No other company out there is put under the microscope as much as Apple. Especially when it comes to patents, trademarks, and patent applications. For some, it’s a great way to kind of guess and assume what’s coming from the Cupertino-based company. Unfortunately, it’s not a foolproof way to find out what Apple has up its sleeve. So while we wait, we get to talk conjecture, and what we think the company has coming down the pipe. For example, a recent trademark filing shows us that Apple has “Places” in mind for something. What is it? No one knows for sure (other than those who need to know), but some believe it’s a social networking service that Apple is creating internally.
Now, Apple’s a company that either has hit or miss products. Luckily for them, they’ve had a lot more hits than misses, especially recently since the launch of the iPhone, and the revamping of devices like the iPod and the inclusion of the iPad. But, some things just don’t get the warm welcome that some other products do. For example, Ping. This was Apple’s social networking service that focused on music. Great idea, but it just didn’t get picked up like Apple would have wanted.
And while we don’t know a lot about Places yet, let’s go ahead and consider it a social networking service like we see from Facebook or Twitter and speculate, shall we? Because let’s face it, the social networking scene is a pretty crowded one. Facebook is pretty much everywhere, and there doesn’t seem to be any stopping it. It’s even got a phone now, with a button all its own.
So, does Apple really think they can run into the social network market and use their ridiculously profitable name to change things up? It’s certainly possible. With products like the iPhone and iTunes, along with the juggernaut that is the App Store, behind it, Apple could potentially take a dive into any market they want and just wait to see the outcome. But, let’s not forget that Facebook is already using “Places” for their check-in service, similar to foursquare.
But, do you want Apple to do that? With Facebook Connect, you can use your Facebook profile pretty much everywhere you go. Most people just expect to see a Facebook Connect option on almost every website they visit, especially if there’s any worthwhile reason to put your name on that particular site. So, with Facebook almost synonymous with the Internet, do you think Apple could create something worthy of the mass public’s attention?
Could the company create new features, bring in new elements that would ultimately spice up the scene enough to grasp the attention of millions of people out there? Could Places be implemented into the very core of iOS 5, and unlock some great new features? Or, will Places (if it does turn out to be a social networking service some time in the future) just fizzle out like Ping did, even before it had a chance? Let me know what you think in the comments below.