A theory on Apple’s future and our computing future

I see something in the iPhone that not many folks I’ve talked to see, and it may be why Apple’s focus could shift (HAS SHIFTED) from laptops to devices…

There was a lot of chatter form Mac loyalists over the past week when Apple announced little news on improved Macbooks in favor of more iPod and iTunes player products. It seemed those Macbook owners of 2 years or more, that are seeing their laptops begin to fall apart (good looking, poorly built) are wanting better built and better performing computers. I’m starting to think that Apple followers are more fans of the OS than the hardware — but as long as Apple continues to control their own hardware (this is great for them and their users for many reasons), the only way to get their OS is through their systems.

So back to the iPhone, I’ve started looking at it not as just a phone, nor wireless device… not even a communications device. But rather a portable CPU. The iPhone is a central processing unit that you take with you. Apple may want to transfer the CPU, currently sitting on your lap or on your desk, to exist in your pocket and be used in your hand.

How many more iPhone versions will it take to get to this scenario?:

– User gets to work
– Takes the iPhone out of pocket
– Docks it on the charger, in between their LCD monitor and keyboard (with touch interface).
– Upon docking, the monitor loads up with the phone’s display, and the keyboard becomes enabled
– The iPhone already has wireless connection, but could tap into your work’s LAN.
– Upon connecting online, or even detecting your work network, it connects to a larger Hard Drive (in the cloud)
– When storing files, you get the option to store them locally on the phone’s local storage OR on the cloud, when connected.
– User undocks phone and takes it to conference room for meeting, where they can tap into to either projector or individual display at the conference table.
– User travels and they already have their system with them.

This means no more big desktops. This means no more laptops.
Apple isn’t the only company that can take us there, but with the iPhone, they seem closest to it.

I think it would lead to a much more productive, cost effective and energy efficient future for computing.

chuckstar

8 Comments

rob abbott

mac loyalist here.

macbook pros falling apart? i’m on the forums a lot, and read a lot of make news (good and bad) and i’ve never heard of such a thing…ever. there’s actually not a whole lot that can “fall apart” or break on a macbook pro form factor (aside from the software, or internal hardware).

Functioning Form – Great Design, Great Engineering…Apple

Most Mac users are extremely satisfied with the construction of their machines. It’s the software and random drive failures that plague users…all computer users for that matter.

DELL manufactures on the cheap…breaks…falls apart, I’ve have 3 MacBook Pros and 3 Dell Laptops…Apples and Oranges. And yes, that’s a pun. IBM (Lenovo) and Apple make quality (durable) goods. Their laptops are some of the best engineered and best designed products on the market.

The iPhone has one achilles heel, the battery. It keeps me from using the 3G connection, because of battery life. Before Apple can really push the envelope, they’ll need to solve the power issue. In order to have a device power a desktop like you’re mentioning you’ll need a multi-threaded processor, and sufficient power for both the CPU and the other chips and services.

We’re still 5 years off at least. The iPhone is an amzing device, but an all-in-one replacement it is not. Technology just isn’t their yet to support the power needed to deliver such an experience.

flashape

What the…MacBook pros falling apart? where did you come up with that one? I’m not saying it can’t happen, but I’ve dropped mine hard enough to warp the casing and it’s still fine.

On top of that, the death of the desktop has long been predicted, even expected…way before the iPhone was born.

chuckstar22

@flashape I have seen at least 6 Macbooks with some crack, dent or other warp that was not caused by dropping or damage, just normal use. I know that the death of the desktop has been a long time coming, but do you agree that it could be devices like the iPhone that bring it?

chuckstar22

@rob abbott you might be right about the iPhone taking 5 years. Maybe Microsoft will find a way to deliver it sooner. I think they stand to gain the most from it, given their stake in the OS and Office apps.

Tink

I’m not sure it would kill off the laptop, unless they come up with some groundbreaking new interfaces for typing and using the limited screen size. The beauty of a laptop is that you can work whilst traveling or away from the office. Even if the iPhone was capable of running tools like Flex Builder and Flash, it would be an absolute usability nightmare!

Also gotta say that my Macbook pro feels pretty well built. I’ve dropped it a couple of times and it just took on a couple of scratched. There’s only one I’ve seen with a decent dent, with was drop at FiTC, and the owner just bent it back out, and it was working like normal.

a mac user

“The iPhone already has wireless connection, but could tap into your work’s LAN. Upon connecting online, or even detecting your work network”

pigs ar$e!

today, the network Nazi’s at work have decreed all FireFox installs are to be removed from workstations. Chrome is forbidden to be installed. This is now State Govt policy for all government agencies and enterprises.

dream on of your Apple device world, mate, dream on.

Thomas

I think your scenario sounds great for a future road map. Altough i think it will take some years, I would like to see this happen. I know it sounds extreme to conclude that there are no more laptops needed. But if we take a closer look to the mobile explosion. It is only been 5 years that the first colour screen was implemented in a mobile phone. if you take a look at the iphone now as a comparison.. pretty amazing i guess.

Mobile is future and I believe it is only a matter of time to get them designed/manifactured as powerfull as laptops. Not meaning they will fully replace them, I think your scenario is not that abstract.

Greets Thomas

Scott Morgan

I have to agree with the other commenters Chuck, don’t know of too many mac books with damage? I have 3, all work great, one got dropped from a table and landed on a hardwood floor, it dented, but like someone else mentioned just bent it back and I was good to go. Everyone in my department at work is on Mac Books and we are all running strong (touch wood).

As for the mobile device replacing the computer. Take a look at Japan, this has already happened. The PC is a thing of the past over there. Home computers aren’t as common there some say due to the smaller living quarters, some say because the wireless bandwidth is amazing.

Lastly, with the right settings and no how you can get your iPhone on your corporate LAN using the cisco IPSec VPN client on the phone. http://tinyurl.com/4c5fmn Once you are connected there isn’t a whole lot you can do just yet but i’m sure that will all change soon.

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