No One Knows What Apple Will Do Now

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Where to next? Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As the news of Steve Jobs' death begins to settle in, many are starting to turn their heads and peek at what Apple's future (both immediate and distant) might look like. The consensus: like a TV! Yet others have a different opinion: not like a TV! And while those are both reasonable points, nobody can say for certain how the next few years of the Tim Cook–helmed company will go down. But since the inevitable chatter concerning Apple's life after Steve Jobs has already begun, let's check out a sampling of what people are saying.

The New York Times:The paper whose homepage always seems to be featured on Apple products in commercials is with Team TV. "The next big challenge for Apple, after the death of Mr. Jobs, is likely to be in that area," an assertion that was gleefully corroborated by a number of Industry Insiders. Jobs, wisdom has it, was lukewarm when it came to doubling down on a TV, but the company's eager to jump in before it's too late.

The New York Post: "Apple’s next breakthrough project, believed to have been the last on the plate of Steve Jobs and his design team, is expected to be an advanced television set," the Post reports, even going so far as to name the supposed product: "iTV is just around the corner." And, sure, the name seems like a safe assumption now, but how many people do you see on the subway reading an iSlate?

PBS Nightly Business Report: Erika Miller alludes to recent patents to demonstrate how the smart bet is that Apple will "reinvent television to become more interactive." But! What about "a mobile device with a projector and gadgets that recognize individual voices" instead? Possibly, she says!

Newsweek/Daily Beast: "Boring," Dan Lyons writes. "That’s a word that didn’t get associated with Apple much during the Reign of Steve." But it will now. "Same for words like safe, and sensible."

The Wall Street Journal: The paper argues that the most important part of the gameplan is to "avoid culture shock" — so maintain any and all residual Jobs vibes left in the air and worry about product development, talking TVs later.

New Atlantic Ventures: John Backus, writing in Huffington Post, has no idea what Apple will focus on next but definitely sees a teaching moment in all this.

So there you have it: Apple fans should expect a sensible but boring, culturally unshocking, interactive television that can recognize voices and offer lessons in business management to hit stores either soon or never — or some third time frame that is neither of those.