Every year in September Apple announces its new consumer electronics line-ups just in time for Christmas. Speculation increased today that this annual event will occur on September 7 (or 8) this year fueling the continual and likely uninformed commentary about what that event will bring. Given that being informed isn’t a criteria for comment I thought I’d speculate here on what I think that line-up will be. If I’m right, I’ll remind all and sundry. If I’m not, who is going to remember?
- The Camera: Apple are going to enter the digital camera market with an iPod that has a more powerful lens and a flash as well as a little more built-in stabilisation. The iPod Camera will be an iPod Touch at its core but with more camera bits including an attachment for a tripod. It will sweep the consumer level digital camera market because it will be powered by software apps and these will be upgradable. Already, the camera in the iPhone 3GS has a revolutionary zooming feature and the easiest to use video camera. Apple will go all out. Sony and others should be very afraid.
- The Tablet: There has long been speculation about a Mac Tablet. This won’t happen because tablet computers don’t do anything. To be sure, you can write on PowerPoint presentations but you do not need a fully fledged and heavy computer to do that. All that can be achieved with a large iPod Touch (something I speculated on earlier this year). That device will have as its killer new application, an eBook reader designed to deal with pdfs in colour and of textbook quality. It will do for the textbook market what the iPod — both threat and opportunity — did for music.
- The Children’s iPod: The iPod Touch is a great device for young children except for the fact it is fragile. Apple will release a tough version of the iPod with a plastic but durable case and a built-in protected touchscreen. It will be larger than the current iPod touch but with less resolution and larger icons. It will be large enough to display picture books for children with ease.
There you have it.