I STILL dream the iDream. Lets re-visit the thought of an iCamera. I do not mean a better camera on an iPhone. I mean a radical new disruptor concept for Apple, to do to cameras, what Apple already did to the music biz, the phone biz, the tablets biz etc. A new product category. Bear with me. This is worth your while.
So the Apple Watch turned out to be a dud, barely a whimper. Did not take the world by storm, it is now only an accessory for some iPhone users. Most smart watch makers have already quit that futile attempt. The Mac was a huge success, revolutionized the PC world 3 decades ago and still today powers a part of Apple’s profits. The iPod was a huge success, revolutionized the music biz (including iTunes store) and still today powers a small part of Apple’s profits. The iPhone was the biggest success in the history of technology, and still powers more than half of Apple’s profits and spawned several additional accessory markets from wireless earphones to Apple Watches to of course the wildly successful App Store with its 30% iTax. And the iPad was a success too, while its sales levels never matched the hype and expectation of the iPhone (what possibly could top that? It was and is the world record) and excepting for the iPhone, the iPad is Apple’s second best success of its recent past. The iPad business alone would be the super glory ‘crown jewels’ product with ANY other tech company today, from HP to Lenovo to Sony.
The iWatch, sorry, the Apple Watch was ‘supposed to be’ the ‘next iThing’ but it fizzled out. Don’t blame Apple for that - nobody is infallible. Apple itself has also done this in the past, do I need to mention the Lisa or the Newton? If Apple never failed, it would mean they are not trying hard enough. It was a good lesson for Apple management, that even they are not infallible. Now its time for the next iRevolution. I dream the iDream. I STILL dream the iDream. I wrote about my iDream in 2015. Lets do the shorter more updated version of that iDream. I think its time is coming.
IMAGINE TIM COOK AT AN APPLE EVENT
Imagine Tim Cook finishing his keynote to some ho-hum Apple event to the loyalists. It could be the intro of a new Apple product like an iPhone or an update to the software, or just some quarterly results meeting. And Tim Cook clearly came to the end of his presentation and starts to walk off the stage... ..then taking que from the master, we truly do miss Steve Jobs... Tim Cook says, “Oh, I forgot, there is one more thing.” The whole room quiets down. You can hear a pin drop. The background of the huge screen is blank. Black. Ominous. Tim Cook smiles. He says, “We are announcing a new product today. It is not an iPod or Mac PC or iPhone or Apple Watch or iPad. It is a new product type for Apple. We are launching the iCamera today.” The room is in stunned silence. The screen has some elaborate expensive graphics that reveal the new iToy, and suddenly they see the iCamera.
And Tim Cook starts the pitch, “The iCamera is the world’s best pocketable camera. In many ways it is the best camera ever made. It has a sensor of 100 megapixels...” The screen is synhronized to Tim Cook’s presentation and now 100 megapixels is superimposed on the screen shot of the iCamera. The room explodes, Twitter crashes, Tim Cook gets a 10 minute standing ovation and the crowd chants ‘I-Cam-Ra, I-Cam-Ra’. Tim Cook becomes clearly embarrassed on the stage as the crowd refuses to quiet down and the Voice of God in the room asks for silence so Tim Cook may continue.
He finally is allowed to contine, he says, “The iCamera also has 32 times optical zoom...” The screen shows the second feature now under the 100 megapixels, and again the room explodes. The Apple share price has jumped 20% in 5 minutes in after-hour stock markets. Eventually Tim Cook gets to continue, each of his spec mentions creates minutes of euphoria in a room going nuts. He tells the audience, “The iCamera also has dual Xenon flash with zoom” (massive reaction). “The iCamera has a microSD card slot for 256 GB storage” (massive reaction). “The iCamera includes the iPod player so you can listen to your music when you take pictures (massive reaction). “The iCamera runs iOS so you can have all your apps on it, and the camera industry can join this iRevolution to create great apps to make photography magical” (huge long reaction and standing ovation, Apple shares take another jump on the after-hours stock market and are up by 40%). “the iCamera shoots video natively in Ultra HD” (huge reaction). “The iCamera connects to your Apple Watch and you can use the Apple Watch as a remote viewfinder for the camera (huge reaction). “The iCamera also includes a full iPhone including the micro SIM card slot, so you don’t need to carry a separate phone, when you take pictures (massive, massive, massive reaction, standing ovation, chants of I-Cam-Ra, I-Cam-Ra last for 15 minutes and Apple share price is up 50% in overseas markets).
