Apple wants your money by selling you hardware. Despite the growing services group (which wouldn’t have much revenue or profits if Apple didn’t have hardware to sell), Apple makes money the old fashioned way. By selling you something. Thanks to that hardware DNA, here’s a feature you won’t find on a future iPhone.
Nirvana has many meanings and many states, but the one that most of understand is buried in the official meanings.
A transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, a state of perfect happiness; an ideal or idyllic place.
One could argue that Apple’s walled garden ecosystem where various products, software, and services all live in harmony, is a state of Nirvana for the company’s customers. Maybe so, maybe not, but one version of Nirvana that caught both my eye and fancy recently is the so-called Nirvana Phone.
A Nirvana Phone concept refers to a smartphone that can be docked with external displays and keyboards to create an alternative desktop or laptop computer system. This is not any particular brand of phone or software, rather it defines a new category of mobile device with a capability beyond a conventional smartphone computer.
Wait. What? That actually sounds like a very cool idea.
The NirvanaPhone provides the processor, storage media, display adapter, communication channels, and operating system. The docking station provides power, and connectivity. To be useful the NirvanaPhone differs from a simple smartphone by having significant processing power, video output at high resolution, plus keyboard and mouse input. A smartphone is generally accepted as a device that has both mobile phone capability as well as an operating system that can run applications such as email, web browser, media player and personal organizers.
If I understand the concept correctly, it means I could sit down at a desk with my iPhone plugged into a little dock that is plugged into a display with a keyboard and mouse. In other words, it would be akin to a Mac in my pocket, where the iPhone acts as the only device I need to run most Mac or PC functions.
Great idea, right? Instead of owning a Mac or two, plus an iPad, I could get by just fine by using an iPhone as a smartphone, then plug it into a dock connected to a display, and it becomes my desktop PC.
It’ll never happen.
Wait. Allow me to correct that. It’ll never happen at Apple. It has already happened in the Windows world with HP’s Windows Continuum-enabled Elite x3 and a Windows phone.
Continuum means the phone becomes the primary mobile device and a desktop device since it runs Office, email, browsers, and many other applications. What is not to like about this idea?
Well, there are some caveats.
First, it requires a Windows phone. There are few in the wild, so it’s obvious Microsoft is desperate to get Windows phone sales moving north vs. the southward direction of the past few years, and tethering it to a display, keyboard, and mouse makes the proposition of Windows phone ownership look more enticing.
Second, it also means you might not buy a real Windows PC, instead relying on a Windows phone, but that’s probably OK to Microsoft as the company makes money either way. And right now it’s not making much money on Windows phones.
If an iPhone had this kind of Continuum built-in, I could plug it into a dock and have it connect to a display, Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and perhaps not need a Mac. Or, even an iPad. Look how much money Apple’s customers could save. And that’s exactly why Apple will never build a Nirvana phone.
Apple sells hardware and will do everything it can to design, build, and sell more hardware to its loyal-to-fanatical
fanbase customer base.
To paraphrase the Soup Nazi, “No Nirvana iPhone for you!“