With Microsoft announcing lots of new products, I was starting to wonder what is the future of Apple.

I read more into the matter. Apple will continue to focus on tying their hardware and software more closely together, perhaps making more moves into home automation with a new Apple TV and the Apple Watch.

They (finally) seem to be getting better at services, and iCloud and Continuity are reliable enough that where I feel all of my various Apple devices are just different windows into the same in-the-cloud data.

I think this year will be mostly about stability and optimization, as they take the groundwork of iOS8 and OS X and build even more on it. The Apple Watch will get native apps, for better or worse, and the Apple TV may finally get apps, too. We might see iPads get bigger, but with Macs now being more profitable than iPads, I’m not sure about that – the new MacBook might replace any plans for the 12-inch tablet.

Beyond 2015, it’s hard to say. They will obviously continue to refine their major product lines, but I’m not sure which product category makes sense for them to jump into next.

AR and VR are awesome, but I imagine they’re both still way too early for Apple to have anything in the market before, say, 2017 or 2018. They’re definitely playing with both concepts, but we consumers won’t see it until it’s very, very refined.

While my tech life is fairly Apple-centric at this point, I think the future of Microsoft is more exciting in the short-term.

In the long term, I’m excited to see where everyone goes, and hoping that Apple can refine some of the rough ideas we’ve seen from other companies.

They seem to be flailing around a bit looking for the next industry to “disrupt”. Wearables, rumors of TV, cars, the home.

I think wearables may be a profitable business for them but it’s just not going to be a huge industry for anyone. I think they sort of gave up/blew it with TV – they obviously seemed to want to do something big but the TV service they announced is pretty much the same thing everybody else is doing. Again, maybe a nice little profit generator for a while, but not a game-changer or trendsetter.

[divider]My bets aren’t placed on an Apple Car.[/divider]
Even with the introduction of CarPlay, the concept of Apple making a car is beyond belief.

Even with the introduction of CarPlay, the concept of Apple making a car is beyond belief.

I think it would be very difficult for them to do, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t. There are a lot of ways it could happen, from buying Tesla to poaching talent from top automakers to buying or just partnering with some other car company that nobody would think of.

The biggest barrier is that they just don’t know what they’re doing – they obviously have the resources, but they need institutional knowledge. They’re going to have to buy it somehow (or rent it with a licensing deal). They’re not going to start from scratch and build a modern Model T (in terms of influence) on their first try.

They have plenty of money to buy a carmaker. I do think this industry could benefit from their design coherence, but I don’t think it’s the sort of industry they could dominate like they have with phones, especially at the prices any Apple car would be priced at.

They’re not going to be selling £15,000 hatchbacks to compete with the Kia Soul – they’d be at the high end, where market share is pretty minuscule solely due to what people can afford. It’s one thing to buy a £500 watch – quite another to buy a £50,000 car.

I’d love to see them try to do something with a connected home.

This is definitely something they could become the defacto standard of if they put their minds to it. Google has started dipping their toes in with Nest and Dropcam, but they don’t really have anything integrated yet. I would love to see Apple come out with a modular system that combines an alarm (burglar/smoke/co2/flood) with security cameras, doorbell, thermostat, lights, etc.

Right now this stuff’s just a mess; it’s all very hard to use and nothing works together.

And it’s not a mature industry yet; Apple could swoop in and dominate it. The big barrier again is that they have no real knowledge or experience in how this stuff works, and something tells me they wouldn’t want to get involved with central station monitoring, which is absolutely necessary for a real alarm system (taking the responsibility off of you to call the police/fire dept. is most of the reason why alarms still exist, and anyway a lot of insurance policies require it).

Microsoft has a lot of stuff that’s very conceptual, but I can’t really see how it’s useful. Apple seems to be at least trying to get in on stuff we really use every day, but they don’t seem to be having the juggernaut style success they did with the iPod, iPhone and early iPads.

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