And Tim Cook pulls the prototype iCamera from his pocket. It is about the same size as any larger pocket camera like a Nikon, Olympus or Canon today - and he briefly plays with it, and ends with “and it sees through walls, as it also has FLIR, which means Forward-Looking Infra-Red. Yes, it sees inthe dark and sees through walls. It is magical. It is the iCamera.” This is the moment that ‘makes’ Tim Cook and gives him ‘the second coming of Steve Jobs’ status, and resurrects the iMagic image of Apple, post Steve Jobs.
HOW STEVE JOBS WOULD DO IT
Let me start first, that this CANNOT BE an ‘iPhone camera edition’. That is a non-starter. This HAS to be ‘the best camera ever’. Think of the Mac. It was not a ‘better PC’ - the Mac didn’t even SUPPORT the current mass media storage of ‘floppy’ 5.25 inch diskettes. It only did the ‘hard’ ie ‘Mac’ disks of 3.5 inches (and added wow, CD Rom, truly epic storage). It was a revoution.
Think of the iPod? It didn’t do C-Cassettes like Sony Walkmans or any digital diskettes of digital Walkman ideas. It was a REVOLUTION. Think of the iPhone, it wasn’t like a Nokia of the time, it didn’t even TRY to be a traditional phone, it didn’t even have a keyboard! The iPhone was a revolution. And now think back - Apple sold Macs when it introduced the iPod. Did Apple try to sell the iPod as a ‘mini music Mac’ no. Of course not. Is an iPod Touch actually a pocket PC, yes. But Apple NEVER marketed the iPod as ‘a Mac’.
Now what about the iPhone? Yes, it had the functionality of the hugely-successful iPod, yet what did Steve Jobs do? He never once marketed it as an iPod - but he often remarked that the iPhone had full iPod functionality built-in. THAT is how you do it. Don’t sell the iCamera as the ugly iPhone. Sell it as the best camera, that just happens to also have phone functionality built in.... Which means - you can CHARGE MORE. Remember your first reaction to the iPod and its ridiculous pricing? You thought, what a wonderful idea, to have all your music with you, but gosh, that is sooooo expensive. But Apple moved the goal posts, created a whole new market space, and now the MOST EXPENSIVE music player became the BEST SELLING music player! That is what economists tell us, should not be possible....
Same thing happened with the iPhone. The first iPhone in 2007 wasn’t even a proper smartphone, yet it was outrageously priced. Today, ten years later when everybody makes i-Fon-A-Clones, Apple easily owns the top price range and has not just the most expensive major phone, it also is the best-selling phone (model, not brand). That should not be possible. But Apple has that iMagic. Look at Mac PC, look at iPad, look even at Apple Watch, in every case, Apple owns the top end. And is viciously profitable in all those areas, where rivals struggle and most are not profitable....
So think of this as the new class of smartphone. The camera-optimized smartphone. The ‘not-thin’ form factor. A logical evolution of what started with Nokia’s N93, then evolved with 808 Pureview and its ‘hump’ and the physically clumsy and ugly Samsung Zoom series of Galaxy models. All of those phones were the thickest, ‘ugliest’ phones of their era, but they had BY FAR the best cameras, ever put into a phone, at that time. They are to the iCamera, what the Newton was to the iPhone.
