September 9th, wake on wifi, iTablet

  • Posted: 31 August 2009 05:57 AM

    We all know September 9th is an iPod/iTunes only event. AppleInsider is now reporting low iPod inventory, and of course there’s a big Beatles release the same day. But I’d be interested to know what other people are thinking about the bigger picture of Apple announcements over the next 6 months.

    The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that there have to be (at least) two iTablets, not just one, and one of them is indeed a “coffee table iPod touch”; 5 to 6 inch screen size. It goes along with the amazing (to me) wifi wake on demand stealth feature in Snow Leopard appearing (as it surely will) on AppleTV. Ideally Apple would show this new iPod touch on Sep 9th. It seems inconceivable that they have kept the lid on mass production of this (although there were clues early this year), but such a product is needed to make the rumored rebirth of the “album release social experience” work. For maximum impact you would see the new enhanced “album” product, in the form of the new Beatles releases, recreated on a handheld screen two people can watch, which seamlessly transitions to the AppleTV when you’re in the living room (via that wake on wifi).

    Of course a fat iPod touch would fall short for many other applications; ereader, business and professional, so there has to be at least one other tablet. Apple killed the Powerbook 12”, redefined the pocket device category, and is still keeping that 4-12 inch screen size gap wide open. The PC world has lobbed in the unconsidered netbook, which is OK, but is obviously a poor product, and it seems Apple has nearly settled on a product for the mid point of the gap which may emerge in 2010. The iPod can safely grow up towards that future product.

    So I’m reviving an outside chance of a small iTablet shown on Sep 9th; either shipping January, or almost immediately. A second tablet in 2010 which is larger and quite a bit different.

    Edit: I also see the recent conversion of all Macbooks (apart from the near end of life white Macbook) into Macbook Pro being evidence that the white Macbook price point will be given to a larger tablet product which will at least have tighter control of App installation than a standard Mac. Depending on where PA Semi progress is, it might not even be a Mac, but will certainly run iLife, iWork. The white Macbook will probably go education only through the next education buying season, then disappear. I think Apple would sacrifice a lot in order to have this product use an in-house chip instead of Intel. That could mean painful delays.

    [ Edited: 31 August 2009 06:08 AM by sleepytoo ]      
  • Posted: 31 August 2009 08:11 AM #1

    As usual Sleepy you are way ahead of the curve so it is hard to contemplate. However my thinking is that whatever the shape and date for the tablet(s) it will be closely connected with Apple TV. I have a hard time thinking it will be demo’s in Sept and released 4 months later. As you know there are several OEM’s who are ready to release tablets and are just waiting for Apple to define the market and device. They will produce lookalike’s that well sell well and invariably disappoint consumers. This is not much help for Apple. Just check out how almost all ads for smartphones you would swear they were iPhones in the pics. Kind of like how all cars copy Mercedes Benz in design. If you cannot have an Apple then get one that resembles an Apple. The best the competition can do.
    Could Apple have ramped for immediate delivery of a tablet? Doubtful especially if PA Semi is in the mix and I hope it is. Also Apple EOLing ALL iPods seems unusual. It seems to me that we are getting a major change in the iPod besides adding a camera. From a customer POV I hope for the tablet demo on September 9th. From a stockholder POV January is better.

         
  • Posted: 31 August 2009 09:44 AM #2

    The White MAcBook is being redesigned (with a lower price), according to “reliable sources.”

         
  • Posted: 31 August 2009 11:04 AM #3

    SNIPUS - 31 August 2009 11:11 AM

    They will produce lookalike?s that well sell well and invariably disappoint consumers. This is not much help for Apple.

    Actually, I believe it does help Apple. Apple wouldn’t want the whole world to buy each new product as soon as it came out. As market leader in a developing market Apple will get as many extra sales from me-too product marketing campaigns as the lesser brand apparently being marketed. The competitor may feel as though they are becoming a contender, but without realising it, they grow Apple’s sales more (in dollar or unit terms) than their own. With Apple being an innovator, it’s difficult to get a sales message across to indifferent customers, and those lookalikes are actually a big help.

    Speaking of indifferent customers, I was in Tesco (largest UK supermarket) yesterday and a couple (probably in their sixties) were looking at a TV with an iPod dock for music/videos. She said to him “what’s an iPod?” There’s still room to grow this market!

    Now if there are indeed lots of tablets just waiting for Apple to define the market, wouldn’t Apple’s best strategy be to let them commit production to copying a big iPod touch, and catch them out within months with a second, very different product.

         
  • Posted: 31 August 2009 11:30 AM #4

    Gizmodo has a “source” that says multiple size tablets are in the pipeline?with at least one running full OSX.

         
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    Posted: 31 August 2009 01:03 PM #5

    sleepytoo - 31 August 2009 02:04 PM

    Actually, I believe it does help Apple. Apple wouldn’t want the whole world to buy each new product as soon as it came out. As market leader in a developing market Apple will get as many extra sales from me-too product marketing campaigns as the lesser brand apparently being marketed.

