Apple getting into the smartphone business was a no-brainer. Music was moving to smartphones and that mean the iPod business would diminish over time. Apple had to act in a way only Apple can. Company engineers and executives hated their smartphones and the result was the iPhone. Where was the hatred for watches? Why design and build a watch?
Shrink And Grow
What is interesting about computers over the past few decades is the constant trend toward ever smaller components and ever increasing power and capability. It’s not just desktops or notebooks.
Today, the iPhone and the new iPad Pro are as powerful as many notebooks. What does that say about the future. Small is beautiful. But less is more. After using Watch for six months I’m convinced Apple didn’t just want to sell customers a smartwatch.
Watch is Apple’s new iPhone.
Think about what iPhone was back in 2007. A pretty smartphone with some clever apps, packaged into a thin slab of electronics made up mostly of battery, screen, and storage. Not much has changed other than the size of the screen and now there are over one million apps.
One could argue the backside of technology progress and say that Apple cleverly figured out a way to get Mac and iPod customers to buy more from Apple. iPhone. iPad. Apple TV. Watch. Where I once had only a Mac, now I have all those, too.
That’s rather cynical (if not somewhat accurate) but that’s not what Apple is all about. Co-founder Steve Jobs was seldom interested in yesterday or today, but constantly pushed Apple to skate to where the puck would be with a clever mixture of current technology mashed up in a new way to extend devices into the future.
Extend devices into the future. Think about that for a moment.
The Mac played music but the iPod made music mobile. The iTunes Music Store made it easy to buy music, then later Apple used the same technology to sell applications. The iPod did music but smartphones did more and that led to the iPhone which is little more than a Mac in your pocket, plus a built-in cell phone.
If small is beautiful and less is more then Watch heralds the future. Just as the iPod took music away from the Mac, and the iPhone took a whole variety of apps– email, browsing, photos, calendar, contacts, games, et al– away from the Mac, so, too does Watch take functions away from the iPhone.
I haven’t made a phone call on my iPhone in a few months. That’s right. They’re initiated and answered direct from my Watch. Siri works great and callers cannot tell the difference between a Watch call and an iPhone call. Other iPhone functions are being siphoned away to the Watch, too. What I envision over time is greater Siri interaction from Watch (because a Watch touchscreen is a poor interface), full-on Wi-Fi for Watch, full-on cell phone built in to Watch, and no need to have a tethered iPhone.
Doesn’t that sound like iPhone on your Watch.
This won’t happen overnight. The iPhone did not become a worldwide sensation overnight, either. It took years for the iPhone to become fully iconic and the aspirational technology for the masses. Watch doesn’t seem much different other than it has matured at a faster pace than iPhone and that tells me that in eight years (iPhone was launched in mid-2007) Watch will be standalone and far more capable.
Just as the iMac and Mac notebooks won’t die off, neither will screen real estate, and that leads me to a few patents Apple has up its sleeve for projecting images. Watch as projector?
Why not? Hologram FaceTime, here we come.