Apple Store's 10th Anniversary: 10 Surprises to Wish for

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-05-18

Apple Store's 10th Anniversary: 10 Surprises to Wish for

On May 19, Apple will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of its retail outlets. The company's stores are widely considered to offer some of the most appealing retail experiences in the world, allowing customers to try out devices, check their email, surf the Web and do much more in the locations. Even better for Apple, they have helped the company generate the boatloads of cash it makes every quarter and extended its position as one of the most unique and forward-thinking companies in the industry.

But recent reports suggest that Apple won't just celebrate its tenth anniversary with a simple press release. Instead, rumors suggest that the company has something big planned, and could be launching a new product to commemorate the important day. Exactly what it will launch, however, is currently under wraps.

But that shouldn't stop everyone else from thinking about what the company might offer. With rumors suggesting all kinds of products might hit store shelves, just about everyone has something in mind that they would like to see Apple launch.

Here are the sorts of announcements Apple could make that would suit just about anyone's fancy:

1. An iPad with 4G

Apple's iPad has proven successful as more and more consumers buy the device. But it's not perfect. One of the biggest issues with the iPad is that it lacks 4G connectivity. Considering so many other competitors in the market will be offering 4G by the time the year is up, it would be an awfully nice surprise if Apple offered customers a new iPad with 4G connectivity built in.

2. An iPhone 4 with 4G

Like Apple's iPad, the company's iPhone 4 lacks the ability to connect to 4G networks. Since the iPhone 5 likely won't be released anytime soon, it would be nice to see Apple unveil an updated iPhone 4 this year that boasts 4G connectivity. Granted, some design compromises would need to be made, but considering rumors suggest an iPhone 4S is in the works anyway, wouldn't it make sense for Apple to offer 4G connectivity on the iPhone in time for its tenth anniversary?

3. A worthwhile Apple TV

There's little debating that the Apple TV needs to be improved. The device, which launched in September 2010, offers a small footprint due to its lack of onboard storage. All the entertainment opportunities on the platform are made available through streaming. Apple says that's what consumers are really after, but that's debatable. To commemorate its tenth retail anniversary, Apple should launch a new Apple TV, complete with onboard storage and access to the App Store. Such a move would make the tech giant a dominant force in the living room.

4. The long-awaited Apple television

Over the last couple years, rumors have been swirling that Apple would eventually release a television that includes access to the Web and, perhaps most importantly, App Store functionality. What better time to unveil such a new and exciting device than in tandem with the tenth anniversary of its retail stores? The set could very well establish a new standard in the TV market.

Wanted: New MacBook Air, iOS Mac

5. A Mac running iOS

With the launch of Chrome OS on Chromebooks next month, a new era in the computing market will be upon the industry. Gone are the days when only high-powered desktop-focused operating systems can succeed. Nowadays, even Web-based platforms can take on Windows. But what about mobile operating systems? Speculation abounds that Apple is gearing up to deliver iOS on a lightweight notebook or netbook-like device. Considering Chromebooks are coming to store shelves soon, it would only make sense for Apple to make that move now and steal some of the spotlight the Chrome OS-based devices are enjoying right now.

6. A cloud-based music service

As Amazon and Google show their hands with their cloud-based music services, the time has come for Apple to do the same with one of its own. For the last several months, reports have said that Apple is negotiating with music labels to launch a cloud-based music platform allowing users to store and play back their content from the Web. It's an interesting move on Apple's part. And it might make sense to launch it on May 19 when Apple has the market's attention.

7. New iPods

It might not be the flashiest update, but it wouldn't surprise many folks if Apple offers up new iPods with the anniversary of its retail stores. After all, the iPod was arguably the most integral element of Apple's retail success since it coaxed consumers into its stores and made them start thinking about the company's other products. Wouldn't it be fitting for Apple to update the platform that helped it revive its ailing brand and put its retail outlets on the map?

8. A new MacBook Air

The MacBook Air, which was updated last year, is in need of a refresh. The device has a nice design, but Apple competitors have delivered new alternatives that present a similarly nice look at a price that's far more affordable. Perhaps the MacBook Air could be a solid candidate for the aforementioned iOS-based Mac. If Apple doesn't want to go down that road, the company could offer up improved specs at a better price. In either case, it would be nice to see a new MacBook Air hit store shelves.

9. A Sprint-based iPhone

With the launch of the iPhone on Verizon's network, it didn't take long for consumers and enterprise customers to start wondering when Sprint might get the iPhone. Considering AT&T is acquiring T-Mobile, and if that deal is approved, it might not be long before T-Mobile customers have access to the iPhone, it's not a stretch to say Apple might offer its device to Sprint subscribers sooner rather than later. A Sprint-based iPhone wouldn't be a major announcement, but millions would be happy to see it.

10. Something totally new

Many of the folks who are hoping to see something new from Apple on May 19 are basing their opinions on recent rumors. But Apple is a company that takes risks and delivers products that many customers wouldn't expect to see. What if Apple offered up something absolutely new to the marketplace? The product wouldn't be an iPhone or an iPad. It wouldn't be a new Mac or a television. What if Apple joined a new marketplace and did something totally unexpected? At this point, that possibility is about as great as any other.

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