Speaking of bags, Apple CEO Tim Cook again said that Apple has opportunities in new product categories, but refused to specify which products in which categories. Here’s a look at what Apple might be ready to launch in 2014 (iBag, anyone?).
iGlasses, iWatch, iPants, Oh My!
Let me start by stating what should be obvious. To paraphrase the Soup Nazi, ‘No television for you!‘ We need to get over the notion that Apple will ship a television.
First, there’s no money in TVs. Even industry leader Samsung struggles to make a buck in that cutthroat industry.
Second, the whole television content industry is a Balkanized mess of interconnecting fiefdoms. Apple is just one of the players.
Finally, while Apple could leverage iTunes and App Stores and products into a behemoth Apple TV upgrade with bona fide popular network programming, that’s not likely to occur soon, and if so at all, sporadically over time.
Alright, back to reality. What new product categories could Apple enter that would leverage the current product and service line?
Wearable Technology vs. Home Technology
Apple’s biggest problem as it grows fat and rich is that yesterday’s new product success may not look like a success today. For example, Apple’s original iPhone took years to sell millions of units.
The iPad actually sold more units in a shorter period of time and is about a $30-billion a year business on its own. A new business that generates a mere $5-billion in the first year might be considered a failure.
So, let’s look at a couple of categories. Wearable technology as exemplified by iGlasses and iWatch, vs. Home technology as exemplified by connected appliances (TV, Radio, Stereo, Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Home Security System, Smoke Alarms, and Thermostats).
Does wearable technology have a place in Apple’s future? I would be surprised if Apple does not launch both iGlasses and iWatch in 2014. Otherwise, what have all those fashion executives Apple hired this year been doing?
What about iHat and iPants, or even iBag? Those are stretches of the imagination, of course.
The home offers Apple some additional opportunities. Look at former Apple executive Tony Fadell’s Nest which makes Apple-like thermostats and smoke alarms. It’s not a stretch to see Apple home security systems and apps integrated into the home.
Somewhat related to home technology is what Apple is doing with Siri in the Car– extending the ecosystem. Many people now view a specific brand and model more favorably if it integrates into Apple’s iPhone and iPad ecosystem. Apple is merely leveraging products and components into new territory.
But iPants? What’s your thought? Where is Apple headed in 2014?