Apple’s A6 Successor Could Stagger the TV Industry

Apple develops technology at a relentless pace. One example is the investment in the low-power ARM/Cortex processors in order to bring amazing performance to the iPhones and iPads. To see that in action, one need only look at the rendering, in Real Racer 3, of race cars during Apple’s iPhone 5 media event. In that demo, we could see the reflections of other cars in the sides our car. And a faithful view in the rear-view mirror for the first time. This is giant processing power. It blows you away.

Image Credit: Real Racer 3

By continuing to move forward with technology and software innovation, Apple opens unexpected doors for itself.

And when technology paves the way, suddenly very bright people begin to see things they never saw before. On the other hand, older industries tend to get caught up in a tired way of doing things, and then they find that they can’t compete against Apple.

This week, Phil Swann at TV Predictions looks at the pickle the TV industry has gotten itself into by hanging its hat on 3D and 4K technologies -- instead of investing in enabling technologies as Apple has -- such as advanced displays, optics and CPUs (the A6). As a result, you can almost hear the footsteps in the halls as Apple poises itself to completely disrupt the TV industry. Apple's "hobby" is really creative play at its best. More follows below.

Tech News Debris

Here’s the classic industry syllogism.

  • Apple is making a lot of money, selling X.
  • We will sell a version of X, therefore
  • We will make a lot of money.

That syllogism, of course, ignores a lot of factors, but it’s worth a shot for many companies. Here’s this week’s first example: “Toys 'R' Us unwraps $150 Tabeo tablet for kids.” And here’s the second, “HP introduces new Apple iMac.” Yep, I had to read that headline twice myself. You’ll see what the TNW author is getting at.

In the August 31, 2012 Particle Debris , I spoke to how Linux and its developer community failed to gain a foothold on the consumer desktop -- and lost the UNIX competition to OS X. There were two articles that went into some details and some of P.D.’s astute readers added valuable insights.

Here’s a nice companion piece by a fellow who actually made the transition from Linux to OS X. Bozhidar Batsov described things he loved and things he hated about OS X: “From Linux to OSX - 1 Year Later.

We know from watching various industries that there’s a need to move customers along on the technology curve in order to have growth, indeed, sometimes even remain profitable. For example, Apple is in a great place, successfully getting tens of millions of customers to buy a new iPhone, with an intrinsic value of over $600, each and every year. The TV set industry isn’t in that favored position.

It has taken a lot of money and standardization to build satellites and infrastructure that can deliver 1080p to the living room. And so, TV makers, are constrained on how fast they can move forward. Recently, the primary technology drivers, to get people excited and buying new HDTVs, have been 3D and 4K. But many customers balked at the added cost of 3D glasses and many experienced awful headaches. As for 4K, there won’t be any source content or delivery infrastructure for many, many more years.

As a result, the starry-eyed visions of moving forward as fast as Apple have fallen flat and the TV makers are showing signs of desperation. “Are TV Makers Staring at The Abyss?” The question for us Apple fans is, how could Apple exploit that problem the TV makers are having? For example, is there a way to integrate the HDTV set with Apple technologies such that Apple could succeed in the industry where others are faltering? Of course, none of us can afford a new Plasma HDTV every year, but we’d think nothing of buying a new Apple TV for $99 each year. What could the A6 and future generation chips enable? It’s something to ponder.

Here is some quantitative proof that we're living in a Post-PC world.

I've been following the saga of Dish and its Ad Hopper.  Here's the latest episode. I don't think this will end well for Dish. IMO.

Have you heard of skeuomorphism? Austin Carr defines it: “Skeuomorphism is a catch-all term for when objects retain ornamental elements of past, derivative iterations--elements that are no longer necessary to the current objects’ functions.” You see that in iOS apps like the calendar that has faux leather and iBooks that simulates a wood bookshelf. Mr. Carr doesn’t think much of this design technique, and explains why. “Will Apple’s Tacky Software-Design Philosophy Cause A Revolt?

iCal Leather stitching

Even more intriguing is that Windows 8 makes a conscious decision to stay away from skeuomorphism for precisely the reasons Mr. Carr complains about. Windows 8 may not be beloved at this point, but it's nice to see Microsoft taking a stand based on certain core beliefs. You gotta love it.

Now we know. The iPhone 5 doesn’t have a Near Field Communications (NFC) capability built-in. As we’ve followed this technology, we’ve tended to think of NFC as something related to mobile payments. However, Ryan Fass points out that NFC can do a whole lot more. “Forget payments -- NFC in the iPhone could be used for a lot more interesting things.

The ebook industry is in great flux. Publishers are in scramble mode. Students will do as they darn well please. What’s the result? “Are College Students Buying Required Textbooks? 75% in US Say No.”

One would expect that a resourceful nation like China would eventually develop its own smartphone OS. It has. A Chinese company named Alibaba has developed “Aliyun.” It’s based on Linux, but different than Android. Or iOS, based on BSD. Business Insider sees some potential danger there for Apple and Google down the road. ”There Is A Huge Threat To Apple And Google That You've Never Heard Of.

Finally, I love to think about what our computers and phones might be like in, say, five or ten years. So does C|NET. And with the iPhone 5 just announced, this is a perfect time to think about all that. Here’s a fun story (but it requires Flash. C’mon C|NET!). “What a smartphone will look like in 5 years.