“Predicting the future is easy. It's trying to figure out what's going on now that's hard.”
I am not a big fan of prediction articles for the new year. They require lot of hubris, and, honestly, no one can really make good technical predictions, even us who follow Apple very closely. If one tries, the author and the readers waste time fretting about how good the predictions were. As a result, it's a game I don't play very much. Instead, consider this column science fiction, entertainment, wish fulfillment, whatever. It's what I'd like to see for Apple in 2010 and what I suspect may happen to others.
14 Jan 2010. Apple stock (AAPL) reaches an all time high of $228.61.
26 Jan 2010. Apple announces its earnings for the holiday (1st Fiscal) quarter. 13.5 million iPhones, 3.3 million Macs, US$14B in revenue, profit of US$2.1B. "The best Apple quarter ever," says Peter Oppenheimer.
09 Feb 2010. On the eve of Macworld, Apple announces a Mac Pro with the Gulftown CPU. Two times six real cores. Twenty four virtual cores. Up to 128 GB of RAM. 2 TB drive. Same pricing as previous model. To ship March 1st.
05 Mar 2010. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announces test results on a new Mac Pro with a special parallel software suite that invokes OpenCL and GCD: 241 Gigaflops. The author of the test wonders how long it'll be until we see a Mac capable of a Petaflop.
16 Mar 2010. Apple's Steve Jobs flies to New York and announces the long awaited iTablet. 10-inch LCD display, 10 hour battery life, special PA Semi processor, 2 GB RAM, expandable to 4 GB, 128 GB SSD, 1080p display, Wi-Fi, 3G built-in but contract required to activate, 6-month free subscriptions to New York Times and Chicago Tribune. Runs both iPhone software, multiple apps running and visible, along with Mac OS X software -- if rewritten slightly. US$1,099. Available "early April."
12 Apr 2010. Apple iTablet ships. AAPL reaches another record high, US$241.04.
14 April 2010. Steve Ballmer announces the cancellation of Windows Mobile 7, saying, "We think our efforts are better spent in areas where we control the hardware, like the Xbox."
19 April 2010. The Apple iTablet starts to show up on spring and summer cable TV shows In Plain Sight and Burn Notice. Matt Lauer, on the Today Show, spends 18 minutes demoing it.
27 April 2010. Apple quietly upgrades the 17-inch MacBook Pro (only) to a quad core i5 processor. But only 2.4 GHz to manage the heat.
25 May 2010. At a special presentation at Yerba Buena Gardens, Steve Jobs announces the iPhone 3GS Extreme. Faster processor, FM radio, HD radio, 6 MP camera, 64 GB NAND Flash, built-in optical flash for camera. "Oh, and one more thing...." Only available at Apple retail stores. You can activate it there on either AT&T or Verizon network. (Not both.) Available June 18. Pandemonium breaks out.
04 Jun 2010. PC Analyst Rob Enderle doesn't think the iTablet is selling very well. No one he knows has one. Predicts doom for the ill-fated device.
07 Jun 2010. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, based on a sampling at 87 U.S. Apple retail stores and a sampling of foreign stores estimates Apple has sold 4 million iTablets since April 12 launch. On track to sell 25 million in the first year of production.
08 Jun 2010. Rupert Murdoch, founder and chairman of News Corp announces a special deal signed with Apple for non-exclusive access to his company's content on the Apple iTablet.
18 June 2010. Apple iPhone 3GS Extreme ships in time for WWDC. Minor scuffles and pushing reported in the lines in New Jersey and California around 4:30 AM. No arrests.
19 June 2010. Palm spokesperson Lynn Fox warns investors that Palm may post another loss, this time for the June quarter.
28 June 2010. Apple V.P. Bertrand Serlet notifies the SEC that he intends to sell some of his Apple stock to the tune of US$65 million.
Tune in Friday for the July through December chronology.