Touch Screen iMac
DigiTimes said more than a year ago that Apple was working on a touchscreen-equipped version of its all-in-one PC, the iMac, but recently published patents have suggested even more evidence that Apple will be introducing a Touch iMac in the near future. The summer release of the company’s major operating system update, 10.7 or Lion, would make an ideal coupling for a major new home computer. Lion’s remodeled interface and new apps, available through the new Mac App Store, would be served well by an attention-grabbing device like the rumored iMac’s adjustable screen. Patents have described the PC’s screen as being able to shift between vertical and flat positions with the software seamlessly accommodating a switch from traditional keyboard and mouse controls to a touch interface. The absence of second-quarter iPhone and iPad releases would give the new PC room to breathe at retail as well.
Apple HD TV
This fall could very well be when connected televisions become big business, and Apple could be the company that leads the charge. Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster issued a note to investors last month saying that Apple’s investment of $3.9 billion in LCD display components signaled that the company would make a high-definition television line this year. With screen sizes ranging up to 50 inches, Apple’s HD TVs could popularize televisions connected to the Internet in the same way the iPad popularized tablet PCs. It would also fit with Apple’s history of controlling both hardware and software in specific product segments, a stark contrast to Google, whose efforts in connected TV have involved partnering the Google TV software with external hardware makers.
This may be the year for the iPad 2 as far Apple’s tablet plans are concerned, but these other products would allow Apple to grow into new markets while its competitors like Motorola and Research In Motion battle for portions of the tablet market with expensive new products. By diversifying, Apple could guarantee its shareholders another banner year.