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Is Apple trying to make the future a reality?

Is Apple trying to make the future a reality?

In every science fiction series or movie that is set in the future there are a few common staples: hover car, jetpack, multiple screen TV, video phones. Well, Apple might not have anything to do with cars or jetpacks (yet), but it seems like they are trying to make the others household products.

Video phones have been around for a while now with Google video chat and Skype, and Apple allowed us to do this on our actual cell phones rather than our computers. With two cameras you can chat to your loved ones and see their face and what they’re doing no matter how far apart you are. However, we don’t think that Apple will stop just there. If you want to pretend that you’re in the future and have a large screen video call you can just hook up your computer to your TV set as a monitor and use a webcam, but we think that Apple is going to just cut out this middle set.

Apple TV has been around for a while but there are rumours spreading that Apple are going to make its own TV rather than a box to attach to other brands’ sets. This means that you can have your Apple TV right alongside your normal TV; this also means that your large screen can and will double as your entertainment centre and maybe even some aspect of your computer.

Going one step further, it is obvious that Apple will have a webcam built into the TV, allowing people to have video chats in between watching So You Think You Can Dance re-runs, but there is something else that Apple likes to do besides putting cameras on everything: make it sync. Your new Apple TV set will be able to ‘talk’ to your phone allowing you to use it as a remote and to take calls on your screen.

These are rumours that have been spreading around the internet for the past eight or so months with no word either way from Apple. However, now that Cook is CEO he may want to make his own mark on the company (and indeed the world of computing) by pushing this idea forward. While the initial rumours stated that we would be having these TV sets by the end of 2011 seem farfetched at the moment (Apple does love to give people plenty of time to line up for their new products after all), it could still be a possibility for next year or maybe even the one after.

There are some good reasons why this rumour is false. Firstly, many people believe it because of a job ad Apple posted a little while back. Apple stated that they were looking for a power supply design engineer to develop high density power supplies for next generation Macintosh systems, including desktops, netbooks, standalone displays, servers, and TV. Astute readers took note that they differentiated between standalone displays and TV, prompting the thought that Apple are making a TV set. Other reporters state that Apple is far too secretive when it comes to releasing new product ideas, and that they wouldn’t let it slip in a public job advertisement.

The other reason is that the market is already flooded with TV sets: LCD TVs, High Definition TVs, and 3D TVs are already out there. Apple would have to come up with something very unique to make people trade in or even sell their existing TV to buy an Apple TV. Video chat via your iPhone is one thing, but there are ways to get the same effect without buying a brand new TV set.

The last reason why some spectators don’t think Apple will move towards TV is that they have constantly said that they are a mobile device company. Twice in 2010 Jobs and Cook reiterated this fact, and TV sets aren’t very mobile.

The internet is awash with thoughts as to what Cook will do with his new CEO position. Some say that he will play it conservative for now and try to win the trust of the shareholders and employees; others say that he will try to push the envelope and make a name for himself, and others yet remind us that Jobs still has a lot of say in the company. Only time will tell.

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