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Friday, October 22, 2010

Now that Apple has gone "Back to the Mac", what's next?...

With the conclusion of Apple's Back to the Mac event, where they released iLife 11, new MacBook Airs and previewed the upcoming Mac OSX 10.7 Lion; what is next on the agenda?

The two most likely candidates are the Verizon iPhone and new iPads.  Based of AT&T's better that expected iPhone activations and Verizon's lower than expected subscriber adds, I think the Verizon iPhone will be next and will be announced sometime in January.

The new iPhone will probably be in the same form factor as the current iPhone 4, the primary difference will be its ability to work on the CDMA standard used by Verizon, and other international carriers.  The big question is, will it use the new dual mode chip from Qualcomm that will allow it to be used on either CDMA or GSM networks?  This would be a big bonus for Apple if they only needed a single hardware platform that supports both Verizon and AT&T.  I highly doubt this first CDMA model will do this, and even if it does, will the carriers allow Apple to sell a phone that allows the users to change carriers at will?  Although Apple probably does have the clout to pull this off.  If this iPhone is not dual mode, I would expect the next version will be and may even support LTE as well, though it is likely Apple will hold off on LTE support until 2012 when it is more widely available and load tested.  Remember, 3G was rolling out with the original iPhone, but Apple chose to hold off 3G support for the next model.

And what about the next iPad?  I would not expect the iPad to be updated until spring, and this will probably be a minor update.  I expect a front facing camera for FaceTime and maybe a new dual core version of the A4 processor as well as some minor cosmetic and/or material changes to make it lighter and easier to hold, maybe some form of liquid metal enclosure?

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