Future Forecasts: Prescient Predictions In Recent-Past Posts
Excuse me while I admittedly get a bit smug on y’all. Last Friday morning’s Brian’s Brain post comprised a brainstorming list from yours truly focused on the potential feature list of Apple’s next-generation iPhone. The very next evening, Engadget published photos of a purported next-generation device, followed one day later by the unveiling of another image intended to further bolster credibility. Rival website Gizmodo one-upped its rival yesterday morning with a full hands-on analysis of the prototype handset, which had been accidentally left behind in a Silicon Valley bar a month earlier by an Apple employee:
Apple formally asked for the unit back last night, thereby removing any remaining doubt as to its validity, and Gizmodo promptly complied. Gizmodo admits that it paid $5,000 for the phone, and the legality of the site’s actions is unclear (Did Gizmodo think the phone was lost? Stolen? Does it matter?), as is the continued longevity of the career of the careless Apple software engineer. Some conspiracy theorists even think Apple might have intentionally staged the leak as a means of, among other things, stealing the thunder of Microsoft’s upcoming Kin and Windows Mobile 7 handsets (frankly speaking, I think the only platform Apple’s seriously concerned about at the moment is Google’s Android).
But I digress…the primary point of today’s missive is to point out to you the similarities between the unveiled hardware specs and what I’d forecasted last Friday morning:
- A front-facing camera for videochat functions
- Flash illumination augmentation of the back-facing camera, and
- A (seeming) higher-resolution display than that found in current product variants
Granted, there are still a lot of unanswered questions, due in part to reports that Apple remotely ‘wiped’ the device after learning of its disappearance (but seemingly wasn’t too motivated to get it back). We don’t know, for example, if the next-generation iPhone is also based on the iPad’s A4 microprocessor (BD magic 8-ball take: most likely), if the anointed U.S. carrier partner is AT&T (BD: outlook good) or Verizon (BD: don’t count on it), if the iPhone is cognizant of LTE 4G cellular data protocols (BD: very doubtful), or if the device uses LCD or OLED display technology (BD: reply hazy, try again). And the claimed nonvolatile storage capacity stamped on the unit’s backside is also curious; while one could fashion 80 GBytes of storage out of, for example, five 16 Gbit NAND flash memories, if I didn’t know better (but don’t worry, I do) I might ponder whether there’s a 1″ HDD inside. By the way, regarding my last-Friday suggestion that June would be a likely month for the next-generation iPhone to launch, I subsequently learned that AT&T told its employees they couldn’t take vacation that very same month. Ahem.
If you’ll tolerate a bit more self-indulgence, I’ll point out that this isn’t the only time that I’ve been spot-on with my prognostication of late. Speaking of Apple, at the beginning of this month I published a ’scoop’ that Apple had acquired ARM static design specialist firm Intrinisity. A public admission of the purchase has not yet appeared, although Apple’s quarterly earnings are due for release in about 15 minutes as I type these words and perhaps all will be crystal clear at that point. Truth be told, I’ve been told (but I’m not a lawyer, so don’t quote me), if the price tag was small enough, Apple is supposedly not required by law to tell the SEC about the transaction, and we all know from past experience that the company is prone to entertain shareholder deception in certain situations. But the Intrinsity website, which for several weeks contained nothing but a ‘down for maintenance’ placeholder page, is now no longer responding to HTTP requests. And a few more (former) Intrinsity employees have updated their LinkedIn profiles to reflect this-month transitions to Apple:
BD Magic 8-Ball Take: Signs point to yes.
And speaking of Apple competitor Google, way back in early August of last year I suggested that the company might open-source the latest-generation VP8 video codec it acquired when it purchased On2 Technologies, as a means of providing a robust royalty-free alternative to H.264 for implementation by HTML 5’s <video> tag. Lo and behold, tangible rumor are now circulating that Google is poised to deliver this very video gift to the industry in a few weeks’ time, although in doing so it will face stringent IP infringement scrutiny.