On the eve of Macworld 2009, I wanted to put out my predictions for both Macworld and Apple for the year 2009. Now, I have to preface these predictions with the fact that I am in no way qualified to make any of these assertions, but this is just my observations.
1. Steve Jobs will resign this year. For months, I believe some of the best minds in the world have been planning the transition, which has had as much time and energy invested as the Obama administration transition. The successor is going to be tapped to be a luminary torchbearer with passion and insight, so that Apple will not suffer the same fate as the previous departure.
2. Macworld is going to be as sensational if not more than usual this year. Apple is going to strive harder than ever to prove that they are independent of Steve. This Macworld has been rumored to be lackluster. I disagree. I believe that it is going to hold some major surprises.
3. Apple will introduce a media center solution with DVR. Yes there are third party TV Tuners that offer DVR, and Apple TV can for the most part fill the rest, but Apple learned the power of the singular device phenomena with the iPhone and the App Store. They are going to present a unified entertainment solution for the home that offers easy access to all aspects of the store. This device will integrate with iPhone and other Macs in the home, and it will allow “sling” functionality to watch recorded programs from the road.
4. Apple will release a touchscreen interface that is priced around $800. This device will primarily be an Internet console and will resemble the iPhone, but it will offer a bluetooth/detachable/external keyboard. This keyboard will also be usable on the iPhone.
5. 2009 will be the first year that Apple’s OS vulnerabilities will be exploited catching users totally off guard.
Yes, Apple will probably introduce an alternative input that is going to be revolutionary, but its buy-in and adoption is not going to be longterm. Apple is going to continue to cater a line of products to its high-end loyal constituency, but the company is going to focus on developing products that are hot, sensational, and digestable by the mainstream. This approach will continue to inch up their marketshare. We’ll see.