As I await delivery of the iPad, I have been reading up on all things iPad and iPhone OS related. I did that anyway, to keep up with what Apple was doing, but not to the same degree that I am now. I’ve also reread some articles that I had seen and even posted about (including the iPhone OS 4 restrictions and the ensuing complaints.) Reading all of this material did get me wondering about something. Given Apple’s (read that Steve Jobs) propensity for secrecy and control and the seeming lack of Mac news, this past weeks lame news notwithstanding, I began to wonder if we aren’t seeing a fundamental shift in the Mac OS world. We now know that iPhone OS can scale up, the iPad has proven that. We also know that the iPad COULD, easily, be mated with a keyboard and a slightly different form factor to create a…netbook. Why not? That is, essentially, what it is. So…scale up a tad more, say to a 13 or 15 inch form factor, in a MacBook Air shell and, tada, a tightly controlled, you only install what Apple approves, LAPTOP. Stick the Mac name on it and there you go. The perfect device for a company that wants to tightly control its product.
I don’t think it is a stretch at all for Apple to slowly phase in iPhone OS as its predominate operating system and phase out Mac OS X. Of course, they would either need to port the iPhone OS development tools to the iPhone OS itself, to Windows or maintain a bare ‘classic’ OS X platform. Say, have one desktop that still runs OS X or allow it to be installed on non-Apple computers. Personally, I think they would move the dev tools to the iPhone OS itself and charge for the right to develop applications. Oh, wait, don’t they do that now?
At any rate, I think this is a very real possibility. Scaling back ‘classic’ Mac OS X based hardware while scaling up devices, including laptops and small desktops-a set top box, ala Apple TV, perhaps, all running iPhone OS.
Apple is set to make another announcement, perhaps the iPhone 3GS replacement, in June. Speculation is that it will be the device that Gizmodo, seemingly, has outed. Now, I’m not going to link to the story, as I think the device should have been returned to Apple, but, if you are curious, Bing or Google ‘iPhone 4’ or just goto Gizmodo.
I originally was not going to post the link, but I have decided to do so. Click ‘Gizmodo’ above to go to a summary of the whole thing. Apparently, Apple did request that Gizmodo return the device-so it is legit-and Gizmodo will do so. There is a copy of the letter and Gizmodo’s response at the link above. Happy reading!