I spend a lot of time on Apple products and consult a number of clients on how best to use computers & mobile devices. For this blog post, I am sharing my ten predictions I have for Apple product, marketing and service releases for 2012:
1. Apple will begin Courting the Businessperson with Renewed Effort
The incredible list of products already exist. But there is a huge gap between Apple product knowledge and use in the business world. Apple needs to begin devoting massive ad spending to court this segment of the market. This prediction isn’t as much about upcoming product launches as it is in marketing focus.
For example, I go into board rooms and meeting rooms all around the city of Atlanta. I have only seen one Apple TV in a meeting room. Every board room and meeting room should have an Apple TV hooked up to the projector or flat screen. It’s just $100 and it allows any person with an iPad to show a presentation through a WiFi connection. I hear that Turner Broadcasting is installing Apple TVs in all of their meeting rooms. Other companies should do the same. Think of the savings in time from not having to have different presenters plug their computers into a projector.
2. Apple TV will be Renamed
The Apple TV device has expanded beyond its name to the point that “Apple TV” actually confuses people. Is it a TV? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? And plus, the rumor is that Apple is actually going to release a TV this year, as in an actual flat screen TV.
3. AirPlay will be extended to All Devices and All Programs
Right now, I can mirror my iPad screen onto a flat screen through Apple TV. But I can’t do that with my iPhone or MacBook computer. What if I could show a presentation on my MacBook without having to get up from my seat and plug in my computer to a monitor? What if every person in the room could show their spreadsheet, presentation, or document by simply clicking a few buttons? The ramifications for the board room and meeting room alone are enormous.
4. Apple will Advertise more about Inter-connectivity of Devices
This is another marketing prediction. Apple will (or should) use advertising money to show how seamlessly a MacBook can connect to an iPhone and how photos, documents, etc can be backed up automatically. As people use 2012 to simplify and connect their device use, Apple is in a prime spot to show how they can do this best.
5. Apple will purchase Dropbox
This prediction is one my brother-in-law has recommended for a few years. Apple should purchase Dropbox. iCloud is great for photos and a few other things, but it seriously lacks as a viable solution to saving any type of document in the cloud. With Dropbox, this could easily be integrated into iCloud.
6. AirPlay will be extended to include Multiple Devices that Play Different Songs
For instance, if I have TVs and Airport Expresses connected to different stereo systems in one location, the only way that I can pick and choose which device should play music is through iTunes on a computer. If there are 4 rooms, I can choose to play music in 2 of the 4 rooms. Right now, I can’t do that on an iPod touch, iPhone or iPad. I can only push music to one of the rooms. So, the prediction is that I can choose which room and further to that, I will be able to choose different songs, videos, etc for each room. Right now, I can only play one song. Sonos already has the capability to play different songs in different rooms. Apple should too.
7. Another AirPort Express device will be Released
My prediction is that a new AirPort Express device will be released that costs just $50 and allows for connecting to WiFi to print or connect to a stereo. The drop in price will occur because AirPort Express Lite will not have the router capability but will just be a receiving device.
8. The Mac Mini will Wirelessly Connect to an External Monitor
This will render an HDMI connection from the Mac Mini to an external monitor unnecessary. If the monitor has an Apple TV connected, the Mac Mini will connect automatically.
9. iPad & iPhone app developers will begin to treat these devices as tools instead of interfaces
Right now, you can play a racecar game on your iPad where the iPad becomes the steering wheel and the actual track shows on the flat screen through Apple TV. This is just the beginning. We will begin to see the iPad become the paintbrush and the flat screen TV will be the canvas. The iPad will be the keyboard and the TV or monitor will be the output. iPad Mirroring was the big thing for 2011. Separate interfaces will be the big thing for 2012.
10. The iPod Nano will add a Telephone Feature and WiFi Connection
Most people talk on their phones through a headset already. The actual iPhone device may not be required as a phone if that could be moved to the iPod Nano. Plus, it would be incredibly awesome to start up Siri and tell her to call your wife by slightly lifting up your arm and dictating to your watch. The WiFi connection will open up the device to Apps and more connectivity.