But now, how would Steve Jobs do this? Steve Jobs would say, this is not an iPhone. I don’t want an iPhone. I want the best camera that has ever been made, that fits into the pocket. I want this to be the ultimate camera. The one we do not want to leave at home, at any time. And into that phone, will include full iPhone functionality, so the iCamera owner could theoretically live with only the iCamera - even if this cannibalizes some iPhone sales.
Because this will be MORE EXPENSIVE than the iPhone. It is only MORE profit to Apple and more addiction to our users. Most who buy the iCamera will still want their SECOND phone to be a regular iPhone. And some who buy the iCamera will not be current iPhone users, who will join the iOS family. And most who buy the iCamera will have a PC, but with the iCamera, many who now own a Windows PC, will want their NEXT PC to be a Mac instead.... Steve Jobs would kill any iCamera that sacrificed ‘camera’ quality for ‘sexy iPhone looks’. He would INSIST on ‘perfection’ in purely the camera side, and the iPhone basic functionality to be the after-thought (but done in perfection, of course, so it feels like an iProduct).
Remember the original iPod phone? the first iPhone of 2007? It was RIDICULOUSLY HUGE if you though of it as an iPod music player? Why that huge screen for a music player? The iPhone was one of the largest phones (in terms of pocket size) because of that screen. The ONLY way it was made, was that Steve Jobs said, forget about the iPod. Make this the best phone, for internet and voice use. We’ll add the iPod functionality later. Never was the iPod ‘form factor’ considered in the iPhone - it doesn’t even have the scrolling-wheel that iPods had.......
So if anyone thought of this as the ‘iPhone Camera’ (which in reality it is, like the iPhone in reality was the iPod-phone) they would think of this as ‘the ugly iPhone’. Boy it WOULD have to be ugly, if compared to the sleek and sexy iPhones. But it is ‘not an iPhone’. It is a POCKET CAMERA. And now, go to the camera store and look at the Canon, Olympus, Nikon, Sony, Leica etc cameras. THAT is what you are competing with. And now the kicker. They are RIPE for Apple iDestruction.
The camera industry are RIPE for an iCamera. Why? Because they are worried about their shrinking market, and are devoting their R&D to the top-end where there is still ‘life’. The DSLR camera segment. Those professional cameras with removable lenses and tons of expensive accessories. That is where they put their R&D. So they are not even ATTEMPTING to create the best possible pocket camera. The pocket camera segment is stagnant and dying. Exactly like the music player Walkman market was before the iPod. Exactly like the tablet market before the iPad. Remember the Steve Jobs rule, make this the best pocketable camera.
WHAT IS BEST POCKETABLE CAMERA
Lets start with the basics. Take the sensor. We are in sensor classes of 20mp to 24 mp in top end pocket cameras today. First, yes, I know that megapixels alone do not a good camera make. I am not an idiot. But look now at the MOST EXPENSIVE cameras today. DSLR cameras at the top end go to 40mp and 51mp (various Canon, Pentax, Sony etc DSLR cameras). I do not mean more megapixels ‘automatically’ is better - I DO mean that one way to improve a photograph is the number of pixels in the sensor.
The current world champ is Hasselblad which takes 200 mp pictures but that is electronic trickery, the actual sensor size is 50mp and then several pictures are taken with it, to create the 200mp image. And on smartphones, there are many in the 20mp range and tops are the two Nokia models that hit 41mp. If Apple wanted to ‘break the bank’ all they really need is about a 52mp sensor and can claim the title of world’s biggest camera sensor (typical Apple hype) but that is not how Steve Jobs would do it. He would want to create an earthquake.
So where is the ‘ridiculous’ number - it is less than twice the number of pixels from the current leader - why not go to 100 mp? It would be the shocker-story in every news item instantly. Not just the biggest sensor ever in a phone, Apple has the biggest sensor ever installed in ANY camera. This is by definition the best camera ever made (and don’t complain about pixel size, I know all that, this is about Apple marketing not about the reality). That is not cheap, but that is not catastrophically expensive either - if Nokia was able to do 41mp in 2012 with a smartphone that cost 400 dollars, gosh, Apple can today do 100 mp on a flagship iCamera that will cost more than $1,000 dollars haha... It will instantly shake the world and be a must-have toy for every camera nerd and geek, and all in advertising and marketing will want one.
