Bytes From The Apple — What We Expect From Todays Apple Event

By Bill Martens

With Apple poised to introduce the Apple iPad 3 or it’s equivalent, we decided to sit down and write a short laundry list of items we figure we will see today.   Many of the rumors running the mill this week have been everything from the outlandish to the absolutely hilarious and it is time to put a bit more of a cap on it all and bring the rumors back to a bit of reality.

The first thing we will see is a lot of updates to the iBooks and Apple’s educational efforts.  The iPad is an integral part of the educational effort and Apple really wants to grab even more of the market as they roll out the next version of their iPad.   These changes will include some changes to the EULA allowing more friendlier terms but they will still control the core of the technology.

The second thing we will see is the Catalogs section fleshed out in its entirety.  Apple showed glimpses of the catalog section this week, but the reality is that they are going after every major department store and seller in an effort to put them right up there with Amazon in reach in the market.   Amazon has long been pushing to over run all the other sellers, but Apple is looking to bring them totally int he fold.   I see the catalog bit not just being the catalogs, but eventually the products as well, with Apple obviously getting a percentage of the sales from that as well.

The third thing obviously will be the iPad 3 or the iPad HD or what ever the iPad will be called.  We are seeing signs that the configuration will be the 32/64/128 gb units with the top end only offering the typical Apple slight increase in memory.  It is highly doubtful that we would see 256gb on the iPad for two reasons.  The first is the cost of the memory alone would push the top end model well over the $799 range that Apple likes to keep their top end model at.  The second is the fact that Apple really wants the users of the iPad to use the iCloud service.  However, that is not really a realistic approach since syncing movies between the devices can take days at times.

The display on the iPad 3 will likely be a retina display, complete with it’s high capabilities as well as the high definition cameras that are currently on the iPhone 4S.  While many people have been pushing for Siri on the iPad, I for one dont see it happening.  At least not in any major way as that would undercut what Apple is trying to do with the iPhone 4S.  While we will see a faster CPU in the iPad 3, we will not see the mythical quad core CPU as it would price the iPad right out of peoples hands and it would also produce so much heat that Apple would have a new issue on hand with people suing them for burning their hands.

The other thing we will see this morning is an update to the Apple TV box.  While many folks are expecting more, it would be absolutely disastrous for Apple to take on the TV industry full force right off the bat.  What we do see instead is a marked improvement of the Apple TV box with more HDD space and a better remote control, allowing users to have the type of viewing experience envisioned by Steve Jobs.   This will include the ability to not only watch the TV shows and the Movies but also to watch streaming television, likely incorporating some of the major cable companies.   Slingboxes have become popular devices in the past few years and Apple may target that as well as the standard cable box, wanting to become the primary distributor of the box that people will want instead of the typical cable box or digital box.  Apple will introduce it as the logical next step.

The upgrades to the Apple TV box will likely be a 500gb HDD internal to the box.  This would make it compete directly with those Mac Mini’s for the users living rooms.   As a true believer in the Mac Mini’s capabilities, I too have one as the primary box in my living room and not the Apple TV box that everyone thinks should have similar capabilities to the Mac Min.  However, Apple will likely bring that change about today and we could see the revolution in the living room take place beginning today.

While we would obviously like to see more than this, it is highly unlikely that we will.   The One last item will be the pricing of the iPad 2 with Apple lowering the iPad 2 price to match the Kindle Fire and other android tablet devices in a more concerted effort to totally drive them out of the market place.   This is a move that Apple could make up costs with by the contracts and they could even get the phone companies to take them on to give them away for next to nothing if not for fre with two year contracts.

With 15 Minutes to go until game time, errr….I mean Event time, well, that is what we see.  I hope everyone gets what they want out of this event and I, for one, am looking forward to what Santa Cook is bringing us.

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