Santayana, circa 1905, wrote, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ Does that not explain why charter members of the technorati elite politburo constantly rag on Apple and decry the company’s future as lost? They are repeating history by not remembering Apple’s history.
Critics point out that Apple’s many competitors have technology components which are better than what Apple uses today. That’s the case with the iPhone’s screen, languishing far behind Samsung’s bright, vibrant, highly dense and colorful smartphone displays. But Apple plays a good game of leapfrog, so what is coming on the horizon?
AMOLED, LCD, LED, Next
When it comes to screen technology, mobile devices seem to have two main groups. AMOLEDs and LCDs. With the exception of Watch, Apple remains invested in traditional LCDs, which some point to as another component where Apple lags competitors.
Watch uses an AMOLED display. It’s lighter and thinner and uses less energy than traditional LCDs. What’s better than what Watch has now? Apple has invested money into a new technology called microLED. Think thinner, lighter, brighter, and less power hungry than traditional LCD or AMOLED screens.
Wherefore art thou, microLED? No place. Yet.
This is an example of where Apple’s discipline and patience as a technology company can be revealed. The company is willing to sit out the status quo of AMOLEDs and stick with yesteryear’s LCD tech, until the technology matures or something better comes along. That’s the leapfrog game that Apple plays all too often.
Two years after being introduced we now see where Apple’s Force Touch and 3D Touch technology can pave the way for buttonless devices, and screens which require a single touch on an icon to perform tasks, rather than opening an app and pressing multiple buttons to accomplish the same thing. Apple has layered in the haptic feedback touch technology year by year. How long before the iPhone is a total slab of glass and all the buttons are arranged on the screen like 3D Touch, Touch ID, and Force Touch?
Watch plays a part in helping us define Apple’s future directions. Watch is AMOLED, an Apple first. Watch has built-in Force Touch which can be expanded to include multiple functions dependent upon how hard the screen is pressed (a perfect example of expanding a screen’s functions, without expanding the size of the screen). Watch has special software operations to extend battery life.
We can also see the future based upon what Watch does not have, at least in its first iteration. There’s no standalone Wi-Fi or 4G LTE. Does anyone doubt that is coming to future versions. There’s no built-in GPS, but that alone would go a long way toward making Watch a standalone device, rather than an accessory to the iPhone. Yet, Watch already has more RAM and more flash storage than the original iPhone; as much as the iPhone 4s entry-level model.
Does anyone not see the direction Apple is going by looking at the incremental improvements in each product? It’s actually rather easy to see once you stop looking at current day comparisons, and backup a bit to see the progression over time. Watch merely serves as the latest product on Apple’s steady incremental improvement train.