Many industry insiders are expecting Apple to announce a new and updated (even rebranded Apple TV at tomorrow’s media event. The big news in this rumor is that many are expecting the device to make a platform switch. The current Apple TV runs a modified version of the desktop Mac OSX; rumor has it the updated device will run the company’s iOS which was originally designed for the iPhone. This rumored shift, though subtle and under the hood, would signal a larger shift towards mobile computing, and away from the desktop Mac OS.
There is no doubt that Apple has become the “Mobile Device Company” that Steve Jobs declared they were during this past January during the iPad launch event. With the introduction of the original iPod, many saw the device as one that would ultimately build brand awareness, and ultimately grow the then weak Mac sales. While this ‘halo effect’ never fully materialized, some are looking to Apple’s newest endeavor into the mobile computing sector (with iOS) as their answer to this prediction. This staggering shift in focus is not an abandonment of the desktop OS, but instead is foreshadowing of the consumer mind-shift towards mobile computing.
The world has gone mobile.
The world was a very different place in January 2007 when the iPhone was first unveiled. At the time tasks like email and web browsing were relegated to desktop and laptop computers. That all changed with the iPhone. The world is different now; and Apple’s revenue stream indicates it is a dramatically different place indeed. Apple’s iPod and iOS (iPhone,iPod Touch, iPad) divisions now account for not a fraction, but a majority of the company’s revenue.
Apple is a technology company that has continued to reinvent itself by consistently plussing their best ideas and products. While many technology companies are satisfied with a hit product, Apple is not. They are constantly evolving and improving their offerings --- and as a result, they have created fans instead of just customers. When asked by Businessweek back in 2003 why Apple was refusing to cut back on R&D in the face of an uncertain economy, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the following:
“What has happened in technology over the last few years has been about the downturn, not the future of technology. A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of [customers], they would continue to open their wallets. And that's what we've done. We've been turning out more new products than ever before,”
Rumors Gone Wild.
The San Francisco Chronicle this weekend chimed in with this bold prediction about the future of the company:
“An Apple event on Wednesday could underscore how the company's fortunes are increasingly moving beyond the computer to an array of connected devices.”
“While the event will dazzle with hardware, it could prove to be an important showcase highlighting how iOS, Apple’s 3-year-old mobile operating system, is reshaping the company into a post-PC leader.”
Only Apple knows what tomorrow’s highly anticipated announcement event will unveil. One thing is certain though - the future of computing, and the future of Apple is mobile.