First let me make something very clear, I have no inside source. I live a stones throw from many of the Microsoft campuses. If you want MS rumors I may be able to dig something up, but Apple rumors, not so much. I'm not connected with any clandestine Apple mole that feeds me information. I'm just going to speculate on current rumors and what they could mean based on creative thinking and a gadget freaks day dreams.
The iPad 3 is coming out very soon and the current buzz seems to have identified some features based on solid fact. I do believe that it will be about the same size and shape as the iPad 2. I think it will have a better camera and a 4 core CPU. I think it will be 4G LTE and will be priced about the same as the current iPad 2. The iPad 3 rumors are cool and interesting but everyone is talking about the iPad 3. What I want to talk about are the rumors that are starting up about the iPad-mini or 7 inch iPad.
When the first iPad came out people from the media asked Steve Jobs if Apple was ever going to make a smaller version of the iPad. Something that could compete with the Kindle, Galaxy or other small tablets that were in the market. He famously responded with, and I paraphrase here, "Hell No!" Yet the rumors persisted.
There is a current rumor that Samsung of all people, has leaked that they are going to supply Apple with 7+ inch displays for new smaller iPad device to be released in the 4th quarter of 2012. Everyone is convinced that the world needs a new smaller iPad to compete in the world market and it's going to be the next big (little?) thing from Apple. As for me I don't think so. Or rather, I think everyone has it wrong. I don't think it will be an iPad at all.
Heres my big prediction. I think Steve Jobs lied by omission. He was totally truthful that there would never be a 7 inch iPad but he was never asked if Apple was planning on making a remote for the rumored Apple TV.
You see, there are also a lot of rumors going around about a new Apple TV product that is a real TV with the Apple infrastructure for media distribution built in. Some say it will be a 50-inch set costing about twice as much as most TVs of the same size. Others think it will come in various sizes. But whatever its form, many people, myself included, are convinced that this is a real device. Sometime this year I think we will see an Apple product that will truly revolutionize the living room and home media in general. If you want to read about it you can do so here, here or here.
If you take as fact that Apple really is going to build this device then you have to ask yourself how are you going to control it? Then a light bulb appeared over my head ( no CFL for me, it was a good old fashioned incandescent). What if that rumor of a 7 inch iPad was in fact a controller for this new Apple TV set?
I was excited. I thought about it a while and figured that Apple would want to wow the market and make something spectacular that worked well if they were going to get people to invest some serious money on a TV set. A well designed TV with an integrated AppleTV interface would be great. But you would also need some way to control it. Something quintessentially Apple. Something easy to use and inspirational. Sure you could use an iPod, iPhone, or iPad but contrary to Apple's goals, not everyone has one. Maybe, just maybe, they plan on including a smaller iPad like device that can take user input, give feedback and act as a mobile interface to your TV.
If you built such a remote it would have to have features a standard iPad/iPhone/iPad doesn't have. Maybe it would have a high quality microphone built into it. You can use it for inputs to Siri without getting Siri distracted by the sound coming from the TV itself. That same mic could also act as a way to balance your speakers for you so you have the perfect audio environment for listening to that movie Apple just sold you.
Maybe it could have a built in IR blaster with the ability to control all your current devices attached to your TV. Wouldn't it be nice to have a universal remote for your Amp, Stereo, Blu-Ray player, & CD player? It could be a better version the Harmony remote.
With a large 7+" screen you could have IMDB like information at your fingertips. Maybe Apples social medial failure Ping would finally be useful. Wow!
With all of those features I would buy one! And that's the point. A TV is great, but with something like a large remote, that can control ALL your devices, give you internet access, provide you with voice commands and come with the TV, I think Apple would have a real winner on their hands. Maybe they could update the current AppleTV product to use it as well but I'm thinking it will probably be exclusive to the new Apple TV set.
So there you go, write it in your notebook and date it. I don't know if I'm the first to predict this, but I sure haven't seen anyone else speculate that Apple is making a 7 inch Apple TV remote for their new TV. In 6 months to a year I'll probably end up with egg on my face. But who knows, maybe I'm right. What do you think?
PS - Since I used some logos from other sites I figure I should at least link to them.
Cult of Mac