“There are many methods for predicting the future. For example, you can read horoscopes, tea leaves, tarot cards, or crystal balls. Collectively, these methods are known as 'nutty methods.' Or you can put well-researched facts into sophisticated computer models, more commonly referred to as 'a complete waste of time.'”
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.
08 July 2010. Twenty-one major U.S. newspapers announce a new consortium, "Newspaper America," and make their content content available exclusively on the iTablet. Former newspaper Websites direct readers to WebTunes for a subscription purchase.
09 July 2010. Apple posts a press release stating that the app store now has 200,000 apps and 4 billion downloads.
12 Jul 2010. Microsoft quietly discontinues the Zune HD.
10 Aug 2010. Phil Schiller, at an on campus event in Cupertino, announces WebTunes. Purchase and access your content anywhere that you have a browser and an Internet connection. Apple stores all your purchased content in the cloud (at the North Carolina data center) guaranteed forever and dynamically adjusts bandwidth. A new 800 phone number for WebTunes customer support is created for those who experience any problem whatsoever accessing their purchased content. "Talk to a real person," Mr. Schiller says. Those who want to can still download to PC and Mac with iTunes -- for the time being.
Mini DisplayPort on the iTablet, when attached to HDMI connector, creates next generation home theater data source. "Oh, by the way, we're done with hobbies," Mr. Schiller says. "The Apple TV has been put to rest." Those who have one can continue to use it, and a software upgrade allows access to WebTunes.
31 Aug 2010. Verizon's CEO Ivan Seidenberg announces 6 million iPhone activations since 18 June. Droid sales are reported as "Acceptable."
14 Sep 2010. Apple announces the 4G iPod touch, "functionally equivalent to the iPhone 3GS Extreme in every way, except, of course, for the 2G/3G/CDMA radio." Option for 128 or 256 GB of RAM. Adds 801.11n for speedy access to WebTunes.
20 Sep 2010. Apple files suit in federal court against Comcast for throttling access to WebTunes, in violation of the FCC's Net Neutrality rules. "We have a two terabytes of indisputable network data to backup our claims," says Apple spokesperson Steve Dowling. Comcast declines to comment.
30 Sep 2010. U.S. Army announces the purchase of 500,000 iTablets for war fighters to use with GPS, maps, and communication software.
04 Oct 2010. Apple iTablet shows up on TV in White Collar, Stargate Universe, Castle, and Numb3rs.
12 Oct 2010. The next generation Intel quad core CPU quietly added to the 15-inch and 13-inch MacBook Pro. The plastic Macbook is refreshed with faster processor and available in metallic red, green or purple as well as white. 750 GB drive included. Price drops to US$699.
19 Oct 2010. At the Apple earnings report for the Sep quarter, Tim Cook announces that the iTablet appears to have smothered the historical ebb and flow of Apple's earnings for each of the four fiscal quarters. Instead, the iTablet has Apple on a monotonic, "aggressively" linear growth path for the first time.
20 October 2010. CNET is the first to announce that 1) Firefox market share exceeds that of Internet Explorer. Thanks to iTablet and 4+ million Macs sold in Mar, June and Sep quarter, Safari market share rises to 14 percent. 2) The Newspaper America consortium announces 21 million newspaper subscriptions purchased through WebTunes.
26 Oct 2010. Apple announces a new iMac, eight cores, up to 64 GB RAM, 4 TB drive, Blu-ray option, 36-inch LCD display, next generation glossy display that nevertheless reduces reflections. Comes with wireless, backlit multi-touch keyboard/trackpad combo for remote operation of iMac. iTablet can also be used to control the iMac with a software upgrade. Apple announces that they will have a major presence at CES, Jan 6-9, 2011 to demo the iTablet and 36-inch iMac.
27 October 2010. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer temporarily hospitalized, then released for "chest pain."
15 Nov 2010. President Barack Obama seen entering a meeting of the National Security Council with an iTablet.
05 Dec 2010. Time Magazine cover story showcases Steve Jobs and iTablet: "The Year Steve Jobs Saved the Newspapers."
13 Dec 2009. Silicon Alley Insider publishes a chart showing the iPhone market share in the #1 position for all smartphones worldwide. Nokia announces a major reorganization. Tech writer Michael Gartenberg notes that the "reorganization" is mainly that of "deck chairs."
14 Dec 2010. Verizon's CEO Ivan Seidenberg predicts 15 million iPhone activations for holiday quarter. "Still a litle behind AT&T, but not by much," he says.
Part I, January through June, was published on Thursday, Dec 17.