Apple TV 2.0

January 31, 2007

We’ve been getting a TON of recon on the Apple TV, and we know it’s not so sexy as to talk about tablets and so forth, but feel like this is worth reporting on nevertheless…you can be the judge…

Let’s paint a picture, shall we? See if you recognize this one:

  1. Introduce a new device and price it at a premium (since you know you’ll sell as many as you can make at first, anyway)…
  2. Cut the price once R&D has been recouped…
  3. Once the market penetration has started, introduce new features, services, etc. tied to the platform…
  4. Profit (okay, so it’s a four step instead of three step plan like in South Park)

Do you remember the last time we saw that formula? Yep, the iPod…which lead to the iTunes store, which lead to complete and total market domination by Apple. Recon looking forward to Apple TV 2.0 suggests a similar path in place (only this is a five-step version of the above):

  1. Introduce Apple TV, sell it for $300 (already done)
  2. Cut the price for Christmas 2007 to $199 and MOVE UNITS
  3. Macworld 2008 – Introduce a firmware upgrade that allows direct purchase of content via iTunes (no computer needed)…also other video sources, like YouTube…and also video games (complete with a wireless controller option)
  4. Introduce one more upgrade that turns your very large install base into full fledged IP TV users…tied not just to things like iTunes and YouTube, but also directly to cable providers (and potentially content providers themselves, thus cutting the cable folks right out of the business)…thus biting Microsoft in the @$$ again while they were trying to get their act together on IPTV with whatever BS they are doing with their mishmash of approaches…
  5. Profit & completely dominate this market, too.

The end? Probably not, there is even more up Steve’s sleeve than this, but we wanted to get this out there for everyone’s knowledge…to be clear, this is a combination of tips and reports, along with our usual commentary and analysis. Do you see it going another way? Sound off in the comments or applerecon@gmail.com.

And as always, don’t forget to give us a DiggDigg!

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Viewer Mail – Apple Special Event

January 30, 2007

Well color us impressed!! Color iPod Shuffles…wooo…er…yawn. Anyway, while we work up the next rumor post, here’s something else we’ve been meaning to do…

Rather than try to respond to all the comments from the banner week last week here at Apple Recon comment by comment, we thought we’d take a moment and address a few of the ones that were sent through, in a post…we will regularly do a “Viewer Mail” segment here at Apple Recon, again, trying to be different from the other rumor sites that are very “one way” and never do anything like this. You can certainly expect more of this from us in the future, and yes, we will address the criticisms as well as the compliments, we’re equal opportunity offenders here at Apple Recon. We will never censor someone that just doesn’t agree with us (in fact, we’ll do the opposite, and will engage in a lively debate with you!) If that makes you hate us and want to post anonymous coward comments, well, sorry about that…but we stand for what we believe in and are doing this our way. Without further ado…

“Ben Hallert” posted a note about updated Mac Books and monitors, all being multi-touch enabled. Our take is that it is probably too soon to see that in the Mac Books (unless Apple is going to come out with a convertible Mac Book / Tablet)…and monitors would be way cool, but that size, gotta be way expensive too (probably most would opt for similar Wacom devices that do double duty as a monitor and graphics tablet).

“ding dong” and “UK Dev” both posted notes that said Leopard isn’t nearly ready yet. We don’t disagree that it could be the case, but we have yet to get any reports to that extent. All sources continue to point toward shipping on the magical March anniversary date (6 years to the day that Mac OS X was released). Even if the date does slide for the release, you can bet that Steve Jobs will be getting the 10.5/Leopard full story out into the world very, VERY soon, to take even more thunder away from Vista!

“richard trickle” (nice ;), wants bacon cooking tips…Rachel Ray, perhaps? 😉

“Cheeseburger Brown” would like to see differentiation between the Mac Book and Mac Book Pro…we think that the biggest difference is that graphics card, and while that doesn’t warrant a $700 premium, once you throw in the bigger screen, backlit keyboard, Firewire 800 and express card slot, among other things, it gets to be a better story. Perhaps we’ll see a Core 2 Quad in the Mac Book Pro sometime soon??

“Tom” was interested in a touch screen iPod with HDD storage…we completely agree with you there, that is, without a doubt, coming…only question is will it be before iPhone goes on sale, or after??

