The Crystal Ball of Apple Foreshadowing
First thought: I might be completely wrong. If so, that’s OK. It’s just how I see things.
That said, I’m enthralled by being able to look at a roadmap for Apple products. Obviously it’s nothing official, but rather it’s contextual. For ages, when Apple primarily focused on desktop computers, it was almost impossible to tell what it was going to do next. Now the path is a bit more clear.
I think that the iPhone 4 was the first product to offer this glimpse into the company’s future. It’s akin to when Cadillac switched over to the Sigma platform for its cars in 2003. Every car since the release of the original CTS has had similar styling.
With the iPhone 4, Apple now has a base from which it is working for the design of its mobile devices. The 3 was introductory, even if revolutionary. The 3G and 3GS were stop-gap measures that brought in needed features. The 4 feels like a mold from which the future will be carved, and Apple thus far is proving that to be true.
The 5 is so similar to the 4 in so many ways that it simply feels like a generational step, and I think that’s exactly what Apple was trying to do. It wasn’t time to re-write the playbook yet. There is still some distance left to be covered before that’s necessary.
My wish list for the next iPhone? I don’t really have one yet, but I’d absolutely love to see haptic feedback for more immersive media and gaming. Though in all honesty what I want more than anything is battery life that’s simply incredible. Give me back the 18% thickness that the 5 lost, but fill that space with battery technology that’s stunning.
As for its design? Again, there’s not a need to stray. Apple successfully pulled off a 16:9 display, and the black anodized is beautiful. Expect the design to stay largely the same for next year’s model.
But what about the iPad? I’m not sure that we’ll ever see Apple stray from the 4:3 ratio for tablets. At least not 10-inch versions. I’ve held 16:9 tablets and they simply don’t feel right. An 8-inch tablet could do 16:9 and be considerably more comfortable to hold.
But what we can almost bet on is that we’ll get a version that does away with the silver back, or at least offers a black anodized option. We’ll almost definitely see a Lightning connector as well. I fully expect another jump in storage, up to 128 GB, as Mac OS and iOS become even more closely aligned. People are doing more on their tablets, and that requires space. Flash is cheap. 128 GB is obvious.
I own a white 4S (and don’t really plan to upgrade to the 5) and a white “new” iPad. They make quite the striking pair. Now, imagine if Apple took the design of the 5 and applied it to the iPad.
Consider me sold.
But what’s interesting is that Apple has left itself a wild card with the iPod. I honestly can’t imagine that any of us pictured this: