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Where I Think Apple Winds Up, Or, Winds Down

At some point, Apple's amazing, historic run is going to be done. All things pass. So, where does all this innovation lead us, and how does it so move is from where we are now to something so different that it changes the entire industry? I mean really change it?

I think the answer is when Apple finally goes for the eyes. Apple iVision, anyone?

Hypothetical Apple iVision product

At some point we have to get away from the iPhone and the iPad as your mobile device. We just do. I think the direction we're headed is a head-mounted display. As Ralph Osterhut, who presented at the EG conference earlier this month, noted, this stuff is going to be here before we know it.

Imagine, an iVision device which has everything you can do in your current iPhone 4, but 100x more. Apps, chat, phone, music, Netflix streaming, YouTube videos, iTunes, everything. And augmented reality, annotated vision, so anything you're looking at you can know about. Looking at a bar across the street? Who's in it that you know? Who just checked in to the shops and venues within your line of sight? Want to record whatever you're looking at? No problem.

So this is where I think Apple winds up. It acquires LensCrafters and merges the Apple Stores with those guys. :-)

And I also think this is where Apple winds down.

What I mean is, I think this is as far as the ride takes us before we get to global commodification of the hardware. Cheap Asian iVisions, running Android-like equivalents of iOS 12.0. You want the best, you get Apple, but at that point, the Apple brand is BMW/Porsche, for the discerning enthusiast who demands the very best engineering and performance. But everybody will be wearing something similar, and there will be Toyota versions that are a lot more affordable, maybe not with the same software, but who cares, the same data.

So why do I think this is where Apple winds down? Because there will be no longer a need for phones and handheld devices. You have your iVisions, what would you need the rest for? And so a lot of Apple's revenue switches to "iWare", and the old product lines go obsolete. But at that point, every company is producing iWare, and so all we have is software quality and engineering quality differences, but the commodification is running so amok, even Apple can't compete. And so the (trillion?) dollar bubble bursts.

But what a pretty sight it will make.

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