[Warning: This article contains fictional scenarios.]
American researchers from NASA said aliens could attack the earth if they sense our civilization was expanding too rapidly and could harm others, according to a study titled "Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity? A Scenario Analysis". As reported by IB Times, one scenario envisaged in the joint study by Penn State and the NASA Planetary Science Division says that extraterrestrial intelligence could be so dismayed by our planet-polluting and other destructive ways that they view us as a threat to the intergalactic ecosystem and decide to annihilate.
Even before E.T. and his friends return, some entities already here on earth are set for world domination.
After Hewlett-Packard announced that it will be giving up the tablet business (notwithstanding that it has yet to recover anything from the $1.2 billion it paid to buy Palm Inc's WebOS last year), HP TouchPad's prices were slashed from $399 to $99 per unit. Immediately, demand for the tablet skyrocketed. People are now rushing to stores to order the 16 GB webOS-based HP TouchPad tablet $99, which the cheapest decent tablet available in the market. The fire sale will likely push HP among largest seller of tablets in the third quarter and is already doing what HP has failed to do: penetrate the market. Penetrating the market was important because developers refused to make apps for webOS -- regardless if HP provides better terms than Apple -- because nobody was using webOS. Now with the spike in demand for the TouchPad, it is possible that HP could topple Apple if it continues production of the TouchPad and continue selling the device $300 cheaper than the iPad. While I have only $50 on my wallet, HP has $12.7 billion in cash in the bank as of April 30, 2011, and hence could afford to sell the TouchPad at a loss.
The plight of HP (which said it is spinning of its PC business) could also give world domination to the Chinese. China is number one creditor of the U.S. government, has barraged stores with "Made in China" products, and could be the number one seller of PCs. Lenovo, after buying IBM Corp.'s personal computing business for $1.75 billion, has slowly gained ground as a top worldwide PC seller. By the end of the third quarter, Lenovo is expected to overtake Dell Inc. as the second largest seller of PCs. If it buys HP's PC business, Lenovo will be number one and will take one third of the market.
In the smartphone market, world domination could be obtained by Apple, that is, if it ever releases the iPhone 5 before aliens come zapping everyone on planet earth. In the second quarter, Apple emerged as the number one seller of smartphones, according to research firm IDC. Apple is reportedly releasing (finally) the iPhone 5 this October. According to TechCrunch, citing an unnamed app developer, the iPhone 5 will support access to both CDMA and GSM networks, which would make the device a world phone. CNET reported that according to a recent leak in the parts distribution chain, the iPhone 5 may not have the rumored front-facing LED flash as previously expected. The new iPhone 5 will sport a dual core A5 processor, an eight-megapixel camera and the latest upgrade to the iOS. Other exciting new features for the iPhone 5 are the voice based navigation system and panorama photography capabilities.
So is it a four-way race among the aliens, HP, the Chinese, and Apple for world domination?
No World Domination?
While HP's going-out-of-business sales for the TouchPad have been a hit, it will be unlikely that it will ever surpass today's market leader in tablets. Apple Inc.'s iPad 3 is set to rule the world in early 2012. Apple has already dominated more than 75 percent (could be more) of the tablet market this year with the iPad 2. After selling 29 million units of the iPad since the original device's release in April 2010 -- at prices starting at $499 apiece -- rivals have begun putting up their own tablets. While not inferior to the iPad, the rival tablets have barely made a dent in the market.
The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, has reported that Apple will manufacture its first iPad 3 units in October, with an eye toward a launch early next year. According to the report, the next iPad "is expected to feature a high resolution display - 2048 by 1536 compared with 1024 by 768 in the iPad 2." The screen will apparently retain the same 9.7-inch size of previous editions. The device will sport the iOS 5 operating system, which will be released by Apple this fall.
As for Lenovo and the Chinese, major U.S. PC sellers Dell and Toshiba are encountering sluggish PC sales themselves. Only Lenovo has been posting growth and could have enough resources to buy HP. But would the U.S. government approve a sale of major U.S. assets to a Chinese company?
As for the smartphone market, though Apple became the largest vendor in the second quarter, note that Google's Android operating system was the number one platform. Multiple vendors like Samsung, LG and HTC, have been using the platform, and with Google purchasing Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion (thus ending the IP woes for the Android), it is expected that the Android-based devices will continue to gain share. Most of this year has also been a transition phase for Nokia. Nokia, the perennial leader in smartphone sales, is finally releasing Microsoft Windows-based phones this year.
So will we have aliens dominating the earth because of global warming?
Universe Today points out that contrary to reports by CNN, Fox News, The Guardian, and the others, United States' space agency never predicted that extraterrestrials are invading Earth to destroy our civilization and save the rest of the universe.NASA has already issued a statement that it was not behind the study, which was simply a "thought experiment." NASA -- or even the study -- never said that contact with the aliens is looming and the aliens are here to annihilate earth. One of the authors, Shawn Domagal-Goldman, clarified that the paper was only a review of all the different proposed situations for contact with an alien civilization. He says that the likelihood of contact with an alien civilization is low.
As the alien invasion remains a possibility, Apple should unveil the iPhone 5 sooner rather than later. We need the 8-megapixel point and shoot camera to record the aliens' attack on earth.
To contact the editor, e-mail: