“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.