Apple: What’s Next?

I was reading an article earlier today on ZDNet about what’s next for Apple, and it got me thinking. What top-secret project is Steve working on next? Jason D. O’Grady from ZDNet thinks it’s the car:

Car tech is still burgeoning, but moving rapidly, how many cars now have some form of screen and menu system for accessing multiple entertainment functions? Unfortunately, ALL are clunky, proprietary, and limited. I would be surprised if Apple didn’t snap up this opportunity for a new techopoly. They’ve been successful now in cutting deals with well established brick and mortar industries from film, to music, to books.

This would become a new opportunity to leverage Apple’s real bread and butter, iTunes. What are people increasingly accessing in their cars? Music? (iTunes) Video? (Podcasts) Radio? (Lala) Think of an Apple made solution for your car, it would do all these things magnificently but in typical Apple style, there would be that pragmatic, added benefit that so far hasn’t been explored much in Car Tech… in car diagnostics.

I don’t agree. As much as I love the car, and I think that Apple should get into it, I don’t think it’s Apple’s next destination. I think it’s the living room.

ITunes is huge. It’s the mammoth conglomerate that no one else seems to be able to crack, and one of Apple’s biggest money makers at the moment. But AppleTV just isn’t a big hit, and as of now, they haven’t cracked into the living room – one of the areas where Americans spend most of their time, zoned out in front of the tube. Steve has already expressed his contempt for adding another box to the living room, so I think that the next big move for Apple is a full fledged television.

I’ve said this before, but the more time passes, the more I think that I’m right. The iPad didn’t really come out of nowhere, as it was a device that we knew about for months before the release. That niche is filled now, and now Apple has something new to announce every January. So on the computer end of things, pretty much everything is covered except for a middle-of-the-line Mac Pro, which I don’t know if we’ll ever see. Sure, existing products will refresh, and new things could come down the pike on that front as well. But Apple is always wanting something new. What else makes sense?

The living room makes sense. It fits into their existing product line, and integrates with the iTunes as an all-in-one source for everything as well. Put iOS on it, and you’ve got the gamut covered. It’s a big market for sure, but imagine if Apple did come out with a television. Something with a built-in drive, iOS running the show and iTunes feeding the signal. And Apple has the money to make it happen, that’s for sure.

I could be wrong here – in fact, chances are, I am. But I’d like to think that just this once I might have guessed right. At this point, only time will tell.

Comments

  1. I don’t think there will be any big immediate launches from Apple. I think they are going to spend the next 5 years really improving their products that they have and owning the markets that they are in. I do agree that they will start moving in the living room. I am really interested in what Apple will be able to do with the Apple TV; they could make it a big hit just like the iPad!

  2. Bob Bulkeley says:

    The AppleTV has been pretty much a non-starter. But the release of the latest MacMini makes it look like the living room may be the next destination. With the built-in HDMI jack, you can then watch Hulu or add a program like Plex and you’ve got yourself a really nice home entertainment computer. This is what I wanted the Mini to be about 4 years ago, and how I use a Mini right now. The newest addition in this line though is perfect for the living room.
    The launch of this mini was so low-key that I doubt anyone has realized the impact this little Mac will have in the future.

  3. robinson says:

    Yep, absolutely agree with you! It’s the living room, it’s the TV, it’s the wireless streaming of movies, photos, podcasts, music throughout the house.

    How about this? Apple buys Netflix. Neatly breaking up that new Google-Netflix-SONY TV initiative. They fold it into a new “cable TV” subscription service alongside of the regular a la carte offerings. Netflix already has an Apple like Zen to it; the combo would mean millions would forsake cable and satellite.

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