Apple finally filled in the blanks surrounding its new Apple Watch during a big press conference on Monday morning in California. Personally, I’m not all that excited about the new device. But professionally, I’m not sure how an Apple product could be any more exciting.
The Apple Watch represents a sea change for Apple, the world’s biggest company by market capitalization. Apple’s transition from “computer company” to “mobile device company” was not a means to an end, but rather the next step on a long road for Apple.
And now, we may have just gotten our first glimpse at the Apple of the future.
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Apple began as a company that helped transform computing and repackage it into something that was accessible to the masses. Then, Apple helped take all of that computing power and move it off of your desk or lap and into your pocket.
Now, it appears as though Apple is once again in the early stages of a major transition that will help shape the future of its business — and, ultimately, of our connected lives.
When Apple’s iPhone burst onto the scene and eventually became the primary focus on Apple’s business, the Mac did not disappear. Quite the contrary, in fact — Apple’s Mac lineup is better than it has ever been before.
Similarly, don’t expect Apple’s iPhone lineup to vanish in a cloud of smoke anytime soon. The iPhone will continue to be Apple’s biggest moneymaker for many years to come.
But it’s quite possible that, as was the case with the Mac and then the iPod, the iPhone will slowly move from the foreground to the background as the next wave washes over us.
And that next wave is more than just “smartwatches” or “wearables.”
Today, we have to reach into our pockets and pull out our smartphones in order to connect to people and to the limitless ocean of information that is the Internet. In the future, the Internet will be everywhere.
I’ve seen the future, and it looked absolutely amazing. The connected world as most people envision it today is only the tip of the iceberg, however.
Some day, there will be no barrier standing between a person and the information he or she seeks.
That future lies beyond notifications, health functionality and the other basic use cases we’ve seen thus far for wearables. And on our wrists, that future doesn’t look like a Casio calculator watch from the 1980s.
It looks like a beautiful, sophisticated timepiece.
Google Glass as we first knew it died a fast and horrible death. Why? Not because it was a bad idea, but because no sane person wanted to walk around with that ridiculous thing strapped to his or her face.
But some day, connected eyewear will be ubiquitous, difficult though it may be to envision, since all we have to go on right now is Glass.
Apple didn’t just become a “watch maker,” and it didn’t just become “a jeweler.” If rumors are true and the company does someday release a car, it won’t be an “auto maker.”
No, Apple is in the business of shaping the connected future, and it will go wherever that connected future takes it.
Today, that future is taking shape on our wrists, where Apple decided that making a desirable watch that also just so happens to be connected is the proper path to proliferation. Personally, I think Apple is correct. While other companies raced to market with half-baked garbage, as they often do, Apple took its time and launched “the right product” instead of “the first product.” This, of course, is not unfamiliar territory for Apple.
The prospect of owning and wearing an Apple Watch doesn’t really excite me personally, though I’ll certainly be getting one to use and test. It’s the direction Apple is headed that excites me, and the Apple Watch is only the beginning.
For everything you need to know about the Apple Watch including launch timing and pricing, be sure to check out our Apple Watch event hub.