In The Year 2012

This month I’m going to consult my crystal ball and lay on you what to expect from Apple and the tech world in 2012. Hang on, this might be a bumpy ride!

No more CD/DVD drives—Optical Drives (CD/DVD drives) will disappear completely from all Apple laptops. They’re finished, gone, kaput, history, see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya! And I, for one, say good riddance. Real estate inside laptops is at a premium and I’m glad to see Apple leading the industry (as usual) by dropping these drives. In this world of ubiquitous high speed internet and $15 8GB flash drives, there is almost no need for a CD or DVD anymore. By dropping the optical drive in all their laptops, Apple can put something in that precious space. Maybe some cool new tech we haven’t seen yet or simply a larger battery. Adios, CD/DVD drives; we have some nice parting gifts for you.

7″ iPod touch—It’s gonna happen this year. I see it clearly. In March, I think, right alongside the iPad 3 we’ll see a 7″ iPod touch. Why do I see that? Because the only other tablets that are selling any numbers are the 7″ Kindle Fire and the 7″ Galaxy Tab, and Apple isn’t going to stand by and let that section of the market go unserved by the iPad/iPod line. The line-up will then be the current iPod touch, the 7″ iPod touch and the 10″ iPad. That will make for a damn impressive mobile team.

Apple TV—No, not the little set-top box, but an actual large LCD Hi-Def TV with the Apple TV functionality built into it. LG is doing it, Sony is doing it; it’s time for Apple to do it. And why not? They already make the product. Simply stick an AppleTV set-top box into a nice large LCD and bam, there you are! You say, What does Apple know about making TVs? I say, Have you seen an iMac lately? I also say that Apple knew nothing about making cell phones until they did.

Tablets Rule—Most people don’t need a computer. There, I said it. Joe and Jane average don’t need a full-on computer with mouse, keyboard and monitor. They don’t need a big hard drive and to know how to install software and organize their files into folders and to backup their computers to another hard drive. Most people don’t want to do that stuff, and they will embrace any technology that takes that burden from them. That technology is the tablet. Whether it’s an iPad or Android tablet, a tablet device is all that most people need. Why? Because most people aren’t creators, they’re consumers. They read online articles and e-books and they watch videos, listen to music, play games and use a few apps. But aside from a few emails or Facebook posts, they don’t generally create anything. So a tablet is perfect for them.

So I see in the year 2012 that desktop and laptop computers will continue to decline in sales and tablets will continue to rise. Most households will have two or three tablets. The only ones who will have actual computers will be students and people who use their computers for work and the people who create all that content that is consumed on tablets.

Cable War—The cable companies, with Comcast leading the way, will fire a shot across the bow of the tech industry to let them know that they’ve had it up to here. For the last three years or so, early tech adopters across the nation have been canceling their cable television service in favor of set-top boxes such as Roku and AppleTV. With the availability of Netflix streaming, Hulu Plus, Amazon video and the countless other great, and FREE, content channels that these little boxes offer, the writing is on the wall for Comcast and their buddies . . . and they’re pissed. So I look for Comcast to attempt to either get some legislation passed to hamper the set-top box companies or for them to appeal directly to the movie and TV studios to stop providing content to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. It’s another example of an outdated business model waging war against technology instead of trying to find a way to remain relevant. And it’s gonna get ugly.

And that’s the way it’s going to be in 2012, ladies and gentlemen. These are exciting times to be alive and technology is going to continue to do some amazing things for us. But there will be some growing pains along the way as we let go of old technologies.

Now let’s see what this crystal ball has to say about the PowerBall drawing tonight . . .

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About the Author

Patrick Clark, owner of The Boro Mac Shop here in Murfreesboro, has repaired Macintosh computers and Apple devices since 1996 and The Boro Mac Shop is Murfreesboro’s best Macintosh, iPad, and iPhone repair shop. Contact him at (615) 796-6154 or boromac.com/.

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