On May 12, 2011, I wrote, Blank Is The New Black.
DCDR: Hardware will be cheap and empty. Everything — the OS, the UI, the software, and your own files — will reside in The Cloud, not locally.
If you’re still scoffing at that, consider the following seven minutes I’ve extracted from Steve Jobs’ Q&A at the 1997 WWDC.
Blank hardware is its ultimate logical end.
People have used this clip as showing iCloud’s birth. Every single one of those people is wrong. iCloud is syncing (which I also said would be crucial to Apple’s strategy back in 2008!). There is no web interface that we’ve seen.
Pay attention to his mention of thin hardware. That’s blank hardware.
What would a world of blank hardware look like? See this brilliant video from Editis and just imagine how cheap and empty those devices will be.
Note that the video starts 47 seconds in — I don’t know why.
Apple has again seen the future and it’s in providing an “Apple Dial Tone,” not a continuation of current hardware schemes.
Do the math.
Which is a better business to be in?
One that has declining prices, margins, and fierce competition — hardware — or one with a yearly fee and pricing tiers that provides all kinds of services and which everyone must have — software?
At one time, you could buy a variety of wired telephones from companies other than the one-time monopoly AT&T. How many companies make wired telephones today?
To see the future of hardware, one only has to look at Nokia, which has been relegated to the deadpool of low-end commodity cellphones. That is what always happens to hardware.
The iPad was introduced at $499, not $999. Yet Apple still makes buckets of money from it, despite shocking every analyst with that low-ball pricing.
But it won’t be very far into the future when an iPad is priced at $199, then $99. And its competitors are $150 and then $50. That’s a business to stay in? No.
Jobs has already said Apple is a software company:
When will everyone finally believe what he said?
The ultimate software is an Apple Dial Tone.