Apple’s obsession with product secrecy is legendary, if you ignore the recent iPhone 4 leak by Gizmodo. We often rely on the great Apple rumor grapevine to hear about Apple products before the announcements. We are here to contribute with our own prediction and imagination of future Apple products. Please take the following with a grain of salt:
* New iPod touch in September. This is not so much a rumor for the release date as we all know Apple will release a new iPod touch every September. It is already rumored that we will see a 5MP camera, front-facing secondary camera and FaceTime with the new generation iPod touch. We expect the new iPod touch will sport similar hardware with the iPhone 4: A4 processor, bigger ram and battery, wireless-n, gyroscope, retina display, 5MP camera with 720p HD video, front-facing secondary camera.
* iWorks for iPhone. We have seen iBook making its way from iPad to smaller screen iPhone. And there is no reason why there shouldn’t be Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iPhone. If not pairing your bluetooth keyboard with iPhone will be dull.
* iBook on Mac OS X and Windows. iBook will most likely be the fourth Apple applications (after iTunes, QuickTime Player, Safari) that runs on both Mac OS X and Windows. We believe it is essential if Apple wants to compete better with Amazon Kindle.
* Cloud based iTunes. Lala.com is now gone and the whole world is waiting to see what Apple will reveal. We believe Apple will reveal something this year, as Google has mentioned about unveiling its own cloud base music service in late 2010.
* iTV. Google must have some insider info on the new Apple TV when it ventured into the same market with Google TV. It is rumored that the new Apple TV will be priced below $100 and sports a brand new interface. We believe Apple might overhaul this product category by renaming it iTV. It will not be an external box but will be Apple’s venture into home HDTV market, competing with Sony and Samsung. It will have an interface powered by iOS and will run the same Apple Store apps and games. And you can use your iPhone or iPad as touch screen controller for the HDTV as well as games. Essentially Apple hope you can stop buying the Wii and Xbox360,PS3 for non hardcore gamers. There must be reason why Apple build a gyroscope into iPhone 4.
* $1b investment. Apple is rumored to be making a $1b investment soon. Is Apple buying ARM the chip designer as everyone seems to think so? We believe Apple will invest instead in display technology to tie together with its plan for HDTV market as well as controlling the supply chain for its Retina Display in iOS devices. Retina Display is one key differentiating advantage iPhone has over Android phones.
* Mac OS X. Mac OS X is missing in this year’s WWDC. One of the reason is Apple wants developers’ attention on iOS 4. We believe the hidden reason is there is nothing much new in Max OS X as the next version of Mac OS X after Snow Leopard has major changes and is not ready. The next version of Mac OS X will be a code converge with iOS, sporting newer frameworks found in iOS 4, will see some user interface changes and might even be renamed. It will be unveiled in WWDC 2011, release end 2011 or in 2012. And will also be the code base for iOS 5 for iPhone/iPad in 2012. As a result, we expect iOS 5 on iPhone and iPad to have some user interface elements changes. Two area we see Apple focusing on with next Mac OS X is the touch interface frameworks as well as more pervasive integration with the cloud.
* Apps on Mac OS X. Some people might welcome the ability to run those App Store apps on their desktop. Technically it is not hard for Apple to develop an efficient emulator like they did with their SDK. Will this happen with next Mac OS X? We admit it is a wild dream.
* MobileMe.com. Apple is slowly improving their cloud offering and more changes are coming. We believe they are hard at work doing the integration work between MobileMe and iTunes accounts. A more seamless experience will happen once the hurdle is over. iBook currently shows a glimpse of the future with its cloud storage of your iBook bookmarks across multiple iOS devices. iBook is using the iTunes backend. We believe future MobileMe services will behave more like native Apple services.