MacOS KenDensed: iPad 3 Frenzy, Big-time Apple & Steve Jobs, G-Man

Ken Ray: Man of MysteryWord on the street is that new iPads are on the way. More people are climbing on the Apple Television bandwagon, smartphones are getting even more popular, the iPhone sells better than anything Microsoft, and Steve Jobs did drugs. And served on a Presidential panel. It’s like we’re setting Mac OS Ken’s Ken Ray loose in a tech news candy shop.

The iPad 3 is Coming. No, Really.
It looks like we can nail down the introduction of the next iPad to the first nine days in March. AllThingsD did the AllThingsD thing this week: acted as an unofficial arm of Apple PR.

I’m sorry, did I say that out loud?

Quoting the D:

Sources say the company has chosen the first week in March to debut the successor to the iPad 2, and will do so at one of its trademark special events. The event will be held in San Francisco, presumably at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Apple’s preferred location for big announcements like these.

Following up on the AllThingsD piece The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple says, and I quote, “Yep.”

Never use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice.

What can AllThingsD tell us about the next iPad? Nothing officially, of course, though it says sources say it’ll be “similar in form factor to the iPad 2, but running a much faster chip, sporting an improved graphics processing unit, and featuring a 2048 × 1536 Retina Display — or something close to it.”

No official comment from Apple for the AllThingsD piece, and no word on whether they nudged or winked as they offered “no comment.”

The Apple Television is Coming. Well, Maybe.
Remember last year when Daring Fireball’s Jon Gruber said he could see a situation wherein Apple could introduce a second iPad for 2011 near the start of the school year-slash-heading into the holidays, though he made it very clear he was just playing with an idea and had no knowledge of any such thing? And within minutes everybody said, “Hey did you hear? Apple’s putting out a bigger, smaller, hi-rez, better camera iPad this Fall! Jon Gruber said so!”

Pfft. That was so last year. This year we’re playing that game with TVs. Apple TVs, of course. It’s not Gruber this time; it’s Jeffries and Company analyst Peter Misek.

AppleInsider says Mister Misek sent a note to clients this week presenting some “what if” scenarios related to content on what he insists on calling an “iTV.”

“In what he sees as the most likely scenario,” says the piece, “Apple could gain access to non-exclusive content for its television set and forge deals with existing cable providers.”

Most likely scenario, in his estimation, but not the only one presented.

Take two: Apple could seed content the way Google does with YouTube Original Channels.

Take three: Apple could buy access to exclusive content, the way Netflix is doing with “House of Cards” or the way DirecTV is doing with “NFL Sunday Ticket.”

And take four: Apple could become a studio unto itself, producing its own stuff.

There is, to me, something to hate — or at the very least something to disagree with — in every one of those scenarios. But, hey. Cool. It’s a thought exercise, despite headlines like, “Apple’s TV May Get Video Content From AT&T and Verizon,” from BusinessInsider and even, “Apple seen partnering with existing cable operators for ‘iTV’ content,” from AppleInsider, which is the one that laid out the fact that Misek was just laying out possibilities, not saying what was what, or what would be.

In my head, I can’t escape how pedestrian the whole thing sounds. Apple reinvented the personal computer with the Mac. Apple reinvented the portable music space with the iPod and iTunes Store. Apple reinvented the phone, and what most of us thought a phone could be, with the iPhone. Apple either invented or reinvented the tablet computer with the iPad. And now Apple’s gonna partner with the gatekeeper to bring you a television that’s a whole lot like televisions already out there, but a bit neater?

Let me say, for the record, I will probably end up being wrong about the Apple Television. Because while I watch TV, I don’t really care about it.

When it first aired, “More viewers tuned in for the television birth of ‘Little Ricky’ Ricardo than for President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s inauguration…”

The last episode of M*A*S*Halmost destroyed the entire New York City sewer system! With 77 percent of the country’s TV sets tuned in to the last episode of M*A*S*H after an eleven-year run, so many people waited until the show was over to use the bathroom: all those toilets flushing at the same time wrecked havoc with Manhattan’s water pressure.”

You know what all of this says to me? Television has been a huge part of our shared history, but the future is not gathered ‘round the television. It’s on tablets. In pockets. It’s tied to things we’ve not yet imagined.

Something from Richard Gadner’s meeting last week with Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer has been playing in my head all week, too.

Quoting Gardner’s note, “Tim Cook did suggest that AppleTV — or an Apple-branded TV set — would not graduate from ‘hobby’ to ‘focus’ unless it could scale across multiple cable operators and multiple geographic regions.”

You know what Apple loves about the iPhone? They can sell it here and in Canada and the UK and the Ukraine and Brazil and China.

You know what Apple loves about the iPad? They can sell it here and in Canada and the UK and the Ukraine and Brazil and China.

I don’t think Tim’s talking about the northeast and southwest of the U.S. I think he’s talking about Canada and the UK and the Ukraine and Brazil and China, though let me say one more time, for the record, I will probably end up being wrong about the Apple Television.

At least if most everyone else is to be believed.

Smartphones Outsell PCs. No, Really.
Market tracker Canalys says 2011 turned out to be a historic year in tech. Fortune has the firm turning out numbers last week that show last year as the first year that the number of smartphones sold was bigger than the number of PCs sold, even if you count tablets as PCs.

According to Canalys, 488 million smartphones were shipped in 2011, up 63 percent from 2010’s 299.7 million. That beat tablet plus PCs shipments in 2011 of 414.6 million units.

Receiving an extra helping of praise from Canalys, it’s Apple.

Quoting The Firm, “I’m Radioactive.”

And quoting Canalys:

Apple’s impressive end to the year resulted in it becoming the leading smart phone and client PC vendor in (fourth quarter) 2011, with shipments of 37.0 million iPhones, 15.4 million iPads and 5.2 million Macs. It also smashed the record for the most smart phones shipped globally by any single vendor in one quarter, beating Nokia’s previous record of 28.3 million shipped in (fourth quarter) 2010…

And it kind of keeps going on like that for a while.

Apple’s stuff’s selling well. That’s kind of the point.

iPhone: Bigger than Microsoft. Crazy, but True.
Do you wanna hear something crazy?

I think I’m Napoleon.

Wanna hear something even crazier?

The iPhone is now bigger than Microsoft.

Just the iPhone.

BusinessInsider points to a little figuring done by tech writer MG Siegler who looks at a few charts. How much Microsoft made in revenue last year, how much Apple made in revenue, what portion of Apple’s sales came from the iPhone.

And yeah, a product that barely even existed five years ago and that was not available to the public until four-and-a-half years ago: more valuable than Mr. Softy.

Steve Jobs: G-Man
And finally this week, Steve Jobs did drugs and sometimes he wasn’t completely honest. No I’m not recapping his biography; I’m recapping his FBI file.

Wired says the U.S. government released the Apple cofounder’s FBI file Thursday, which included details of a background check done for a potential presidential appointment in 1991 and a bomb threat against Jobs in 1985.

Fun Fact: It turns out he had a Top Secret government security clearance while working at Pixar. I assume that had to do with the original purposes to which the Pixar computers were put, not the intricacies of “A Bug’s Life.”

Facts in the background check are really old news now, though they might have been a bit more revelatory at the time.

Back in 1991 Bush-the-elder was thinking of appointing Jobs to the president’s Export Council. Interviews with friends detailed his use of drugs as well as the belief by some of his friends that he would twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals.

They didn’t think any of that should keep him from getting the appointment though, which it did not. And yet that wasn’t in the biography.

Wired and other media outlets obtained the file through a Freedom of Information Act request following Jobs’ death last year. The 191 page file is available through the Wired website.