Soothsayers and prognosticators and futurists all have one thing in common. They’re wrong. Wrong about analyzing the present to determine the future. What if someone told you that your Mac and iPhone would merge? Would you nod in agreement? Would you ask, “How?”
What if someone told you that Wi-Fi 6 and 5G will force the merger of Macs and iPhones, PCs and smartphones? Would you think of them as futurists? Or, would you realize the truth?
Here’s an example:
Notorious anti-Apple screed writer Rob Enderle:
How WiFi 6 and 5G will force the merger of PCs and smartphones
So, faster access to the internet– already slower than Wi-Fi 5 and 4G LTE access– will make my Mac and iPhone the same?
Once you can provide a high-bandwidth, low-latency solution that meets or exceeds a wired connection, you can move into the cloud – and that will force a revolutionary change in hardware design.
I shall believe it when I see it.
This is something of the old thin-client argument about computers; think of it as a display and keyboard hooked up to a giant computer, a mainframe, that gives you everything you need to, um, uh, well– compute.
How did thin-clients work out in the marketplace? iPad and iPhones are thin clients but with portable horsepower. But they’re thin, right?
Regardless of the wireless technology we currently have most desktops are still defined by the wired world that existed in the early part of this century.
Uh, no. None of my devices are wired. Everything is wireless. Everything. Even my new refrigerator.
We mostly still have phones on our desks, PCs or laptops that use wired connections, and our productivity applications run locally.
While I’m sure there are offices with PCs that use Ethernet, I have not run into such a situation in a few years. Wi-Fi. 4G LTE. Smartphones, notebooks, and tablets rule.
Yet, here it is, 2016 already, and there are technologists clinging to the past.
Thin-client, thin-client, thin-client…
Microsoft anticipated this with its Virtual Desktop, where the entire Windows experience is moved to and managed in the cloud, and nothing resides on the PC.
Enderle, of course, loves all things Microsoft and Windows and hates all things Apple, but he’s onto something with the so-called smartphone PC. See, Microsoft Office runs on everything, so everything must be a thin-client; a dumb terminal connected to the cloud, and that cloud is going to be sooo fast, thanks to Wi-Fi 6 and 5G, that nobody will want apps on their devices; apps will live on the cloud.
Think of it as a dumb terminal in your hand.
What’s the problem? Reality. Does anyone think Apple has the capability to build a giant server farm that can run all the apps every user needs on a thin-client iPhone for over a billion customers?
Think. About. It.
Also, think about this. 5G will be very fast, but already the entire public internet barely crawls along, on average, at 25-Mbps. 5G has speed. The public internet does not.
I think we’ll have iPhone-like brain implants before we all carry around a thin-client iPhone.