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Apple in 2008 – What Likely Lies Ahead

2007 was by all accounts an outstanding year for Steve Jobs and his beloved Apple Inc. But 2008 can shape up to be even better. Here’s why!

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Where are my Kids?

Apple will also address other new complexities in modern life. Where are my kids now? Where’s my wife? Is she at the grocery store? I want to know. Personally, I want to know because more often than not, she forgets to get that thing I like to eat that she doesn’t like to eat. No, it’s not because she doesn’t love me, but because it’s habit and life is rushedand hectic.

With mobile technology and constant Net connections newfound possibilities emerge for both software and hardware. Knowing where loved ones are in the physical realm, as well as the digital, is going to be a valuable tool — for a whole host of reasons. If Apple can “live” connect two Leopard-based Macs together so that we can share screens, it can certainly connect a Mac to an iPhone and use the iPhone’s built-in camera to stream a video feed or picture back to the Mac. Imagine the uses….

One should definitely expect video in the next iPhone, even a nano version should be able to capture video. And if the iPhone is going to be an equal device citizen in the Apple universe, then bring Dot Macsupport directly to the iPhone device without having to dock and sync to a Mac.

As I said before, the pace of life in the 21st century is faster and more hectic and Apple is the company that can bring relief.

Life is Haptic

And speaking of hectic. If Apple is Central Park in the new city of the 21st century — the Net. Then what about sounds and touch? This is part of what delights us in life. Translating zeroes and ones into touch and sound is a key part of the magic of the relief. Nintendo partly understands this. That is why the Wii is so magical and successful.

But Apple could excel here too! Color changes, pulses, temperature zones. These are just some of the possibilities in what is known ashaptic interface design. In 2008 some of this will start to enter into Apple’s physical devices in a way that is uniquely Apple. In other words, the perfect marriage of software and hardware.

The Broader Picture

I could easily go on about the nitty gritty of what Apple may actually introduce in 2008, but that would pointless. 2008 will be a watershed year for tech because of several tipping points going on simultaneously.

We are in the midst of a social revolution on the Net and this has not gone unnoticed by Jobs & Co. While it is too late for Apple to introduce the Facebook killer, it already has a social scene at iTunes. It just needs to make it more social and more “connected.”

Other trends likely going to “tip” in 2008 will be SaaS (software as a service) in business and personal use. How Apple may play its role in software as a service is not clear. On the business side, the company will likely do nothing, preferring instead to focus on the consumer side of technology. Yet by 2009 I expect Apple to have figured out where to go with providing software as a service over the Net.

The broad picture for Apple in 2008 will center around its continued consumer device success with the iPhone being the epicenter. The fourth leg of Apple will emerge this January at Macworld with the AppleTV and the iTunes movie rentals strategy. These two alone will keep Apple quite busy.

Haptic interface features, Multi-touch on the Mac, and possibly a new product called the Mac Touch, a new type of screen-based device, should all emerge in 2008 at some point starting at Macworld Expo.

It should be another rocking year for Apple!

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