Cringely: Future Apple products to be A4-powered, iOS-based; Apple TV games controlled by iPhone

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“An integral part of iPhone 4 mania, of course, is the new operating system — iOS 4,” Bob Cringely writes for I, Cringely. “Remember how important it once was for Apple to claim that the iPhone was running OS X? What happened to that? Is iOS 4 a version of OS X or not? And what does this apparent OS bifurcation mean for the non-portable product line? Is OS X going away?”

“OS X is here for now, I’m told, and iOS 4 is still OS X but specifically for the new A4 chip and others of its family that will shortly appear. We’ll see non-portable A4 products from Apple and they’ll run iOS 4, too, establishing it as a kind of consumer electronic operating system for the company,” Cringely writes. “This bifurcation and differentiation is key to understanding both Apple’s strategy and the philosophy — yes, philosophy — that underlies it.”

“One of the first non-portable iOS 4 devices we’ll see, I predict, will look a heck of a lot like the new Mac Mini. Steve Jobs, who loves to play language games as long as he controls them, says there are no plans to update the AppleTV [sic]. Yet Engadget is all aflutter with talk of an iOS-based AppleTV (essentially an iPad without a screen),” Cringely writes. “I think the new Mac Mini effectively is the next AppleTV. Notice they never did call it the MacTV. With the new Mac Mini [sic] already sharing a common form factor with the AppleTV, I can imagine an A4-based version appearing shortly at a $299 price running iOS 4. Expect to link an iPhone or iTouch [sic] to this A4-based AppleTV as a remote control device.”

“And get ready for a big leap of strategic thinking from Cupertino,” Cringely writes. “The number one game console in the USA is Nintendo’s Wii, primarily because it has a Bluetooth-connected motion-sensing remote control. Well iPhones and iPod Touches have Bluetooth, too — and WiFi, accelerometers, and now even gyroscopes. A Mini-turned-AppleTV controlled by the installed base of tens of millions of iPhones and iPod Touches [sic] is a game market waiting to be exploited. Yes, the ‘console’ costs more (for now) but thanks to the App Store the games can cost less, making the total user expenditure the same or less. It’s the old Return-On-Investment (ROI) argument only applied to games.”

There’s much more in the full article – recommended – here.


  1. MacMan: “Is it really that hard to call and iPodTouch by it’s correct name? It’s NOT and iTouch!!! That drives me crazy!! :-0”

    Is it really that hard to type “an” instead of “and”? That drives me crazy. Oh, “an” it’s not iPodTouch. It’s iPod touch.

  2. I called it. If this really happens, then it will, like iPad, probably run iPhone and iPad apps, but also have an app store of it’s own for games created specifically for it. Heck, we might even see Steam for it!

  3. Sorry solid…

    I typed that last entry on a Microsoft Kin so the spell check could make it possible for a Tool like you to be able to leave a smartass comment.

    Success… Looks like Microsoft does make something that works well.

  4. Those plastic keys on a physical keyboard are hard to type with. I’m glad that the iPhone doesn’t have one of those.

    Back on topic – Cringely always comes up with stuff like that. Mostly he’s never right and sometimes it’s just obvious.

    Here’s the deal – Apple experiment with a lot of technology. They spend years perfecting products and a lot of times never take them to market because it is not good enough.

    iOS and OSX are derivatives of each other and could easily merge in a product. There are many options for Apple and we will have to wait and see what they come up with next. It will probably be something special.

  5. How hard would it be to create a game that runs with a couple Bluetooth controllers and running on a third Bluetooth device? OK, that would simply require three devices running iOS … powered by the A4 chip? So, you take the current Apple TV, costing $229, pull the motherboard to replace it with an A4-equipped model, and voila! A Games Console.
    And the Apple TV just keeps drifting along unchanged.

  6. Microsoft Windows has been both “bifurcated” and disfunctional for a long time, but that apparently doesn’t bother Cringely at all. Apple produces an integrated and consistent OS strategy for computers (desktop/laptop) and mobile devices (iOS), and suddenly there is a massive problem.

    The Mac computer and Mac OS X operating system are not disappearing. They are an integral part of the Apple exosystem, as are the more recent mobile devices and iOS. What is the deal with these idiots?

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