Chapter 12 – In Which the next iPhone and Netbook are again rumoured

Thanks Computerworld Blog

Thanks Computerworld Blog

Dead Donkey hath again been beaten; by, it seems, a magnificent in AT&T, who by disclosing to Boygenius the nature of another rumour, however shallow, may have made his or her position, redundant in the unlikely circumstance that Apple or AT&T, become perturbed at another negligent slip of the tongue. Much ado has been made regarding, of course, the iPhone, which being in its very nature a company defining weapon of secrecy, needs at the very least, sustained and unpromulgated confidentiality. TouchMyApps, in accordance with rumour sites, news aggregates and feeds, feel that great gravity should be employed when breaking upon such rumours. The reason we so deem, being in our nature an iPhone-dedicated site, is that rumours are at core, useful in conveying vain hints, desires or at worst, the obvious.

This ‘rumour’ is that of the latter type.

Apple: iPod Halo, See-through candy-plastic, One More Thing – The prodigal son of home computing. Mark my words: Apple will release an updated 3rd generation iPhone. Not you, nor I or any rumour can stop that from happening. It will be more powerful, convey information at greater speeds and sport a different design. Internal capacity will double and last year’s greatest storage capacity will be this year’s entry-level version. It will feature a mobile version of OSX and it will run both free and paid applications. How do I know this? Call me a prophet. Call me an analyst – call me a human who uses at least 5% of his brain. The above are not rumours and should not be posted on any rumour or news site. They are far below even common sense. However, at the bottom of the Boygenius article is an interesting tidbit that has forums all over verbosely flaming.

  • New iPhone announcement around mid-June (duh)
  • New iPhone will be faster and have a more seamless experience unmatched by any device (could be just talking about 3.0, but we think it’s also a new iPhone)
  • U-Verse iPhone application; will allow control of your home DVR (play, pause, rewind, etc.)
  • The annual iPhone launch is “becoming a tradition.”
  • Nothing official is being confirmed, but they said that people should prep for an exciting time this summer.
  • AT&T is said to be working with Apple to create a unified product with an unparalleled experience across all their products and services.
  • Apple’s 3.0 software should tell us where the iPhone platform is going… uh, k?
  • They said customers shouldn’t need to choose from AT&T’s high-end devices because of features, they should choose based on preferences. The gap in capability should be filled with the new iPhone. Ok, bets on slide out QWERTY, autofocus camera, video sharing, blah blah?
  • Seems like the higher speed HSDPA (7.2Mbps) is being hinted at too which should confirm the earlier rumors of the new Infineon chipset.
  • The $99 3G netbook will start selling this summer, and the first one won’t be a Windows OS.

All we have to whet our appetites for news is this last tidbit: netbook; summer; Windows. But firstly, the grammar suggests an item that is already hotly known: it is not any netbook, but ‘the $99 netbook‘ and it will be released in summer and feature a non-Windows OS. May I have a show of hands of those who understand Boygenius’ last sentence? The yet unreleased netbook suddenly has two iterations. The second version will obviously be Windows, denoting the first to be from the same company or to AT&T, at least in AT&T’s marketing speak, bunched together. What I know about Apple 2.0 is that Microsoft and Windows are the enemy more than IBM ever were in its golden age. If the second version of any netbook series will feature Windows, the first too will not be made by Apple.

If Apple do release a netbook or tablet computer, it will be on Apple’s own terms and in their own time. It will not be the usual fare and it will set mobile computing ablaze just as the iPhone has done. But problems arise when envisioning the pragmatics of how either full OSX or mobile OSX will handle input. What I mean is that until now, Apple have not produced a useful handwriting system. A touchscreen tablet or netbook begs for more than touch-to-type input and handwriting recognition is an excellent vehicle for a small tote-anywhere computer to prove its worth. In fact, OSX’s handwriting recognition is rubbish:

Other input possibilities exist for Apple if patent filings are to be believed. One suggests using both the back and front of the device for touch-based input. Such a design would need special research and need to be flawlessly implemented. For this reason, a summer debut of a tablet may be too early. However, if Apple choose to enter the netbook market iPod-style, they might be able to make waves. Their netbook would need to be small, sexy and easy to use with excellent software support and hardware integration. In short, it would not be something that AT&T need know anything about nor would it need be mentioned in the same sentence as the word ‘Windows’. AT&T have been blessed by the iPhone and Apple as a customer, but they are just a carrier. With iPhone in over 70 countries and counting, there is little reason to rely on the mumblings of network pundits, but at the same time, this ‘rumour’ should not be ignored.

Finally, if Apple were to release a netbook that needed to be purchased in confluence with an AT&T contract, they will have dipped their hands into cold and warm water. Consumers’ reactions are easy to forecast: elation and dismay. But for those who want a simple netbook with not much more to ask than mobile OSX, Apple will already be pissing on many camp’s fires. The validity of netbook designs cannot be contested. Small, light and cheap, they are perfect for a consumer who is on the move more in a faster paced environment. If Apple choose to tether their first entry into Netbook World to an expensive 3G contract, they will again sacrifice half of their potential customers or more.

For these reasons, I am loathe to believe that AT&T know anything about the next iPhone other than what is already completely obvious.

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