It’s an iPhone, Tim, but not as we know it


Do you remember the concepts mooted when the original iPhone rumor first surfaced ? And do you remember seeing the iPhone for the first time and laughing at the pictures splashed all over the magazines a week before launch of a white phone with a jog-wheel ? It’s happening again, only this time with the iWatch.

Over at Mashable they have a gallery of concept iWatchii (plural of iWatch) while the New York Times goes into the specifics of the rumor and how curved glass (made by Corning and called ‘Willow Glass’) may very well makes its way onto your wrist soon. But the problem I have with these rumors is that we are talking about an Apple product here. And Apple loves to disrupt.

Disruptors on full

Why would Apple make something that is essentially another Pebble, or Sony SmartWatch ? Wearable technology is coming fast and furious to the consumer market and what Apple is working on is not a watch but the next generation of mobile phone technology. Right now the humble phone has changed from simply a communications device into a mobile portal to global connectivity but the chance to disrupt that space again is approaching.

Apple can split the mobile communication functions from the device itself and embed it into wearable tech, like an iWatch.

He’s dead, Tim!

Apple iWatchThe mobile phone form factor as it is today is dying. Nobody really wants screen real-estate in a device we talk into, it’s senseless and unnecessary. If you can control the actual communications functionality, make calls, compose quick SMS or email messages, and interface with Siri to do it all without actually holding on to the device itself then why wouldn’t you ?

Your iPad/ Mini, Galaxy or Phablet (God, I hate that term) will become the mobile computing platform of choice but the phone functionality itself will be missing from them because you’ll be wearing it on your wrist or woven into the fabric of the clothes you wear. The watch screen is large enough to reveal message updates, caller ID and the dimensions compact enough to house enough tech to work it independently of the host (eg in Apple’s case an iPad).

Now go a step further and add other wearables like Google Glass/ Vuzix. The iWatch now acts as a pointing device for you to interact with the AR HUD display before your eyes. Those tech visions of Minority Report aren’t that far away. Last year Apple filed patents for displays that sit over the eye and stream information to the retina for example.

We’ve become obsessed lately of how thin, pretty, and powerful a mobile phone should be but in reality it’s not the phone at all that we’re making reference to, those functions are utterly simplistic and I believe Apple knows this.

The iWatch isn’t about controling apps from your wrist. The iWatch is the next  iPhone.


Tags: , , , , ,

Categories: Disruption, Mobility

Author:Theo Priestley

"I had more creative ideas from Theo in 6 months than I have had in 6 years from most people." Theo Priestley is one of the most recognised independent technology industry influencers and evangelists, ranking in the Top 100 thought leaders across Virtual/ Augmented Reality, FinTech, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Internet of Things and future trends. Theo has written insights for Forbes, Wired, The European Magazine, Venturebeat to name a few, and has been interviewed for many online publications including the BBC on his thoughts on technology and the future. A regular paid keynote speaker and panelist at conferences and events, Theo is engaged for his forthright views and isn't afraid to challenge conventional thinking and the marketing hype surrounding the industry when presenting, never pulling punches to get the message across on how technology can be applied to improve business and the customer experience. He has also successfully organised and run TEDx and Ignite events. Highly active across social networks, he sits in the Top 1% for social media engagement on Kred and Klout and is constantly sharing articles and his analysis that he feels his audience would be interested in. Theo is also active in the startup community, mentoring within UK and US accelerators and sits on a number of advisory boards. Former VP and Chief Technology Evangelist at a Top 25 European enterprise software company with a career spanning both innovation strategy and delivery of software and business change in Financial Services, and as an independent technology industry analyst. Follow Theo on Twitter @tprstly or connect here directly for constant insights on tech and marketing trends. • Top 1% Influencer on Kred (915) • Top 1% Influencer on Klout (70+) • 12,000+ Followers on LinkedIn • 13,000+ Followers on Twitter • Recognised Top Influencer in AI, Virtual/ Augmented Reality, Fintech, IOT and Wearable Tech, Big Data and Analytics.

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One Comment on “It’s an iPhone, Tim, but not as we know it”

  1. Chris
    March 8, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    Disagree. Apple may like to “Disrupt”, however you are missing another key factor and that is usability in a real world environment.

    Let’s say that the “iWatch” is indeed the next iphone. Ok cool, a phone that we wear on our wrist. Very neat concept. So… How do we receive calls? Well the screen on the watch flashes, it vibrates on your wrist of course. But… you arent going to hold the watch up to your ear to take the call are you? That would look silly. Okay, so you need a bluetooth headset in order to use the calling functionality. Hmm. Well now we have everyone with an iWatchPhone walking around with a bluetooth in their ear. Instead of one phone-device, we now REQUIRE two.

    How about text messaging? You get a text message in, your watchphone beeps. You view the screen and read the text as it comes in. AWESOME! But, how are we going to reply? a keypad on the screen of the watch? LOL. No of course not, we will use SIRI to speak to the watch and reply to the message! Of course! Why didnt I think of that? Well…. what about if we are in the middle of a board meeting, or sitting in a library? We are going to disrupt everyone to speak to reply to a text message? No we arent, we will have to use that iPod touch or tablet in my bag connected via bluetooth to reply. This turns this one wearable iPhone into THREE devices to do the same task that ONE iPhone5 does now.

    Sorry, it’s an interesting concept, but it is not a realistic application of a new iPhone in today’s world.

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