For now, the computer industry can be broken into a few different, somewhat disparate, yet familiar product groups; servers, desktops, notebooks, tablets, and smartphones. Only one technology company has made the transition from the traditional to the future. Guess which one?
The Mac In Your Pocket
First, a bit of computing history. The Mac was the first mass marketed personal computer that was relatively easy to use; thanks to a graphic display of icons and the point-and-click of the mouse.
It took another 10 years for the rest of the PC industry to adopt what Apple begot; the forgettable Windows ’95.
Since then the computer industry has experienced something of a time compression and product compression.
In other words, new technologies take less time to become mainstream, and computing power is compressed into ever smaller places.
With the iPhone 6, the power and usability of a Mac from just a few years ago now sits in your pocket and can easily be held in your hand. High resolution HD display. 2-billion transistors in the CPU. 24-bit graphics.
But it’s not the hardware that makes the mobile device revolution so revolutionary. It’s the applications that were once desktop class; applications that migrated to notebooks, applications that now reside as commonplace in the iPhone and iPad.
It’s unlikely than an iPhone or iPad can completely replace the professional-level functionality of a desktop class Mac Pro or iMac. Screen real estate is difficult to replicate in smaller devices.
Average personal computer user functions have moved– from desktop and notebook, to tablet and smartphone. Email, web browsing, calendar and contacts, photo management, games, movies– functions once the domain of desktop and notebook are now pocketable.
The mobile revolution inspired by the original iPhone in 2007 has crammed more features, more functions, and more power into increasingly smaller devices.
Yes, the new iPhones are slightly larger than previous models, with Apple paying homage to the need for more screen real estate, yet another extension of the ongoing mobile revolution lies just ahead in Apple Watch; the so-called smartwatch (note that Apple doesn’t use the term smartwatch or smartphone) with yet another smaller screen.
What personal computing functions we once accomplished only on the desktop eventually went to the laptop in notebooks. Many functions were offloaded to the smartphone and tablet, and we’re about to witness yet another offloading of functions to a smaller screen in Apple Watch.
The computer in our pocket may end up staying in our pockets for a few years– until Apple Watch and a new breed of mobile device; smaller but very good at personal communication, takes over.