Five products Apple should build

Feature - Watching Apple announce and market products - or not announce and market products some people expect from the company - can be a highly interesting process. All new Apple products rolled out in recent years seem to share a handful of common ideas: They never try to create an entirely new product segment, but are placed into an already developing market, they improve on obvious mistakes others made, they always complement other Apple products and they take advantage of the company’s software platform. So, with that in mid, which products could we expect from Apple next? Here are five ideas. 

Nintendo DSi: Definitely not all it is cracked up to be

Opinion - With Nintendo’s recent announcement that it has developed a new and better version of the already successful DS handheld, I decided I might do a little research. I enjoy keeping up on game consoles and try to get my hands on new technology early. So, is this new system something I should purchase? Is this the new face of mobile gaming? Let’s look - I can’t be left behind in the technology world.

Netbooks and MIDs need some Apple Magic

Analyst Opinion - Given the number of problems the iPhone had, the device was lucky to have been brought to market by Apple. Any other company would be dead in the market. Battery life is terrible, the connectivity is unreliable, the MobileMe application deleted email for large numbers of users and weeks after the launch it is still having issues. But the iPhone also shows that Apple marketing, packaging, and overall user experience can overcome almost any obstacle. And it may be exactly what Netbooks and MIDs need.

How the U.S. Olympic swimming relay team compares to Dell’s MP3 player

Analyst Opinion - I was watching the Olympics over the weekend and couldn’t help but cheer when the US swim team beat the French. Going in, the U.S. team was clearly overmatched – yes, they had a couple strong swimmers, but as a team they were underpowered.  The French team, feeling deservedly confident, publically disparaged the U.S. team and indicated they would “smash” the U.S. team. Well, that isn’t what happened, now is it?  In fact the victory likely wouldn’t have been anywhere near as sweet had the French been a bit more modest. In that sense, I couldn’t help but think of the initial reaction of the Apple faithful to the WSJ article on Dell’s new MP3 strategy. Apple’s FUD machine seemed to go overtime, particularly after it learned that I had been briefed and provided a few minutes of feedback on the product.  

Anticipating the iPod killer

Analyst Opinion - In the second half of the year there will be a number of attempts to finally come up with an “iPod” killer. Interestingly enough, the product we should especially keep our eyes on will be the iPhone 2.0. What characteristics will make iPod owners switch, upgrade or not even buy an iPod in the first place?

How visual networking could spell the end for the iPod

Analyst Opinion - In a high-speed networked world, the iPod looks like the Sneakernet did when we got the Ethernet: You always have to physically carry your music around with you, which is easy but also annoying: If you don’t have your iPod with you or if you cannot connect your iPod to the stereo in your car, the iPod and the music on it have no value. It is time to get the iPod up on networks.

Has Lenovo created the “perfect” laptop?

Analyst Opinion - Apple’s MacBook Air may be the coolest notebook to have these days, but early reviews revealed some downsides many of us may not want to live with. That may be different with Lenovo’s X300, another ultra-thin laptop, that is the first Thinkpad in a long time you could lust for. Is it the perfect laptop?      

Is the Consumer Electronics Show on its last leg?

Analyst Opinion - There were great events and some amazing things at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES. Warner Brothers started off by blind siding Toshiba with a move to go exclusively with Blu-Ray, Bill Gates set the date he would officially leave Microsoft with a great video, Intel pointed towards the future of really cool tiny computers and AMD brought out its Live Ultra home entertainment platform. But I still walked away with the impression that the grand CES may be dying.

CES 2008 – Let the overcharging begin!

Las Vegas (NV) – Remember the days when Las Vegas used to be affordable?  Back in the 80s, you could get a decent buffet here for under $5, but now such deals are quite rare.  As we gear up for all the pre-CES show events to start, we are reminded that we should have brought a bag of cash because prices are as high as the Stratosphere Tower.

Is Kindle the next big thing after the iPod?

Analyst Opinion - I’ve been using the Kindle on and off for the last week and have to admit I’m impressed. There are a number of critical shortcomings to the offering but they don’t really get in the way of a good experience most of the time and the advantages appear to overcome the disadvantages.

Recap: Xbox 360 squeezed between the Wii and the PS3

Opinion – It has been more than nine months since the Sony PS3 and Nintendo Wii were launched and we are seeing first trends how well the consoles are competing with Xbox 360, which has been on the market since late 2006. It's time to have a closer look at the numbers to see what you can expect for the holiday season.

The brand new $113 Toshiba HD-DVD Player: Are the HD wars over?

Analyst Opinion - Sure, Blu-ray had lots of good news this week. But the HD DVD camp has been answering the trend with prices that are putting HD DVD players close to what many of us would consider an affordable and, as a result, reasonable HD solution. So, what do you buy? Here is some food for thought from Rob Enderle.

Opinion: Can Zune survive?

With the long-awaited move of digital rights management (DRM)-free music to iTunes, Microsoft has fallen even more behind the curve.

Analyst opinion: Can Apple TV get the digital living room off the ground?

Apple launched its much anticipated Apple TV this week and, while the iPhone stole the set top box' thunder during its initial presentation, it has more potential than the fancy multimedia phone, says industry analyst Rob Enderle. Time to look at the digital living room again - and the product options you may have by the end of this year.

CES 2007: Impressions - teetering on the edge

As the Sands hosts a whole series of lock-in pre-CES conferences which you can't get into, even if you've RSVP'd (do I sound bitter?); the expo center and Venetian hotel are gearing up for another event with a major impact upon the technology world: The Adult Entertainment Expo.

CES 2007: First horseman of apocalypse in Las Vegas

If there was any doubt that CES has become a bloated, over the top, affair, much like the last days of Pompeii, or Comdex for that matter, you need read no further than this little ditty from our intrepid reporter, Rob Wright, in Las Vegas.

CES 2007: The battle for the digital home - analyst opinion

Get ready for the battle for the digital home: CES and Macworld are just a few days away and both will lure you with new media center devices. Behind the scenes, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, and AMD are assembling the core technologies, but the front end is more interesting: HP, Dell and Apple will be the primary vendors making a run at this new market. Let's have a closer look.

Analyst opinion: Searching for the perfect Media Center PC

2007 is slated to become a big year for media in the home. Every major technology vendor with even a toe in the consumer segment will be going after a market that could easily create the next iPod-like wave of products and growth. As we wrap up 2006 the year let's take a look at what a media center device needs to look like and who is likely to come closest to the mark.

Countdown to Christmas: Next-gen consoles, Zune - and the end of Blu-ray

The Playstation 3 sold out in minute and it took 8 days for 600,000 Nintendo Wii boxes to fly off the shelves. Both can now be bought on Ebay for several times their list price, despite the fact that early products will likely have more problems and the value of these things will drop like a rock once supply equals demand. Sales of the stratospherically priced products on Ebay aren't brisk suggesting folks may be wiser this year than they were last.

Opinion: Should you buy a PC now or wait?

Buying a new PC looks much more interesting this Christmas than in many previous years. There are new and much more powerful and power-saving processors as well as new tech such as flash-based hard drives. And there is Windows Vista, which could be reason enough for some to ditch that old PC. Rob Enderle takes a closer look at Apple and Microsoft and has some food for thought.