“BeJesus” asks about the top secret features of 10.5. We believe that by far the biggest top secret feature is the new interface…if you want a preview of where Apple is going, look at the colors and interface queues in Front Row, iPhone, etc…it will be dark, much sleeker and less candy-like than Aqua, and you can expect all the goodness of tabs, core animation, and, dare we say it, an updated Finder, in Cocoa!

“Philber” wants the old 12″ form factor back. We agree entirely, one of our editors actually writes all of his posts from a 12″ PowerBook G4! He has a variety of other macs, a Mac Book, Mac Mini, etc. but the 12″ PowerBook G4 is just such a road warrior…

In fact, lots of you chimed in wanting a 12″ Mac Book Pro…(or Mac Book Duo??) we believe that it is coming. Our question to you, which would you rather have, a Tablet Mac or a 12″ Mac Book Duo? Why? We suspect that for most everyone, the answer is “both”…maybe it’ll be another iPhone-like announcement (3 devices, all in one!). Can you hear Steve Jobs standing up and saying “Today we’re introducing three new devices…an ultraportable Mac Book, a Tablet Mac, and a location-aware GPS-enabled PC…all in one”? We can certainly imagine that, but sadly it’s probably a little while off still before we see all three in one…anyone that wants to dish dirt, applerecon@gmail.com…and the comments are always open.

Not that you’d want to, but we’ll give you a link to Digg us anyway 🙂 We tend to think everything around here is Digg-able, but hey, that’s just us!

A new Apple TV post is on the way next…stay tuned!


Contest #1 Winner!

January 29, 2007

A fast one, the winner, a “Steven” posted the following on January 27, 6:31 PM :

“Apple will resurrect the Yellow Box for Windows allowing Mac apps compiled in Xcode to be run on Windows machines.”

There were a few other guesses that were close, including folks that guessed Safari would be coming to Windows, and iLife would be coming to Windows…but Steve nailed this one right on the head.

We have sent him an email to confirm details to ship his prize (and yes, we know, it’s not much…it’s more of a keepsake than anything fancy, since we don’t run any ads, and this is not some kind of revenue stream for us, give us a break!)…

Steven, if you’re out there, check your email…and by the way, if your last name turns out to be “Jobs”…well, that’d explain how you knew the answer!! 🙂

UPDATE – We’ve heard from Steven, and can report that his last name is NOT Jobs…or at least, he claims it isn’t!

Back to the rumor mongering shortly!


Mac Apps On Windows

January 29, 2007

Okay, as long promised (and delivered on time!), here is the story that no one else seems to be covering, but is the result of three separate tips that we have gotten since we started operations. More than a year ago, rumors started to crop up about this subject, using the codename “Dharma” (from Lost, for fans of that show), and yet no one has sat up and taken notice (probably because on the surface, things like iPhones and Mac hardware are more interesting to speculate about)…if you read until the end of this article, we promise you will more excited about this than any other Apple rumor on the web today!

First, a little introduction…everyone these days is talking about running Windows apps on the Mac with stuff like VMware, Wine, and Parallels coherence mode. That’s all well and good, as every now and then maybe you want a little Visio or Access or some other pile of crap not available for the Mac. Our question, though, is what about going the other way, with Mac apps on Windows? How would Apple do this? Why would Apple do this? When would they do it? What would happen if Apple did this? Sit back and enjoy the absolute cutting edge of Apple Recon, which you can only find here in an EXCLUSIVE report, told in our famous goofy style…

First, the how…put a quarter in the way back machine as we take you back in time to the days of Rhapsody. For those that don’t remember those times (you were probably too busy day-trading eToys, Avenue A and Excite stock), we’ll provide a Wikipedia link. You see, Apple once had technology called the Yellow Box, they even openly talked about it…it would allow Cocoa applications to be run on Windows (there are already some open source efforts to do this, with things like GNUstep (see the Cocoa article at Wikipedia for more info))! This was all technology that was inherited with the NeXT acquisition, and as Apple has recently shown with the Intel version of Mac OS X, old projects don’t tend to die at Apple, but rather to live a secret life.

Where this gets really interesting is that since our huge traffic numbers catapulted Apple Recon into the forefront of the Apple rumor sites, we have gotten exclusive reports that the Yellow Box is alive and well. Apple has nearly every Cocoa application they write running on Windows (yes, even Vista) in their skunkworks labs. Imagine the Yellow Box being deployable like the .NET runtime, or the Sun JRE; technically, they share similarities in implementation…just as you can run a Java application on Windows or Mac, with Yellow Box, you can run Cocoa applications on Windows. Connecting the Yellow Box to your application, currently, is a build option in the secret version of Xcode that Apple maintains to do this. In the future, such applications will be truly universal between Mac OS X and Windows at the discretion of the publisher.