That is before we go to optics. The iPhone has plastic toy lenses on their cheap camera element (nothing like say the serious glass on say Carl Zeiss optics used by ahem, some others...). The reason iPhones take good pictures is not the plastic, it is inspite of the plastic lenses and tiny sensors, they have GREAT SOFTWARE to fix the problems. That is an Apple secret sauce gain. Lets ignore that for the moment. What would Steve Jobs do? He would insist on the iCamera being revolutionary and just ‘inherently better than anything else’.
So take the second element. Optics. The iPhone has plastic, the iCamera, glass. What kind of glass? Would it have a removable lens like professional cameras? No. This is not the best camera. It is the single, pocketable best thing ever. The camera with iMagic. So break the bank. Do the best-ever optical zoom into one lens, that means that you do not need other lenses. What do you get in pocket cameras today? They go up to 30x optical zoom today. The best ever seen in a mobile phone? Was Samsung’s K Zoom with 10x optical zoom. Even if Apple only did 12x optical zoom today, it could claim the iCamera is the best cameraphone ever made, has the best camera on any smartphone, ever made.
But how would Steve Jobs do it? He would look at the Sony Cyber-shots and Canon Powershots and Panasonic Lumix pocket cameras, and say - we have to be BETTER than these! So lets do 32x optical zoom (or haha, might go to 40x). Now understand this aspect of the camera. Here is my illustration of 10x optical zoom:
The 32x optical zoom gets you even more close than this. You can shoot pictures of the moon, and get the whole picture to be INDIVIDUAL CRATERS, where the whole circumference of the moon doesn’t fit into the picture, haha... THAT is 32x optical zoom. You have not binoculars in your pocket (like 10x optical zoom) you have a TELESCOPE in your pocket.
But a 100 megapixel camera, with 32x optical zoom - will yield actual picture ‘sharpness’ that is far FAR FAR above what most professional cameras can do, with gear that costs well above $10,000 dollars. Not in all conditions, but on some conditions - before we ADD the iMAGIC of Apple software.... This is not ‘rocket science’. 40 megapixel camera sensors and 30x optical zooms already exist in pocket cameras today, that cost in price ranges of about $500 roughly - less than top end iPhones.
Even if we push both a little bit (ok, push the sensor a lot), there is room also then to charge more. But I’m not done. What would Steve Jobs do? He would have all the major parts that real photographers want - like what real DJs wanted out of a music player in the iPod. This would be camera revolution. So yes, it would have to have removable media (something Apple DOESN’T do in iPhones - but Apple happily does in Macs...). See, it is an iCamera. It even breaks Apple’s own rules. But that is how Steve Jobs would do it.
It is a camera. It HAS to have the tripod screw. For semi-pro and pro camera buffs who WILL want to put this iCamera on a tripod. But also for all the silly youth, who love using their selfie sticks. Selfie sticks have the same standard camera screw as on tripods... And for this, of course (duh) Apple will then sell its own selfie stick (ridiculously overpriced, but by far best selfie stick, no doubt made out of carbon fiber) with the exclusive Apple ‘quick trigger’ superduper fast wireless triggering to take pictures faster than with bluetooth triggers... whatever to further hype that accessory that will be, needless to say, astronomically overpriced.
Then FLASH. Not toy LED flash like on most cameraphones today. Real proper Xenon flash. Now, how would Steve Jobs do a flash on the ultimate pocketable camera? First, do dual flashes on both sides of the lens, to remove the ugly shadow that often comes with the flash on one side (above, below, to side of the camera lens). So two Xenon units not one. Not radical, this has been done, but who does this in a cheap pocket camera? But yes, that is what would be on the ultimate iCamera.
