Editor’s note: TVMama contributor E. Blasberg has put several significant predictions into this item. Take a moment to read all of it, because he builds his case carefully and compellingly.
By E. Blasberg
First there was the VCR (anyone remember Betamax?). The VCR allowed you to time shift and preserve your television viewing (provided you could figure out how to program it; I think more people had 00:00:00 blinking in their living rooms than would care to admit it).
Twenty-three years later came the next major advance: TiVO (I’m not counting DVD’s because no one records on to them from the air or cable). TiVO let you timeshift your viewing in a much easier way, but essentially it was a VCR on steroids (not a new idea in and of itself, but the way it allowed you to record shows was orders of magnitude ahead, plus it saved you lots of money on tapes).
Then came AppleTV. Now you can not only watch TV shows and movies that you’ve bought online or put on your computer in your living room, but you can play music from any playlist you had set up in iTunes for your iPod or see any photo album you created in iPhoto or watch any home movies you’d made with your digital video camera. You can even watch YouTube on your TV, and who knows what else may be coming down the pike for this device in its infancy (e.g., online TV shows and movie rentals in real-time)?
Now, as I’ve argued previously, AppleTV surely is (or soon will be) a paradigm shift of immense magnitude. But only for your living room. What if I want to multitask my TV viewing? What if I want to watch TV on the bus or subway or airplane? Why “waste” those transport hours when I could be watching the latest episode of Lost on a stunning, 3.5″ crystal clear screen?
Two paradigm shifts in one year? Maybe. I am, of course, referring to the. The next greatest “must have” gadget of this decade.
True, theis primarily a cell phone. True, video has been available on the for some time. But not in this quality, with this much ease of use and not with a full web browser (for watching web videos). It even does email.
But the ultimate secret about the iPhone is that Apple completely misnamed this device. And they did it on purpose. The true name of this portable media player/cell phone/Internet device is the “Mac Nano.” For you see, it’s actually running Mac OS X. So, while Apple’s billing this thing as a phone, what they’re really set to do is literally double the installed base of Macintosh users over the next 18 months. That’s right: 18 months. Mark my words: they will sell not 10 million by December 2008 (as Steve Jobs conservatively estimated at MacWorld this past January), but 25 million in that time-frame.
Being as there are about 23 million Macs around now, by December 2008 there should be easily 50-60 million computing devices running OS X. And that, my friends, is Steve Jobs’ true evil genius (well, it’s only really evil if you’re Micro$oft).
No one (to my knowledge) has mentioned this point as yet, but it’s one worth bearing in mind. The iPhone, like it’s sister AppleTV, is in its infancy as iPhone reviews are, too. Once a method for developing real applications is released, this little device will really come into its own (can you say “Skype on the iPhone”?). In the meantime, Apple will sell tens of millions. And then they’ll start ads like: If your first Mac was an iPhone, wait until you see what you can do with its big sister the MacBook. If you know how to use an iPhone, you already know how to use a MacBook or iMac because they all work the same way.
Like the beginning of the end of an ice age, I’m calling June 29, 2007, the beginning of the end of desktop computing as 93% of the world knows it.
And, oh, by the way, it’s also the beginning of true, high-resolution mobile TV viewing as well.