Second, the why…there are numerous reasons why:

  1. Switchers – once people see how great Apple’s apps are, and start to rely on them for things like surfing the web, managing photos, editing video, etc. they will begin to realize “why do I need this piece of $h!t Windows operating system with all its security and virus holes?” Just as they have already started to realize due to iPod and iTunes.
  2. Irreparable damage to Microsoft – software developers are already frustrated with Microsoft (the fact that apps written to take advantage of all the new Vista crap won’t run on XP and 2000 for instance) and moving to Apple in droves (note the amazing increases in attendees at Apple’s WWDC each year)…imagine a future where you build your application on the Mac, and the same application works for Windows, too!! Once developers start moving to Apple hardware and development tools, Microsoft becomes completely marginalized, if no one is using its developer tools and building Windows-only applications, no one is locked in to its platform…and here is the Microsoft dirty secret…no one uses Windows because they like Windows, they use it because they have to!!
  3. Java for the 21st century – even today, Java applications are slow, and their user interfaces are inconsistent at best. Yellow Box solves both of those problems, Cocoa applications are by far the fastest on Mac OS X (and because of the lightweight and portable NeXT-derived APIs, share that same speed and efficiency on Windows), and if there is anyone that knows how to get the UI right, it’s Apple! Thanks to GNUstep, much of the open source foundation is there to bring this to Linux, should it ever become desirable for Apple to do so!
  4. Bring new developers (entry level) to the platform – anyone noticed lately that Apple’s developer tools are FREE compared to the $500+ for Visual Studio (and let’s not even get started on the thousands of dollars you have to spend on Visual Studio Team System if you want to go that route)?
  5. By selling Mac applications that are already written to the huge Windows installed base, Apple will add hundreds of millions of dollars in pure profit to its bottom line…not to mention other Mac developers (and can you imagine Adobe’s joy to be able to develop only a single version of all of its applications?).
  6. Being Intel-native means two things, both that developers need to move to Xcode to build Intel-native Mac apps (which will then “just work” on Windows with Yellow Box), but also that Apple’s job at building Yellow Box itself is much easier than having to keep both PPC and Intel versions going (of course, they will continue to have a PPC version for Mac OS X beyond Leopard).

Third, the when…this one is pretty straightforward…Apple will NOT release this, or even speak publicly about it, until AFTER Microsoft releases an Intel-native version of Office. The Office club that Microsoft wields is why the Yellow Box disappeared from the face of the earth in the first place years ago…times have changed, however, and Apple no longer is as desperate for future versions of Microsoft software on its platform. The Yellow Box will be seen by Microsoft as an outright declaration of war (as Mr. Ballmer likes to say, “developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers…woooaaagh!!”). You can expect nearly an immediate end of Microsoft software development for the Apple platform when this is announced. So, we don’t expect this announcement to come until at least Macworld 2008, once Office for Intel is already shipping and we are a couple of years away from the next release of Office. By then, Apple will have less to fear as it will have a current Intel native version of Office, there will be a fully functional Open Office out there (a Cocoa one, perhaps??) and for those that still want a true MS Office can always run it via Wine, Parallels or any of the other options.

Lastly, what would happen if Apple did this…first of all, it would end any fears of “developers stop developing Mac applications because you can just run their Windows counterparts via Parallels” because it would in fact cause the exact opposite to happen (build for the Mac, run on Windows…basically an Apple version of Wine, only instead of being reverse engineered by open source hackers, built by Apple itself); second, while Microsoft is focused on the wrong game, beating Google and building its “Windows Live” and “Office Live” Apple will come in and eat their lunch and crush them on the desktop platform (where all of Microsoft’s profits come from); and third, it will simultaneously bring piles of cash, hordes of switchers and legions of developers to the Mac platform, hurting Microsoft beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Now we know, one of the arguments against this is that if we give people Mac apps Windows, there’s no reason to switch to the Mac…seriously…think about that for a second…Windows is such a mess, its very existence is the reason you switch to the Mac…getting a bigger taste of how good life can be with Mac applications will only make more people switch, not less!