But wait. We had 32x optical zoom. The wide angle of the camera, even with 2 flash units, needs the light to be spread REALLY REALLY widely (the optical zoom would start in the area of mild ‘fish eye’ lens, to get to 32x optical zoom). And if you spread the light very widely, it means it won’t light up much. And many would be quite disappointed, if the actual effect is so diluted, the LED flash on the regular iPhone seems ‘stronger’ haha... so easy solution to this, from professional camera flash light units - is ZOOM flash.
Yes, put a moving mirror into the Xenon flash units (both of them). And this is an Apple, it is electronics. So just match the zoom effects to the camera optical setting. Automate the zoom of the flashes, to the zoom setting of the optical lens. Now, the flash will never ‘light up’ something very far away (haha, the moon) but adding zoom to a Xenon flash IS HOW LIGHT IS FOCUSED. That is how professional photographers take pictures of rock stars on stage.
Once you put 2 Xenon flash tubes into the camera, and add even modest zoom to them - this will be the brightest pocket camera flash ever seen. It will rival the low-end STAND-ALONE flash guns which cost something around $100 a piece with its own battery etc... If you have optical zoom, why not also have zoom flash. The tech is not rocket science. Professional camera gear has this. If Steve Jobs insisted on ‘make this the best pocketable camera’ that would be natural stuff.
And if it is INTEGRATED with Apple usability - every picture would be as nearly-perfectly lit as is technically possible today, matching always the right lens, right aperture and right flash power (and flash zoom setting). Yeah, you may have caught that. Aperture. Yes, give this pocket camera user-control to the aperture - it is the best pocket camera ever made - and those who know about the tech, a Xenon flash means there has to be a physical shutter as well.
This is a proper camera, not a plastic toy. In fact, this is what Canon or Nikon WOULD do, if they were not allowed to make DSLR cameras, and fear that the pocket device would kill off the DSLR business. Add a few other parts, FLIR, yes see through walls. How expensive is FLIR? You can buy accesory FLIR units for Anroid or iOS that cost a couple of hundred dollars. It is not cheap tech, but considerable price gains would be found by integrating with the iCamera. I would imagine there is a ‘sliding sensor’ that would use the same optics.
The first edition FLIR likely would only have modest resolution, but its more the gimmick than the utility, at this stage (like original iPhones only having 2mp cameras and no selfie cameras; they didn’t even shoot video, can you imagine that)... I would guess that the INCREMENTAL cost of adding basic FLIR to a cameraphone, as say an ‘internally sliding sensor’ would cost in the magnitude of $100. But the iMagic of seeing in the dark, seeing through walls, seeing heat (thermometers, etc)... Apple would have a field day with this.
THE PHONE PART
Now, the important bit. I know some of you at Apple are reading, so this is for you. When you do this, do this smartly. Don’t do the iPod Touch silly version (the Apple Watch without SIM card). Do this properly or you will fail. It HAS to be a fully-functioning iPhone with SIM card from the start. Do NOT FEAR cannibalizing your top iPhone users. This will be MORE EXPENSIVE than the top iPhone today. It is ‘good’ cannibalization for every existing iPhone owner, who migrates to iCamera. But having it a full iPhone will mean that iPhone users can leave the ‘phone’ at home, and only live with the iCamera.
As it will be a fully-functioning iPhone, with all iPhone stuff including iOs and something like a 5 inch touch screen. On the SIM card. This is for you Apple execs. The carriers will decide on the success of this device. If it is a success, you will sell 50 million of these per year, maybe more. Half of that will come from buyers who today do not use iPhones. You grow the iPhone iOS ecosystem by at least 25 million with the iCamera. Users who today do not have iPhones. This is pure golden magical profit for you. MOST who buy the iCamera will have a PC to edit their pictures or videos. At least HALF of the buyers of iCameras will not have Macs, and probably half of those will end up upgrading to a Mac in the next few years because of the iCamera. There will even be a small group of iCamera users who will end up buying an Apple Watch. This is the goose that lays golden eggs for you, which the Apple Watch was not.
