In 1984 Apple made computers accessible enough to earn a place in homes all across the world. Other computers had come before and others followed after. But in 1984 Apple started it all.
In 2001 Apple made music mobile. Music had already been mobile for decades, but Apple made the “music industry” mobile. With the introduction of iTunes store, music became truly mobile. This is amazing, but much less history altering than putting computers in our homes.
In 2007 Apple made computers mobile. Laptops, tablets and phones had already been available for decades, but Apple’s form factor for the iPhone (combined with an existing global culture of mobile phones) made computers truly mobile. However, this is not why the iPhone (and it’s eventual competitors) became ubiquitous throughout humanity. It is because in 2008 Apple launched the App Store. Computers aren’t omnipresent because of a particular size, weight, or materials. They are omnipresent because of the software they can run. The App Store made software truly mobile. This combined with the mobile form factor of a phone made computers truly mobile. This is also amazing, about as history altering as putting computers in our homes.
So what’s next for Apple. In a few days they plan to release an update to their iPhone product line and their first watch (aka "another way to connect to the app store"). To me it’s pretty clear we won’t be experiencing any history altering product launch. An that’s 100% fine.
There is just one more thing though. Apple is not the Apple of 1984. They are loaded with cash and resources. They have an amazing reputation, a massive platform and the ears of all internet connected people on earth. They can, more than anyone else, literally do anything they want. One might expect that with all those resources they might dream a little bigger. Maybe they are in one of their secret labs, who knows. But I do hope all of that money and those resources don’t turn them into a “product company” focused on making gadgets. I hope they realize their absolutely unique situation and bring humanity it’s next great evolution by breaking into a completely new industry. Again.