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Seems like that "ubiquitous integration [...] mix-n-match services" doesn't really work out in your envisioned future scenario, limited only to buying into Apple ecosystem ;p
(and generally, it might be a rather western perspective of things to come - so not really the most common one)
BTW, in a few short years we should see the next generation of consoles ...and actually, one present console maker seems to be much closer to that "ubiquitous integration" vision than anybody - Xbox360 works with any TV (not only Apple snap-on box + Apple TV), can stream media from a PC on home network (or even, IIRC, play contents of plugged-in iPod?), access many 3rd party services / streaming TV, and use various touchscreen devices (NOT limited to those with an MS OS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_SmartGlass ...working with any iOS or Android device one might already have) as a sort of remote, game/app controller, or 2nd screen showing stuff related to a TV show.
PS. You might keep that ZX81 around, but when was the last time you switched it on? ;p Edited 2012-08-28 09:56 UTC
I said I can see Apple doing it; reinventing entire markets to suit itself is something they've gotten rather good at. I didn't say it was desirable for the rest of the industry to sit on their behinds while Apple eats all their lunches.
Of course I'd like to see open protocols for everything, so users can choose the devices from the vendors they want. The internet itself is the greatest example of open interop, and it didn't get that way by vendors playing silly buggers over closed standards. A rising tide lifts all boats. OTOH, individual vendors like Apple and Google will no doubt be looking to tilt the field in their own favour if they can, because that's just business.
Alas, my cheap-ass crystal ball only shows where personal computing will eventually be at, not the exact route it'll take to get there or the precise form it'll take when it does. I suspect much will ride on other vendors not just waiting for Apple or Google to tell them what to copy...
Well, and I just said I see your chosen example as not really fulfilling the original presented premise
(but, generally, Apple is probably both unable and unwilling to "eat all their lunches" - big A rides itself largely on the tech advancements made by the industry at large, and openly wishes to target only the few most "profitable" % of human population)