    Very true. The success of the iPod was not that Apple was the first with an MP3 player but that Apple entered an existing market and did it better. The same thing is true with tablets. Three years ago there may not have been a market for a tablet device. But now Amazon, Sony, and soon Barnes and Noble have helped create the ereader tablet market. And the netbooks have helped create the limited function computer. Apple can take on both of these markets with an OSX-based tablet device, which may just be a larger screened iPod Touch.

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  • Posted: 31 August 2009 01:28 PM #6

    I’m going to assume there is an iPod max and some form of tablet in the pipeline just because there is so much chatter about them.  Personally I can’t imagine I have much of a use for this product so it’s just not grabbing me.  I’ve been lockstep in the past with Apples product development strategy of building devices that they want to own so this will be the first one that hasn’t met that criteria for me.  Having said that…,I have this need in my kitchen to replace my white Samsung with an Apple product with integrated TV tuner, Mac and Apple TV.  I’d like mine with a VESA mount please.
    I also find it strange that Apple is eoling the entire iPod line.  Never been done before but it will be dang exciting to see what’s up.

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    Posted: 31 August 2009 01:44 PM #7

    September 9th, 10:00 am, PDT.

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    Tightwad.

         
  • Posted: 31 August 2009 02:01 PM #8

    Using a Rolling Stone lyric would either be bad form or effectively rule out a Beatles announcement.

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    Posted: 31 August 2009 04:06 PM #9

    I think it will be a fully touch screen iPod Shuffle.  :-D

    But then I’ve been wrong before.

    [ Edited: 31 August 2009 04:32 PM by geoduck ]

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    Posted: 31 August 2009 04:22 PM #10

    I too want a tablet, but I don’t think we will see one this year. I think Apple Insider has good sources and when they say next year they mean it.

    The iPods will rock and give Apple another killer Christmas season.

         
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    Posted: 31 August 2009 04:25 PM #11

    omacvi - 31 August 2009 07:22 PM

    I too want a tablet, but I don’t think we will see one this year. I think Apple Insider has good sources and when they say next year they mean it.

    The iPods will rock and give Apple another killer Christmas season.

    Beware the post-conference dump if a tablet doesn’t arrive. But then again, AAPL will probably drop either way.  rolleyes

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    “Once we roared like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security! The solution for America’s problem is not in terms of big government, but it is in big men over whom nobody stands in control but God.”  ?Norman Vincent Peale

         
  • Posted: 31 August 2009 04:41 PM #12

    Play Ultimate - 31 August 2009 07:25 PM
    omacvi - 31 August 2009 07:22 PM

    I too want a tablet, but I don’t think we will see one this year. I think Apple Insider has good sources and when they say next year they mean it.

    The iPods will rock and give Apple another killer Christmas season.

    Beware the post-conference dump if a tablet doesn’t arrive. But then again, AAPL will probably drop either way.  rolleyes

    Past performance is no guarantee of…

    I think the iPhone news and numbers are strong enough to preclude this.  (Disclaimer…I’m clueless when it comes to the daily machinations of the AAPL stock movement)

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    Posted: 01 September 2009 01:11 AM #13

    I am still hoping for a netbook-sized (roughly 11"x7”) with a display on each half so that pdfs can be read just like a book.  (Kindle Killer!)  Then…...  iTunes sells Books!!!!!

    One screen could also be a virtual keyboard so that you can use it like a notebook.

    Make the display sizes to the ratio of 16:9 for the watching of movies.

    While you are at it… chuck in a phone.

    Retail @ $850.00 and drop the MacBook

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  • Posted: 01 September 2009 02:03 AM #14

    Whoa there! I’m not expecting a novel tablet at this event at all. However, Apple already sells two OSX tablet products: the iPod and the iPhone, and the entire iPod line is apparently EOL. I’m just saying that a larger form factor iPod Touch could be announced here, and IMO is a necessary product. The chances are that two or three software updates down the road there would be no sharp distinction between that and a (the) Mac tablet.

    (Hey, I just did a quick Google news search to find out about iPod EOL and lo, this very thread came up as the second hit - we’re famous).

    I’m assuming the shuffle hasn’t been EOL’d, even if the others have. Which means the classic is replaced by a OS X touchscreen device (a higher capacity iPod Touch), maybe the nano is becoming the forerunner of an iPhone mini, and is also going OS X touch, also with larger capacity points.

    And about that invite - could it be the Beatles AND the Rolling Stones?

    About the stock price, I don’t care on this timescale.

    About the larger purposes Apple needs to work within in order for its products to flourish in the market:

    - limit the power of Microsoft (done)
    - limit the power of Intel (requires ARM to displace ATOM for PC functionality at the netbook price point)
    - convert the cellular carriers into dumb pipes (still at the early stages, but substantial progress has been made)

    (these are also things that Google needs, hence the cooperation. They are also all good for the consumer)

    Or maybe as suggested by an Ars Technica reader, iPod is actually being EOL’ed for a revolutionary Apple / Microsoft partnership centered on Zune HD.

    [ Edited: 01 September 2009 02:21 AM by sleepytoo ]