Apple still in the business of disruption?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by erz, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. erz macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2008
    With this being a forum for alternatives to iOS devices, allow me to refer you to a broader perspective again: Can Apple repeat the success they had with creating the new smart phone paradigm?

    I'd say there is a new product category looming. One that many people feel is ready to turn mobile computing on its head. They are just not decided yet, how exactly it will look like. What they do agree on, though, is that it has to do with adding yet another layer of computation to our interaction with the world. Call it ambient computing, call it self-tracking, call it wearable computing, several companies are starting to dip their toes in and create the next big thing.

    We have Google trying augmented reality with Google Glass. We have so many rumors about an iWatch, and actual attempts at a wrist-worn computation device with the Pebble, the Nike-Fuelband and several Apple competitors trying to create smart watches.

    But more than just looking at heaps of smoke and deducing that there is fire, it looks to me that the mobile computing trend has not, in fact, reached a stable state where everyone is happy to copy the iPhone. When we consider other developments in the realm of augmented reality and communication technology, there is bound to be a point where these technologies converge. And then there will be repercussions for the current smart phone paradigm, because its computation functions may either be relegated to a new product category, or we turn to a hub-node model, where satellite gadgets compartmentalize the functions that currently are being done with our phones.

    I believe that a wrist-worn device is the most likely first iteration of the next generation of our mobile computation paradigm. There are many functional, but more importantly socio-ecologic reasons about mainstream adoption of new technologies. I don't know if Apple is the one to usher in the next disruptive technology, but I do think that they are much better suited to design products for human needs than their competition. Microsoft could be the dark horse, if their management decisions held up with the ingenuity that is hidden in their internal research facilities.

    Anyway, a more elaborate argument about what sort of design approach it takes to create disruptive technology, and why Google Glass looks ill advised may be found here:

    I'd be interested what you think the next game changing communication-tech product could look like. Why should it not be an iWatch? What else could it be? Is Apple the place to create it?
  2. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    There is too much compromise on the current next gen stuff we are hearing about like watches and glasses.

    There is no input device so you'll need a device linked too it or use voice which isn't that great by even today's standards.

    For example, if I had an iwatch or whatever and want to do practically anything short of sending a text I'll still need another device on me. So I'll have to wear a watch (which I prefer not too) AND carry a phone? No thanks.

    Same with google glass. Might be great for shooting POV videos but that's about it IMO. Plus I'll still need a handset anyway.

    I think we are a long way off before we have a next gen ALL IN ONE mobile device. What can there be really? Implants that beam imagines into our eyes and use thoughts for input? How many decades (or more) before something like that is mainstream?

    I'm on a iPhone 4S so 5 years after the first iPhone and its faster with a better screen. Not exactly ground breaking in my opinion.
  3. anomie Suspended

    Jun 29, 2010
    The next big thing will come up once battery technology reached another level.
    I am sure it won't be a watch but maybe a wristband with a big flat screen.
    Maybe it will be totally different of course. But a wristband would make sense since you always have it with you and it keep sure hands mostly free.
    As you see in cynics post ("I prefer not to wear a watch") most people lack the ability to even imagine something they don't know.
  4. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2009
    City of Angels
    Your article is interesting

    I don't think the iWatch is gonna disrupt much as a smartphone accessory. It might create a new market though. And Apple's historical ability to disrupt markets had more to do with leveraging digital distribution than the product itself.

    iPod - Digital distribution for music was key. Once they got the record labels on board and killed Tower Records, music listeners were funneled toward MP3's with iTunes having the best storefront --> gotta buy an iPod

    iPhone - Digital distribution for apps was key here too. Before this you had to hook up your phone to a computer to install a $20 app. With Apple, everything was commoditized to $1, OTA download, and phone owners could snack on cheap and free apps until they were vested in iOS.

    iPad - Killed the netbook model utilizing OTA distribution to create a brand new product space

    The natural extension of this would've been the TV, using digital distribution of TV media to get people to buy their TV set. But for whatever reason, that's not happening.
  5. Lloydbm41 macrumors 601


    Oct 17, 2013
    Central California
    No Steve Jobs to imagine that 'one more thing' driving Apple. Apple is driven by a smart, strong CEO that will keep Apple going, but the magic is gone. The dictator that drove, inspired, created, micromanaged and forced people to go beyond the norm is gone. I used to look at Apple products, like I would look at a Ducati or MV Agusya motorcycle; meant to be used like any other machine, but when you stood still and really looked at it, it was a piece of art. Now, iDevices are just things, while Ducati's and MV Augusta's are still beautiful works of art.
    Will Apple 'reimagine' a new device or create a paradigm shift in some new category? Doubtful. But that doesn't prevent Apple from selling a crap ton of any device they make and creating a category from sheer consumer consumption for all things Apple either.
  6. I7guy macrumors P6


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    Really? To me Ducatis are just things as well. Nothing of a particular importance. Things to be acquired and used within the framework of your life.
  7. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Having a bit of a tangential thought here, but this crystalizes for me what was nagging me in the back of my mind about Google Glass. With that form factor, the main thing about Glass should be augmented reality, but it isn't. The way most Glass apps work, it's just a smart screen that is on your face instead of in your hand or on your wrist. What it needs to do is something like Amazon's Firefly -- you stare at an object and it identifies it, shows you price comparisons if it's something you'd want to buy, take you to the related Wikipedia page if it's a landmark or an art object. If you are standing on a street, and say, "Okay Glass, take me to ________," it starts showing you arrows to show which way you need to go. But no, that's not how it works.

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