More Foolishness About Unreleased Apple Products

April 7th, 2015

You can bet that, even when Apple hasn’t announced a product, some online bloggers will ignore the facts and pretend to describe the specs and the features, missing or otherwise. That comes even before others suggest that you shouldn’t buy the product after all. Give it time to develop.

Chase the moving target, but don’t make a commitment!

Since Apple cut the price of the Apple TV from $99 to $69, speculation has mounted about its successor. The present model was first released in 2012, and underwent a very slight change in CPU design, which didn’t change actual performance. So it stands to reason that an upgrade is long overdue, but what form will it take?

Well, one common theory is that the 2015 Apple TV will have support for 4K, or Ultra HD, video. This is the new HD format that is slowly penetrating the TV world, although total sales are still in the single digits. Other Apple TV features are said to include expanded app support, Siri, and maybe gaming, using enhanced graphics capabilities, such as the Metal feature now part of new iPhones and iPads.

But the 4K theory has since been knocked down, with the suggestion it won’t appear, or that maybe it will be supported in the hardware and thus only become active with a software update at a later time when Apple is ready for something or other.

Are you with me so far? Remember that no successor to the current Apple TV has been announced, so any speculation about the features is, well, speculation. But one reason given for the presumed lack of 4K support is that Apple is catering to consumers who don’t care about such things, even though 4K streaming is already available from Netflix and other carriers. The theory goes, I suppose, that Apple doesn’t care about new generation technologies.

Funny, but I think owners of the iMac with 5K Retina display will disagree, and what about the new MacBook with USB-C? Or Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2? How often did Apple refuse to release new technologies before the public knew they existed?

That doesn’t mean Apple is always on the cutting edge, but quite often it’s for technological reasons. So early LTE mobile chips were notoriously inefficient and consumed too much battery life. Apple didn’t use them until the technology matured, and few would assert that today’s iPhones deliver less battery life than older models that predate LTE.

Yet another lame argument from a blogger attempts to suggest why you should avoid the first Apple Watch and, by the same token, other smartwatches. There’s even a quote from someone at Google to make the article seem credible, but the concept is just dumb.

So we have the statement that the first smartwatches are limited function, mostly requiring Bluetooth connections with smartphones. You won’t after all, get the most out of an Apple Watch without a supported iPhone in range. The article goes on to assert how these watches mostly use parts sourced from smartphones, although that’s not quite the case with Apple Watch. What about the Taptic Engine and digital crown? Apple has only now begun to apply taptic/haptic technology to other products starting with the new MacBook, which goes on sale April 10th and the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, which you can buy now

Unfortunately, arguing that you shouldn’t buy tech gear today because future versions will be better, perhaps cheaper, seldom makes sense. You could say that about any tech product, because there will inevitably be improvements. Even at the early stage of the technology, the first iPod, the first iPhone and the first iPad were all quite usable.

Yes, I realize that a future Apple Watch will likely exist as a standalone product, complete with cellular radio. There will be additional sensors and functions, improved performance and without doubt greatly improved battery life. Any tech product has areas that can be better, which is why product designers are always chasing improved technology.

You could argue that you should never buy any new tech product, ever, because a better one will eventually come out. That edict would also apply to motor vehicles too and lots of other product categories. Just don’t buy anything, not even food because the distributor might someday make it taste better.

The real argument is whether Apple Watch will meet the needs of customers when it goes on sale later this month. If that’s the case, people will buy them, not because of the promise that it’ll get better in the future. For those who don’t want to pay $349 or more, or feel that Apple Watch is lacking of the features they need, well they won’t buy one.

I also suspect early Apple Watch sales won’t hit the stratosphere. Apple has already limited them by requiring online ordering, or reserving one at a dealer. At the start, you won’t be able to just drop into a store and pick up the one you want along with the watchband or watchbands you prefer. That decision clearly presages limited availability. So it may well be that its sales potential won’t be known for a while, but a severe backorder situation will demonstrate demand.

No matter, after Apple Watch is released, you can bet some online pundits will find other reasons not to buy one, or why it is destined to fail. But why not wait to see how the public reacts before making those pronouncements? When it comes to Apple, the doom and gloom bloggers are almost always wrong.

And, no, I’m not holding my breath and waiting for that rumored iMac with 8K Retina display.

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