The hidden next steps of an Apple keynote

Why are those Apple keynotes of new products always that big fun. Of course it is the excitement of the new great products that are introduced. But even more the knowing there are some serious steps ahead which we cannot think of yet. These steps are in a way hidden in the talk.

The real surprises are not anymore the product that is introduced. The secrets are not kept anymore, deliberately or not. The interesting guessing starts only after the speech: what are the real consequences of this new product.

So we have a new iPhone and it is beautiful. But what are the hidden developments this time? Some thoughts.

  • rebranding iPhone OS to iOS is expected to be the sign of making this OS a carrier of a lot of new devices that will be connected: of course the iPad and the expected new AppleTV. But maybe even a small desktop. As Steve put it: “we will be connecting ten million of devices this year”
  • especially on the AppleTV the expectations are high. Will it be just an upgrade of the current concept with the new iOS or will Apple make real TV’s as an intelligent screen. I think the last is not so logic, but there is a chance that the new AppleTV will turn every screen in an internet connected TV by adding live TV capabilities.
  • with the introduction of an open standard for FaceTime the are going for videochat domination in the device world. Well maybe, but it is of course crucial that as many people as possible are FaceTime enabled, you have to obey Metcalfe’s Law.
  • creating a new gesture interface experience with the glass back. Adding tickling-on-the-back features in coming releases will be interesting. Or just adding new sensing possibilities for light our devices will be more an more sensors to our environment.
  • the introduction of iBooks, iMovie, unified inbox and later as expected also iWork shows the cloud computing focus where the device is just the remote control of the mobile life service Apple is providing. Seamless syncing will be a central feature.

Overall I think the new iPhone contributes a lot to the strategy of Apple to keep and expand there share of the market by put real focus on the best device experience and above of all the most balanced ecosystem that will be the key to success. In that manner they will keep there differentiation of other players as Google that never can meet up with this product and service quality. There will be room for both in the market but Apple will prove to make the best profit and lock-in.

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I am a design director at Structural. I curate and organize ThingsCon Netherlands and I am chairman of the Cities of Things Foundation. Before I was innovation and strategy director at tech and innovation agency INFO, visiting researcher and lab director at the Delft University of Technology coordinating Cities of Things Delft Design Lab.

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