This is the time of year for wish lists, so why not make a list of products I would like to see Apple make in 2009. I'm not under any illusions that Apple will actually listen to me, but this is a fun exercise and some of these would be really easy to do.
1. iPhone External Keyboard
I like tap typing and I've gotten quite proficient at it, but if I want to use my iPhone as a portable computer and do some writing, I could use a real external keyboard with a cradle for my iPhone. I would like to see it fold or roll up for instant portability. A keyboard like this would eliminate the need for netbook computers because I could carry the iPhone and keyboard wherever I go. For some reason, it appears Apple is quashing this idea because I'm guessing it wants to prove that you can do it all with the on-screen keyboard.
2. Apple eBook Reader
There have been rumors for a couple of years now of an Apple eBook reader device, but so far none has appeared. The Sony Reader is quite nice, but let Apple have a go at the design, and I think it could change the market completely (so long as it's not too expensive). I have used my iPhone as an eBook reader, but the screen is a bit too small for comfortable reading for more than a short period of time.
3. Conversion Cable for New 24 Inch LED Cinema Display
Apple came out with a fantastic monitor this year for use with the Mac Book series. The only problem is the monitor uses a mini display connector that's only available on recent Mac Book Pros and the Mac Book Air. The rest of us with older models are locked out from buying this monitor because Apple didn't create a mini display to DVI conversion cable. Seems easy enough to do and it would expand the market. Not sure why this wasn't available at the launch.
4. $800 Mac Book
This was another huge rumor prior to the release of the current generation of Mac Books earlier this year, only it failed to materialize. I wrote about the rumor in If True, $800 Mac Book Couldn't Come at a Better Time. Unfortunately, the rumor wasn't true, but I still think an $800 Mac Book would blow the PC makers out of the water. For a couple of hundred dollars difference, I'm buying a Mac, but for $500 or more, I'm going to think twice. This could really be a game changer for Apple.
5. Apple Camera
This was my son's idea, an ipod Touch interface on a camera body with a good lens and camera controls controlled by the same style touch screen interface as the iPod Touch and the iPhone. You could share pictures wirelessly with other camera owners, view photos (as you can now with the Touch or iPhone) and send them to your computer using Bluetooth. It would even include the iPod functionality and ability to access the internet over WiFi.
So there you have it: five products that might never see the light of day. If you have any products, you would like from Apple in 2009, please leave a comment.