I know what you’re thinking. ‘Say what, Kate? Roadmap?‘ As much as Apple tries to hide what it does, and a few details do get leaked pre-product launch, there are tracks elsewhere. Where? Read on.
Follow The Yellow Brick Road
When the iPhone 5s was launched it came with the built-in Touch ID fingerprint sensor which surprised the market.
No one should have been surprised at Touch ID because Apple bought the fingerprint reading and ID company, AuthenTec in 2012.
See? Roadmap. It’s common for companies to buy other companies to expand products and features. Google bought Motorola so it could make smartphones.
Microsoft bought Nokia so it could make smartphones. Facebook bought Instagram and WhatsApp because both came with a few hundred million users.
What’s Apple been doing? Buying companies and hiring executives and engineers. That’s how to check on Apple’s roadmap for future products.
Last year, Apple bought PrimeSense, the company that many sensors for Microsoft’s Xbox.
While Apple purchased a number of companies with ties to mapping technology, the company also bought P.A. Semi about six years ago. The result? Apple designed ARM CPUs for iPhone and iPad.
Apple’s purchase of Emagic and its Logic app back in 2002 brought about Garageband and Logic Pro X a few years later. After that, Apple secured a company with face-recognition technology, just after buying a company with gesture recognition technology.
That Was Then, This Is Now
In the past year or so Apple has hired a bunch of engineers from the health and fitness market. The company hired a number of executives from the fashion and retail world.
Put all the more recent pieces together and you get a more clearly defined roadmap of Apple’s future products and strategy. Health, fitness, motion sensor detection, retail, and CPU design.
Is it a stretch to see Apple put products on the market that are complementary to iPhone and iPad in the health and fitness market? No. Is it a stretch to see Apple launch new products which are known as much for style and fashion (iWatch and iGlasses come to mind) as technology? No. Is it a stretch to see that Apple has quietly assembled talented digital photography engineers? No.
That looks like a rather straightforward, easily identified product roadmap to me.