The iCamera will DRAMATICALLY INCREASE the total reach of iOS and expand the congregation of iSheep in the iChurch willing to pay you their iTax on all things iOS. If you bring the SIM card fight into the iCamera, this product will fizzle. It will be exciting only in the camera market and it will not take the world by storm. If you privately tell all your carrier relations, that this is the ultimate iPhone and the highest most profitable - and biggest loyalty anchor - iPhone with PHYSICAL SIM CARD - they will LOVE YOU and they will sell this everywhere. And now you have reach that goes to 50 million iCameras sold.
If you threaten the carriers and try to introduce this with a ‘virtual SIM card’ the product will not be stocked and the carriers will sell other devices including lesser iPhones instead. Note how critical this marketing aspect is. For CONSUMERS and any dumb analysts, this has to be marketed as ‘this is not an iPhone’. So nobody bothers about how ugly it is - compared to slab slick thin iPhones. But compared to any cameras, it will be uber-cool sexy slick professional die-to-have-it metalic awesome must-have tech. And meanwhile, privately, to the carrier community - you need to have this phone SUBSIDISED AS A SMARTPHONE (where subsidies are used, ie AT&T, Verizon, NTT DoCoMo, Softbank, Vodafone, etc have to include this at the top end of their subsidised smartphone contracts!) And all carriers have to have this device as the ultimate iPhone. I
t cannot be sold ‘only in camera shops’ while yes, it will ALSO be sold there. If you anger the carrier community with no SIM card, this will hurt the iCamera. You are fighting the long game and you want to WIN NEW iSheep. You need to convert them from Samsung Galaxy users, etc. You cannot do that with another iPhone. They won’t come. You have taken all there is to squeeze from that orange. Now get a new method. This iCamera gives you NEW CUSTOMERS who have never used an Apple before.
And most importantly, the iCamera is the tool to SWITCH millions of camera-users of PC and tablet users from Windows. There is nothing wrong to also offer a parallel non-mobile phone version (like early iPhone had the iPod Touch as parallel product). I would price this somewhere around $1,200 to perhaps even $1,500. If the current new iPhone goes to near the $1,000 level now, then the iCamera would be a shock price but not impossible price. And it would be the device that single-handedly kills off most camera makers and takes that stand-alone pocket camera segment, to Apple, and at massive massive MASSIVE profits.
I would also then arrange a release cycle, where on alternate years Apple releases the new flagship thin phone (phablet) ie iPhone classic, and alternate years, the flagship iCamera. And after a year of milking iCamera users with the ridiculously priced say $1,200 dollar (unsubsidised price, perhaps $800 subsidised price with 2 year contract) iCamera, release the cheaper version that has say ‘just’ a 50mp sensor, 10x optical zoom, no FLIR. But otherwise of course a full iCamera, at say $999 price and compatible with all accessories.
Oh, accessories? A superduper fast speed connection to the Apple Watch - so you can use the Apple Watch as the screen to aim your iCamera. Add a separate physical viewfinder (with retina display and diopter correction so older users who need eye glasses can use the iPhone physical viewfinder without their eye glasses - remember many iPhone buyers are older people..). Add a separate Apple branded super-flash for far distance (ie rock concert type pictures). I even imagined a 3D setup where two iCameras could be digitally and physically linked to form one 3D camera (imagine anyone in Hollywood told, that for $2,500 ie two iCameras, they can have a 3D camera setup that shoots Ultra HD haha... they’d have an orgasm just on the news).
So is this at all realistic? In some ways it is inevitable that 'camera-optimized' smartphones will come. Why? Consumer data. While silly phone makers (led by those most iSilly in iSillicone Valley) want 'ever thinner' phones haha, and 'phone bumps' are seen as ugly as a pregnant supermodel on the catwalk - we consumers WANT cameras. We use them. How much? It is now the SECOND MOST USED FEATURE behind only mobile messaging, and ahead of the clock function and voice calls. Yes, cameras on smartphones are used by FAR MORE people than ever download the first app (a third of smartphone owners never download a single app haha) or use the internet, etc.
It is INEVITABLE that SOME evolution will happen on the camera side. Apple's meek attempt at the telephoto lens (dual camera concept) is a tiny step into that direction. And yes, do consumers BUY because of a better camera? SYSTEMATICALLY in all surveys around the world, the camera ranks among top attributes that consumers make their decision on. Not as important usually as a larger screen, but it seems that screen envy has reached its natural equilibrium and phablet smartphone screens won't grow much anymore, from where they are, and the focus will once again return to... the camera. I do think the camera is destined to become MORE important, not less, driven by all sorts of things, like say Augmented Reality and facial recognition etc. Even weird gimmicks like Nokia's dual selfies etc.
THE ULTIMATE FAN BOYS
We have seen how much tech industry analysts in the USA and especially in California, are Apple iFans. They love love LOVE that brand. And that seems obscene, something creepy about how passionate iSheep are about their brand. That tech crowd is not actually the most obsessive iSheep. You know who are the most brainwashed iChildren? MARKETING and CREATIVE people. They truly do think that Apple is everything.
Look at a Hollywood movie and find a computer there, and see the Apple logos. It is not that Apple bribed the movie producer to put a Mac into the scene. It is because the creative people are passionate about Apple. This is PARTICULARLY true about VISUAL artists. Why? Photoshop. The origins of Photoshop were on the Mac, released in 1990 and originally, you could only have Photoshop on a Mac. Since then, all creative PHOTOGRAPHY professionals (think advertising and magazine publishing) were brainwashed to become Mac Heads.
Why does Apple not give THEM the iCamera? Many of them are still to this day Mac users. Many of them were first to buy iPods, iPhones, iPads and even Apple Watches. They ALL HAVE PRO CAMERAS. They shoot increasingly the majority of their professional work IN CAMERAPHONES. Why is Apple not giving them the iCamera? It is the ultimate fan base. The marketing and media VISUAL professionals have promoted Apple for DECADES passionately, and they make do with the iPhones today.
If Apple offered an iCamera, regardless of what it cost - this fan base will buy them creating an instant demand for the device. And the publicity will be unprecedented. Yes, unprecedented. The iCamera will get MORE free publicity than the iPhone did in 2007 because why? Because the VISUAL MARKETING people will celebrate this like no tech has been celebrated before. Tim Cook will be hailed a genius. The Apple Watch will be forgotten like the Newton. Apple will be invincible. That would be the smart thing to do.
When Apple introduced the iPod, the portable music player market was about 100 million units and FAR FAR smaller in revenues than camera market today. The stand-alone camera market today is yes, under 100 million but when cameraphones are included, the camera industry has sustained unprecedented growth in the past 15 years. The iPhone already today, for all its plastic nonsense, is one of the most used cameras already. The origins of Apple’s camera interest is the Apple QuickTake 100, their first digital camera 23 years ago.
Its not like Apple hadn’t thought of this. Much like how the iPhone is the grandson of the Newton, the iCamera would be the grandson of the QuickTake. It would have to be an iPhone, without being an iPhone. It would have to have a SIM card slot, but the marketing has to manage to avoid any thoughts of ‘the ugly iPhone’ or the ‘fat iPhone’. It would have to instantly be ‘acceptable’ in appearance to be used as a phone (putting the camera to your ear) and it would have to be heart-achingly beautiful - as a CAMERA (compared to the Olympus, Canon etc pocket cameras of today) in black or silver color metal. It would become the thing EVERY geek needs to have, and all their friends will want to see - does it really have 32x zoom? Does it see through walls? What is 100 megapixels like, show me the picture, take a picture of this... I still dream the iDream. If you want to read my original article (similar thoughts, less organized) from 2015, it is here.