Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Preliminary Speculation on Apple's nearly $4B Payment For Future Tech: I think It's About Glass

I'll have more to say on this but right now, I want to give my initial speculation on what I think Apple may have paid upfront for with the $3.9 billion Tim Cook mentioned in Apple earnings call yesterday

Glass.  Not just LCD or the Retina screen that many folks are speculating about but glass that goes on the iPhone.  The gorilla glass from Corning.  And more than just trying to find a stronger material for the iPhone, Apple is looking to add touch put to the underside of the iOS devices.

Beginning with the iPhone.  Probably not iPhone 5 but I'm guess it'll be for iPhone 6 and beyond. 

And while this doesn't mean twice the LCD screen, it does mean twice the type of glass that's needed to take in touch controls.  And a few weeks ago, there was a new patent granted to Apple that allows the touch contacts to be placed closer.  

Speculation then was that it will allow Apple to make thinner iOS devices but it could mean that it'll allow Apple to add touch to the bottom of the iPhone or iPod touch without increasing the thickness of the devices.

I've got other speculations on what Apple might have put the nearly $4 billion down payment for.  But this is what I'm most excited to share with you.  Again, these are my own speculations and one that I like to see.

Back touch input will put a whole new dynamics in how we interact with our mobile devices.  I fully expect other device makers to be looking into this.  But if I'm right, it does look like Apple has a jump on everyone else again.

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