As much as I lament the demise of Macworld Expo East in NYC (Boston was just too far for people from the NYC, Phila, DC, Baltimore hub to easily travel to, compared to NYC) the annual January Expo remains and has actually become stronger in recent years with Apple’s expansion into new electronic markets, and growing strength as a computer company (even though they dropped “Computer” from their name.)
Once the holidays pass, the next event geeks like us focus on (aside from CES) is the Macworld Expo. The rumor mills are already abuzz with ultralight laptop, movie rentals, 3g iPhone, and a whole lot more…
Why should we discuss Apple here? I mean, when my web logs show that the majority of my readers are on Windows-based machines, you have to wonder what the reason is to carefully watch Apple.
Engadget’s own list of their 20 most-clicked articles of 2007 included 11 articles about Apple alone, as several others comparing Apple products to something else. This means there is immense interest in what Apple is doing. Moreover, Apple has historically pushed the computing, and most recently the cell phone industries, forward. Maybe “strongly shoved” would be a better description.
Think back to the original iMac that ditched Apple’s own ADB and USB, and the floppy drive! Bill Amend’s Fox Trot cartoon years ago where Jason dressed up for Halloween with an iFruity (an iMac) on his head and went around saying, “Woooooo… I have no floppy drive… Woooooooo… I have no floppy drive” and everyone ran in fear.
Leaving behind the floppy drive was scary back then. Even today, people cling to their floppy disks, even if they have never tried to access them or put them media on a CD or DVD. But it was Apple that shoved the floppy off the table and into the wastebasket where it belongs.
I won’t bore you with my speculations because, well, they’re useless. Regular TechThoughts readers already know what I want Apple to make, but Apple historically makes what it wants to make, not what its customers demand. The success of this arrogance can be argued both ways but Apple’s stock price has gone from$17 to over $200 in recent years while their market share has strongly increased.
Aside from the Mini Mac Pro (rack mountable), there is one product I’d like to see.
As much as I hate it when Apple produces a product that replaces what a 3rd party is making (see the Axiotron Modbook, below), I’d like to see a nice, light, Mac tablet. Take the whole laptop, strip out the keyboard, trackpad, and build the whole thing into a thin screen. Think: Sony Reader, (shown here) but a little bigger, color and with a full Mac OS including multi-touch.
I don’t necessarily want to edit video in FCP on it. But it would be nice to have a small “appliance” like that which would weigh around one pound and easily slip into a briefcase among the rest of my trade magazines. I’d also really like the multi-touch as opposed to a pen, but I understand that sometimes the small tip of a pen is a much better pointing device. I have owned my share of Palm devices. Build a little flip out stand and let it use any number of bluetooth keyboards for those who do not like the on-screen “soft” keyboard.
When I played with the iPhone, I really felt it was a wonderful device and the interface was beautiful. I didn’t buy one because I really, really wanted it to be bigger.
No, I don’t really want a bigger phone. I have a small Sony Ericsson that plays nice with iSync, can shoot video, use any audio I put on there for a ring tone, is a Walkman with 2 gigs of music and is also an FM radio. So I’m not itching for a combination iPod/phone because I already have that, for the most part. What I really wanted was the multi-touch, web-browsing, reading, writing, tablet with a bigger screen.
So I didn’t want the iPhone, but I wanted the iPhone (or the iPod Touch’s) big brother Mac tablet. And I want it at a price comparable to the cheapest MacBook. (hey, I can dream.)
So I have my fingers crossed.
How about you?
Some good commentary at Macworld.com:
Very intriguing indeed.