? Tablets? Hovercars?

9 December 2008

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.

[silicon.com]

8 comments

  • tony
    apple need to get their heads out their arses and improve the iphone before they start anything else!
  • ungulator
    well, tony, they are developing dozens of products simultaneously, there are many divisions, the iphone division i'm sure is working away and made apple healthy profits this year helping growth in other areas due to income paul, there will also be somewhere new to go in mp3 player development, there is massive tweaking that needs to be done in bringing the cost of apple mp3 players down including sourcing cheaper components, the ipod touch is way expensive, larger flash memory capacities need to be implemented esp now as high def video is more widely available, the UI needs to add better internet integration e.g. on the go playlist of sites like hypem, battery life needs to improve considerably esp for video, sound chips need to sound better esp w competition from sony, they WILL make a mini touch about 3/4 of the size of the ipod touch, not doing so would be very silly, email and tactile response need to improve, batteries need to made replaceable (tho this probably won't happen for a long time!) a better H.264 and VC-1 encoder needs to be a priority, and not to mention tegra or similar graphics chip to improve the UI and add better games support there i've thought a good few things to improve apples apples!
  • chrisg
    My money is on another touchscreen device running the iPhone OS, only bigger.
  • Martin
    Whatever it is, it won't have a slot for SD cards to expand capacity or replaceable batteries.
  • Matt S.
    I know Acer make a netbook, but surely you meant ASUS? I don't think an apple netbook would be a runaway success like the iPod, netbooks are already underpowered, limited functionality devices, Apple entering the market would mean them launching their £599 device to compete with the £200 EeePC 900, Fan Boys and Mac OS diehards would buy it, but not the general public. I think the future is figuring out if people want to own both a smart phone and a netbook or if there is some mythical inbetween device, portable enough to keep on you, but functional enough that you'd still be happy enough using it for web browsing, facebook, IM etc. to the point where say you'd use it while sitting on your sofa at home, even tho you could use the PC at the desk. I'd suggest a device around the size of an iPhone running on underclocked hardware, which could then slot into (like a cartridge) a larger device with a bigger screen, second battery and real keyboard. the device would then run at full speed, and recharge it's internal battery from the larger one, cost would be kept down because you wouldn't have to duplicate hardware. (not too likely to happen tho) Also expect to see an iPod with a built in micro projector - maybe not next year but definitely by the year after, the technology is starting to mature now, and adding a device which would cost ~£200 to the iPod will help to continue to justify their price premium.
  • Paul Nikkel EDITOR
    I've wanted your idea for so long Matt :)
  • Matt B.
    Apple already made a netbook - the Macbook Air. It just happens to cost six or seven times as much as other netbooks.
  • Mike H.
    Or they could come out with a large computer, and call it the bigMac...

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