OK, the iPad 2, I got it figured out. [Oh, and I was going to post a thing saying where I've been and why I've been away etc. but later okay?] This post will lack links to sources and support for my speculation because there really isn't any. This is indeed speculation, a guess, but a smart one (IMHO) that I haven't seen anyone venture and I want some credit when it comes to pass.
This post predicts what the iPad 2 will be about. First, here's some footage of Apple's huge data center in North Carolina. It's finished, it's warm, it's ready to go:
Everyone is saying that this is Apple's media streaming iTunes in the cloud. That's 500,000 square feet of iTunes in the clouds. As a relevant digression, I must here note that I am at this very moment downloading a rental from iTunes: the movie Inception. Great. I was going to watch it right NOW. But I can't because Road Runner is messed up and it'll take another 4 hours to download. Now, how will Apple get around these things? These kinds of bandwidth restrictions limit the amount of product on-demand services can provide, and the revenue the provider, in this case Apple, can generate. If that's the case, the capacity of Apple's data center may not be fully utilized.
I think there is a plan to utilize all 500,000 square feet of that data center and more, and make mad loot at the same time. It will be a different cloud streaming service than the one we see from, say, Netflix. I think it will have to be a "while you're asleep / while you're at work" type of service, for video, music, print/magazines, and everything else.
For instance, I like reading the New York Times on my iPad. What sucks is waiting for it to load the current issue when I open it. If I could tell the server that I wanted to read NY Times at 7am (HST) every morning, it could check my bandwidth, and deliver the warmest edition available before I open it.
Same for movies and music. Think of the older Netflix model using DVDs except not using DVDs. Queue your stuff up and it'll be instantly there when you're ready to watch it. Plus trailers and previews of related movies depending on your tastes etc. Maybe even pre-download movies you might be interested in so that they're there if you say okay.
Music isn't as much of a challenge because the files are relatively tiny. But with a "pre-downloaded media" method and a good algorithm to choose what you may like, it would work. You have to sleep but your iPad doesn't.
And you know what? This service will be just GREAT and we won't know how we lived without it. It opens up all kinds of possibilities for the creation of new models of journalism and entertainment etcetera.
I'll bet a dollar something like this will be announced soon and will debut with the iPad 2. What do you guys think?
H. Doug Matsuoka
2 January 2011Makiki, Honolulu