Some Time On Earth (Or Something Like Earth)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Apple's new phone and media devices and a Google laptop in every home everywhere

Okay, the Apple "iPhone" will be rebranded not The Apple Phone because Cisco has been lapse and shoddy and sneaky with this trademark. There will be a deal. Not that it matters. In fact this first iteration of this device will be a noble failure like the Power Mac G4 Cube. It will be superseded by a new more versatile unbridled unhumbled device, an incredible device (a hint of what Disney characters will be enlisted to shill the device). It will be called the iLife Phone or iLife Device, but definitely, everyone will call it an iLife for short. The ad campaign writes itself, (iLife is your life). And gee, doesn't Apple own that brand name already? How convenient! This device will be labelled a media device, not a phone , not a music player, not a PDA because it will do everything for you communications and media wise. In less than three years after its introduction, say goodbye to the iPods except the Shuffles. The iLife will do it all - it will scare the shit out of Palm, Microsoft, Sony, Nokia and Motorola. Not to mention Dell and H-P as well. The iMac will become less and less a personal computer, as we know and use it, and really turn into an invisible media center/hub. Apple will still make computers that do creative heavy lifting, but the personal consumer Mac will finally be supplanted by a ubiquitous home electronic appliance that will work in concert with the iLife device. All those extra things added on to personal computers to make them attractive to use will be the domain of the media center. Personal computers will revert to being "computers" again.
While Apple will be eating a lot of peoples lunch, breakfast and dinner, a zillion OLPC devices will be finding their way into everyone's home as a cheap intuitive Internet device that goes anywhere. No matter if you live in the Third World or Main Street, USA, the OLPC will be the "other" ubiquitous computing device of the twenty first century. And Google will be the final piece of the puzzle that makes it happen, especially in the West. Once OLPCs start proliferating outside the Third World, Google will start distributing a Google brand OLPC that will be chock full of Google products that will generate loads of Google Ad Dollars and eat MSN and Yahoo's lunch. USD100 for a laptop? How about free? Google will make back the cost from Ad Dollars many times over. Google'll sell 'em first for about USD49.99, then cut back to USD39.99 , then USD19.99 , after that it's free as that AOL subscription disc you're using as a coaster or part of your kid's art project or if you are feeling generous and want assuage your guilt - hey, it works for public television - after you pick up your OLPC, you can log on, register the device and you can donate money to the cause to help illiterate kids in Africa. Then you can surf the net, click on the Google ads that appeal to you and everyone 's happy.
Will this bother Apple? Not in the slightest. It's not in the ad business, it's selling Porsches, Mercedes and Lamborghinis. Steve Jobs knows what business he is in and what he's selling and to who, which gives him that edge over Dell, H-P, Sony and Microsoft.


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