Thursday, August 6, 2009

What is Apple Cooking Up? iChat with VOIP and Ereading For The New iDevice

Normally, I like to talk about wireless issues and sometimes hardwares and leave Apple stuff at On Apple and Android stuff at On Android.  But in light of the FCC investigation and the continue debacles with the app store approval, lack of in some cases like Google's Latititude and Google Voice apps, I want to put this to a wider audience of mobile warriors.  Is Apple up to something huge here?  Or just being a jerk because it can?

For a company like Apple who likes to keep its cards very close to its vest, and, at times, denying it even has any cards, it is also very smart.  The fact that Apple is an arrogant is a given.  Maybe arrogant is too strong a word.  Regardless of how folks feel about Apple, it is smart, it makes great mobile devices, and is always looking down the field.

So, I wonder if it's behavior stem more from its future plans and unwillingness to divulge them until they feel the time is right.  And though Sherlock Holmes would not approve of my methods, I've nonetheless come to the following likely explanations for Apple's seemingly erratic behaviors.  

An unannounced product with certain new features.  These new features are : iChat feature with VOIP much like Google Voice and ebook reading capability.  

It's explanation that GV app would confuse iPhone users just doesn't play well.  But think back when Podcaster was rejected.  Then months later, a new iPhone OS update includes a new feature for users to download podcasts.  So, there is precedence where Apple reject a current app that serves to duplicate a future feature it has yet to unveil.  And all this time, people have been asking for iChat to be included on the iPhone.  Apple may be very close to unveiling a similar app that works similar to what Google Voice can do and, perhaps, even VOIP.

One thing I have to mention about particular iChat speculation.  I don't see video chat anywhere.  As much as everyone hopes to see it on the next i-device, I just don't see it happen or the need for Apple to unveil it now.  

Also, TUAW is reporting that Apple is rejecting ebooks and ereaders on a wholesale scale.  My first thought was to attribute it to the Kindle debacle and that Apple doesn't want to have to go into iPhones and iPod Touches to steal back apps it had already sold the way Amazon did.  I'm no longer certain about that.  Call it a hunch.  But I believe it may be Apple's effort to drive reading materials through the iTunes store.  Amazon simply gave Apple a wider latitude to reject reading and book apps.

Not convinced?  Okay.  More than a year ago, Steve Jobs did declare that no one reads anymore and went as far as to predict that Kindle will fail.  However, Jobs also once said no one will want to watch video on a small screen only to release the iPod Video later on.

To avoid contradicting himself, Steve Jobs will use his reality distortion field to convince us that  reading is okay again and fun because the mystery device he'd be holding in his hands will make all that possible and more. Suddenly, we reading, especially on Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

Also today, Apple's Phil Schiller released an explanation for the mismanaged situation of a dictionary app called Ninjawords.  I mean if anything, Apple ought to explain about the GV app rejection and other matters like crippling Skype and Slingplayer.  Not about some ninja dictionary.  But talking about the dictionary app doesn't hurt Apple.  It helps Apple look more open.  Suddenly blogs are now talking about a "more open" Apple and less so about the GV rejection.  And if my assertions above are correct, Apple avoids having to include notions of future products and features.

So you see. Apple is willing to talk.  Just not about unreleased products and features.

Note:  When Apple releases its Macbook touch, iPad, or iTablet (which ever name you prefere) with ereading capability, Amazon and Sony will publicly declare how it validates their Kindle and eReader efforts all these years but, inwardly, they may be saying "there goes the f@#$% ebooks market!".

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