By Jim Karpen on Wed, 04/03/2013
Rumor season is heating up, fueled by typical leaks from the Asian supply chain. The most amazing rumor this week says Apple will launch an iTV this year that you'll control by wearing a special ring.
According to AppleInsider's source, a market anlayst who recently toured Apple's suppliers in Asia, the iTV and iRing "navigation pointer" would also come with an iPad-sized companion device.
The purpose isn't completely clear, but possibilties include: 1) the ability to use the companion tablet as a remote viewing screen if you want to keep watching your TV while walking from room to room; 2) a home security system; 3) video-conferencing calls; 4) phone calls; and more. My strong feeling is that it would also serve as an app-based remote. I predict that a la carte content via an app interface is the future of TV, and that this tablet-sized accessory would serve that purpose. Further, I'm guessing current iPad owners would have the option to simply use them.
How much would this package cost? Nobody knows, but according to AppleInsider the market analyst is suggesting $1,500-1,500, depending on how many of the accessory tablets one gets with the iTV.
What makes this rumor credible for me is how fresh it feels. I expect Apple to come up with fresh ideas, and this certainly fits the bill. It would change the whole TV experience. This is the sort of out-of-the-box thinking that's made Apple such a success.
Other rumors yesterday included a report in The Wall Street Journal about the forthcoming iPhone 5S and low-cost iPhone. According to The WSJ, production of the iPhone 5S is set to begin this quarter, which would be in line with a summer launch, as other rumors have suggested. The WSJ report also said Apple is continuing to work with its partners in Asia on a low-cost iPhone. It would likely have a 4-inch screen but would use a less-expensive plastic casing. And it's expected to launch in the latter half of this year.
Also yesterday was the rumor that development of iOS 7 is running behind schedule and Apple has pulled in engineers from other devisions to work on it to try to get it done on time. The big news, according to a post on the reliable website Daring Fireball, is that the interface will be completely overhauled, and that it will show the influence of Apple's premier designer Jony Ive. It will likely lose the so-called skeuomorphic approach that Apple's interfaces have been famous for, such as a calendar designed to look like a leather-bound desktop calendar. Ive reportedly prefers a much cleaner, more minimalistic design.
It's fun following these developments. Just when everyone is down on Apple and the stock continues to tank, it would be so like Apple to shake things up with visionary new products. That's what they're famous for.