What’s the next great thing for Steve Jobs and Apple and company? Whatever it is, I hope it comes soon as I’ve grown really, really tired of all the iPhone mania, and media obsession over Steve’s health problems.
Sure, I love my iPhone. Yes, I admit that I follow Apple, the Mac, and, of course Steve Jobs. The time has come to move on to the next great thing, whatever that is. My money is bet on a new class of Mac for the Masses™.
Think about what Jobs and company have done in the past 10 years or so, going back to about 1998. The iMac saved Apple. It was cute, personable, sufficiently endowed with power, priced right, a true Mac.
Apple sold and continues to sell plenty of iMacs. Not long after the iMac debuted, Apple pushed a not-quite-ready-for-prime-time OS X out the door. It was slow, feature thin, few apps ran on it, but it was the Mac of the future and we loved it anyway.
Shortly after that Apple pushed the iPod out the door. It was overpriced, but cute, easy to use, synced nicely with the new iTunes, didn’t run on Windows and we loved it anyway.
The iTunes Store and iPods for Windows were massive hits for Apple. Then Apple CEO Steve Jobs became sick, downed by a rare form of pancreatic cancer. His sideline stay wasn’t long. Meanwhile, Apple was working on the future.
OS X proved to be the Mac operating system with nine lives, all cats. From Cheetah to Puma to Jaguar to Panther to Tiger to Leopard OSX received a steady stream of changes, new features, more capability, and eventually the envy of Windows PC users.
Macs started selling in record numbers, iPods dominated the portable media player market, iTunes Store dominated digital media downloads, and Apple was rolling in the kind of cash that comes from massive profits year over year.
Along the way Steve Jobs began to look gaunt, frail, thin, unhealthy, while he and Apple were planning to rampage through the highly competitive cell phone handset market with the iPhone. To say the iPhone is a whopping success is to say Republicans are an endangered species.
The iPhone has become a huge success and a massive cash cow for Apple. The future bodes well. Over 50,000 applications, utilities, games in the iTunes App Store. Arguably, there are more iPhone customers than Mac customers today.
All the media noise this week and last week has been about Steve Jobs’ return from medical leave, a liver transplant, and the runaway success of the new iPhone 3GS. All of this is well and good. We’re very happy that Jobs is back. We’re happy to have picked the right horse in the cell phone race.
Apple is flush with cash, profits, market share, mind share, and free publicity, good or bad.
So, what’s next? Where’s the next great thing? Will it be a Mac? Or something else? And when will we see it? What will it do? How much will it cost me?
As of today there is a glaring hole in the Mac line, what with the recent shift of the aluminum MacBooks to become MacBook Pros. Sure, they’re to die for, everyone wants one, but not everyone can afford any model of a MacBook, Pro or otherwise.
What digital device territory is left to be conquered by Apple? The iPhone and iPod touch handheld, in-your-pocket devices are a hit and selling by the millions. Whats’ next?
It may not be called a Mac, but the next MacBook, the digital device destined to sit between iPhone/iPod and Mac notebooks, will be a true handheld Mac. Think 10 inches of screen with a rim, thin, wireless, on screen keyboard, and here it comes—this new MacBook will run Mac OS X and iPhone OS X, so it can run Mac apps and utilities and iPhone/iPod touch apps, utilities, games.
That’s my limb. I’ve crawled out here and I’m going to stay for awhile. Are you with me, or against me, or totally flabbergasted? Someone has to point the finger at the next great thing, right? So, I did.