Looking forward a couple of years, you can quickly see why Apple’s future is so bright and Microsoft should be very, very worried. The best part is there is nothing Microsoft can do to stop it…the boys in Redmond can’t even get their own OS shipped on time, let alone bringing any security or innovation to the table…as already mentioned, they are fighting Google on the web, Sony and Nintendo in video games, Apple in media devices, Linux in servers, legal battles on dozens of fronts, etc. which ends up giving them too many fronts to fight wars on, and leaves them wide open for an attack at home. The Microsoft house of cards is starting to fall, and all those iPod-loving-Apple-fans are ready to say good riddance!

Ultimately, the only respones that Microsoft executives will have is to kill Mac Office (which will immediately get the anti-trust concerns going again), and if they want to have a prayer at holding on to a development monopoly, do the exact same thing as Apple and release a “.NET/Win32 runtime” for other, non-Microsoft platforms. But as soon as they do that, and you an run all your Windows apps on a Microsoft-sanctioned runtime on other operating systems…well who in their right mind would keep running Windows??? This spells absolute doom for Microsoft, no matter how you look at it!

What do you think? Post comments below, or send us your tips, applerecon@gmail.com …and of course, please don’t forget to:

Digg DIGG THIS! (each Digg brings more people here, who pass on more tips, which let us deliver more recon…it’s the Apple Recon circle of life!)


Apple Event Much Sooner Than Thought?

January 27, 2007

We don’t put a lot of stock in this right now, having not gotten any confirmation of it ourselves, but there is an alleged invitation floating around the web of an Apple Event on February 1 (that’d be this coming Friday). Better safe than sorry, we decided to post it without any confirmation, and let the Apple Recon faithful make their own decision. We think it’s fishy how blurred the Apple logo is, yet how sharp the rest of the text appears…also, the large text looks very plain, not smooth and antialiased like Apple usually would do…we’ll see…

FebruaryFirstEvent

Let us be the first to say though, that if it turns out we were wrong and this does come on February 1, nothing would make us happier! See, ultimately, we’re all Apple fans like everyone else that reads this site, so the less time we have to wait until we see Leopard and iLife and everything else, the better!!

Still working on the big Monday story, stay tuned! (and as of this writing, no one has gotten very close to guessing what the big story is about…keep on guessing!)

Digg Us if you love us (or if you don’t)!!


Guess The Rumor Contest

January 26, 2007

Want to win a vintage Apple t-shirt? Read on…

As you saw with our post earlier today, we have a major story coming out on Monday, by far the biggest we’ve ever worked on, and without a doubt the hottest Apple rumor out there (and it boggles our minds that no one is reporting on it!). As we hinted, it has to do with Apple (duh), more specifically, Apple software.

So, while we don’t want to let the cat out of the bag quite yet (come back Monday morning, probably around 8-9AM Pacific time for the big news), we thought it’d be fun to have a little Apple Recon Contest!

The full details, after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »


Jealousy Abounds In Rumorville

January 26, 2007

Before we get to the meat of this post, we have to give you a little inside information about what is coming next from Apple Recon (would that make this “Apple Recon Recon”??)…we have an exclusive story that none of the other rumor sites have picked up on about a major Apple software initiative. We are working on it for Monday, and we know that it is going to blow your mind. Unlike some sites, we WILL post it when we say we will! We need the weekend to track down all the sources and get it perfect, so please bear with us. In the mean time…

Before we get into the jealousy from the other guys, first we have to give some thanks to some of the other sites out there that have picked up on the Apple Recon ad-free revolution!

O’Grady’s PowerPage, which we love, has us as their top story as of this writing.

MacSurfer’s Headline News, also a long time favorite, has picked up on us, too (under Analysts/Commentary/Editorial/Opinion)!

We really appreciate the coverage by two sites that we have so much respect for.

Back to the topic at hand, however…all is not well in rumorville…some of the other rumor sites have started to sit up and take notice of the new kid on the block, and are none too happy about the way we’ve burst onto the scene. We guess that when you cut the crap, don’t make false promises of upcoming stories that never materialize, and don’t spam the heck out of people with ads and popups, it is a real threat to the Apple rumor scene. Other sites start to take notice when you’ve been the number one site for three days straight on WordPress!!

Well, we like it OUR way, and are glad that you do too! Our readers keep coming through with the Diggs and comments and tips and support!! Keep it coming!! Without further ado, here’s some of the crap you can see from the “other guys” after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »