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Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

converge on this small iPhone now!

February15

you are probably growing weary of me blogging about technology. and, perghaps Apple and Google, in particular. but, I also know you won’t stop reading my blog because you are building wealth and becoming more interesting at cocktail parties because of the plethora of eclectic information I share with you. just jump on my bus (or even my shoulders), and I’ll carry you the rest of thee way.

…and, I’m more keen than ever around my continuing dialogue relative to emerging trends and convergence. the rest of this post begins to tie together many loose ends.

I’ve hinted at this before. but, a smaller, candy-bar-sized iPhone is going to be a reality. Apple is working on a smaller iPhone that would be about half the size of the current model and cost half as much (and, will be quite a contrast to the Tim Cook era 47″ iMac (you read that first, here). if you can’t believe me, the Wall Street Journal has some what sketchier details. the new phones will come out this summer, says the report. we think we are hearing they will be a refreshed iPhone 4, while the new iPhone 5 (with LTE and NFC as part of iOS 5) pounces into your collective lives.

we saw the prototype of the “new” iPhone, and the device was/ is significantly lighter than the iPhone 4, and had an edge-to-edge screen that could be manipulated by touch, as well as a virtual keyboard and voice-based navigation. it’s starting to look like  Apple might also be planning to upgrade the iPhone 4 for different types of carriers (CDMA, GSM, WIMAX, etc have different design requirements). but, the smaller iPhone is coming just like the iPod evolved into the Nano.

we really like the edge-to-edge screen with a touch interface. it reminded me of the obelisk from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I know the obelisk is bigger than a smaller iPhone. but, the impact on “humanity” will likely follow (monkey) suit.

the one possibly coolest new feature might be voice navigation. Apple already offers some rudimentary voice control with the current iPhone, so we don’t know if this voice navigation is something really all that new. and, Google already has it anyway. but, for many reasons, when Apple does something, almost anything, it seems more hip, refined, and cool(er).

here is a key, and where convergence drives deep… disparate and recent reports from Cult of Mac claims indicate that Apple will cut costs on the smaller iPhone in large part by drastically slashing the on-board memory of the device and relying on cloud-based content delivery.

so… with Apple deciding to lose some of the memory, which is by far the most expensive component of the iPhone (up to one-quarter of the device’s cost, according to iSuppli estimates)
, this bring “the cloud” more into the product road-map. so… now by “some” of the memory, perhaps we mean ALL of the memory. The iPhone “nano” is starting to look like it won’t have memory for onboard storage of media. this is what Santi says, anyway. It will have only enough memory to buffer media streamed from the cloud.

“think strictly storage memory,” says Santi.

providing all of this speculation thinking holds true (you have to admit we’re doing a good job here based on a visual and light touch opportunity) the smaller iPhone would pull essentially all of its media through a revamped MobileMe service, reducing the need for significant on-board storage in the same way that the Apple has been able to slash storage on the second-generation Apple TV by shifting to a streaming model.

NOTE: going back to the variable design requirement issue, I think that some on-board storage would clearly be required for the (even upgraded iOS5) operating system itself, and other critical system data, including caching of data handed down from the cloud and perhaps storage of photos and videos taken by the device should it include a camera. but, cloud storage (i.e. Apple’s iDisk) should be able to deal with that, right?

see how it all comes together? Steve Jobs has set the stage for everyone with products that scale in the direction you did not know you had to follow. but you will. do it!

but, there might be some conflicts. we also suspect that such a lean cloud-centric device would not be able to support the App Store, as Apps appear to depend on locally-stored content, and would thus require significant modification to run from the cloud.

but, is this another twist in the road where Apple forces developers to make that work, and Google looks stuck, again?

or… Apple may avoid the potential user interface issues of a smaller, lower-resolution screen by simply not allowing third-party apps at all, and opting to use only built-in apps specifically designed for the smaller screen. that’s what the guys at the Wall Street Journal might think. but, I don’t buy that. given the runaway success of the App platform, it would still be impractical for Apple to shift away from an App Store-focused ecosystem for the new device. mostly because it would detract from the larger device and broader Apple community.

there’s been a lot of speculation for a good while that Apple might move towards cloud-based music sync and services. but, licensing issues must be what’s holding up the debut of the service which we thought was originally planned for 2010. Apple may also add music backup, similar to the feature offered by Lala, which Apple acquired in December 2009, and quietly shut down a few months later. Google has also been working on an online music “locker,” but has run into problems with licensing. in any event, another new part of the MobileMe upgrade that some of the aforementioned articles indicate that users will finally be able to access their iTunes libraries without syncing to their computer. instead, files would be served wirelessly. this means the upgraded MobileMe service would give users access to their iTunes libraries from, say an iPhone or iPad, instead of requiring that the devices be synced by cable with a computer, and use space to store the actual files. this begins to make all the more sense  as the Wall Street Journal also says that Apple may open up (make it free) its MobileMe service, which automatically backs up information like contacts, photos, and videos, to a Web service. Currently, MobileMe costs ninety nine dollars ($99) per year. and, with this new iPone costing about two hundred dollars ($200), that makes the iPhone a problem for Google, and Nokia.

Read between the line…

Steve Jobs has said in the past that wireless sync services would come eventually.

if Apple stays true to form, the new service would only be compatible with the iPhone 4 and go-forward devices. obviously you will want to upgrade, and keep upgrading.

along the convergence (Steve Jobs himself told us: video everywhere and anywhere) Apple recently opened a massive new data center in North Carolina, and is apparently already planning an expansion. this could help it meet capacity needs as millions of new users take advantage of the service. Apple is going to eat Google’s Gingerbread.

peace be to my Brothers and sisters.

brian patrick cork

posted under Technology, Video
6 Comments to

“converge on this small iPhone now!”

  1. Avatar February 15th, 2011 at 8:56 am Judy Glick-Smith Says:

    Just so you know, dear Brian, I think of you as my own personal “early adopter.”

    Hanging on to your shoulders…
    Judy


  2. Avatar February 17th, 2011 at 9:01 am Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    Hey Judy.

    Thank you.

    Stay close and keep me squared and focused.

    Cork


  3. Avatar February 16th, 2011 at 2:35 am Aaron Masih Says:

    Voice will definitely change the experience. Recall that Apple bought Siri last year, one of the coolest apps out there in my opinion. I don’t know how they will pull it off, but in true Apple form, it will be revolutionary.

    I also wouldn’t worry about Nokia…at least domestically for everything and cloud devices internationally. I fear their once vaunted leadership in mobile innovation has been newly compromised in light of their recent missteps with Meego and now…wait for it… Microsoft.

    Finally, I for one will be truly excited as mobile ecosystem devices move more strongly towards cloud delivery. What was not too long ago a risky experiment with revenue implications for software companies will now become our mainstream way to consume personal and enterprise content both on the go and in our living rooms, home offices, cars, and sadly, the lavatory.


  4. Avatar February 17th, 2011 at 9:10 am Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    Hello Aaron.

    Perhaps a critical question is: Will the iPhone 5 Becomes Intelligent with the advent of Siri?

    As you know, one of Apple’s high-profile acquisitions was the buyout of Siri in 2010. For the sake of other readers I’ll add that this is a personal mobile assistant that was spun out of SRI International, and whose core technology came from a DARPA-funded artificial intelligence project called CALO. This is an example of the influence of key Board members like Al Gore. Gore may not be the “father of the internet”, but it was he that drove the effort to open DARPA up in a manner that we now recognize as the internet. Hey… I think this is an idea for another blog post!

    Siri was transformed into an iPhone application that could listen to questions either spoken aloud or typed in and then provide answers. At first, the focus was on the sort of out-and-about questions you may have, e.g. When does that movie show?, What Chinese restaurants are nearby?, Can I get a table at my favorite Italian place?, What’s the phone number for a taxi company?, etc.

    To be clear why this is relevant to iPhone setting the standard, only a few months post-acquisition, the app was updated to integrate results provided by the computational knowledge engine, Wolfram Alpha. For those unaware, Wolfram Alpha is a new sort of search technology which can provide factual answers to questions, as opposed to a list of search results. It currently consists of 10 trillion-plus pieces of curated, objective data from primary sources, and it can perform calculations on the fly – over 50,000 types of algorithms and equations are now possible.

    With this sort of technology built into Apple’s next iPhone, assuming that’s the case, the device could easily go head-to-head with Google Android’s voice search and voice actions, the former which directs you to results from related Google Search properties and the latter which helps you perform actions on your phone, including sending text messages, routing a trip on a map, pulling up a map of nearby attractions or businesses, launching the phone’s music player to play a certain song or artist and more.

    Will iPhone 5 up the feature set of its competitor? Yes.

    Count on that.

    One of the interesting things about Siri is that it integrates with third-party data sources like OpenTable for restaurant reservations and Yelp for local business listings. Those services, incidentally, also exist as iPhone apps. What if Apple tied together this new voice interface to the device not only with the services themselves, but could also direct you to the appropriate app to learn more? You would then have a whole new interface for locating and launching apps – a search engine of sorts, even, where the focus isn’t on what app name you need to find (as iPhone’s native search does today), but on what action you need to take.

    Cork


  5. Avatar February 17th, 2011 at 10:06 am Aaron Masih Says:

    Not to mention that Siri uses speech integration powered by Nuance…

    Full disclosure to those other than Cork. I run global business dev for Nuance mobile solutions, and help companies integrate speech into their mobile applications. So while this wasn’t the reason for participating in this post, I clearly do have an opinion on the impact of things like Siri on the marketplace.


  6. Avatar February 17th, 2011 at 7:23 pm Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    That makes Nuance part of the solution.

    And, it demonstrates your own wisdom and vision for working so hard to be part of that company, and represent it so nobly.

    In the next week or so, I’ll be going after Google and Larry Page again (think “manipulation” and “infomercials”). I see evil afoot. So, I’m grateful for Siri and it’s role in enabling Apple to take Google and its poorly developed applications down yet another peg.

    Cork


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