Whether they are surprising us with different models of the iPad, or continuously introducing the newest version of the ever-changing iPhone, Apple never fails to wow its customers. After what many deemed a “relatively quiet 2013” (Ong), some wonder if Apple is going to make a bigger impact in 2014. Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, was the major innovator alongside Steve Jobs in creating Apple and helping it grow from the start. While he has not played a significant role with the company for some time, he has still generated ideas and knowledge in the technology field. With the news of Wozniak coming to speak at Pitt this spring, it seemed a good time to check on what the tech corporation has in store for all of us this coming year.
In wondering what Apple might introduce to us this year, there seems no one better to answer this than Apple CEO Tim Cook. He states, “We have a lot to look forward to in 2014, including some big plans that we think customers are going to love” (Hong). Cook’s words leave us guessing as it is hard to be more ambiguous than “big plans,” especially for a company with Apple’s history of innovation. With little concrete evidence, we are left scouring the rumor mill in search of what Apple might release during the year. New product ideas such as the iWatch, iPad Pro, or even an Apple-made television have all been discussed. While each of these products sound enticing and interesting in themselves, they each follow the similar path of all Apple products before them. Each will likely present features to us unseen previously, improve ease of use, be innovative in some form, etc. These products hardly sound like they could justify the hype of “big plans.”
An interesting thought to take into consideration is that perhaps these “big plans” that Tim Cook spoke of are completely unrelated to these new products. Could Apple have something entirely different for us in store? “Throughout 2013, Cook hinted publicly about Apple’s plans for new product categories” (Ong). The question at hand is what are these “new product categories?”
Reports indicate that Apple may have its eyes set upon two industries entirely new to them – medicine and cars. There is evidence that Apple may be developing a heart attack detector app for your phone. “This idea is based on software that would listen to the sound of blood as it moves through arteries, potentially identifying those that are coated with plaque and could lead to blockages” (Klimas). The idea that Apple may be entering the medical field is something to be excited about. Improving and modernizing health-care for the masses is monumental. Allowing someone to predict a heart-attack moments before it occurs could save countless lives. One can only wonder what the geniuses behind so many hi-tech entertainment products could achieve in the medical industry.
While creating apps for the healthcare industry is not completely off-course of what Apple is normally accustomed to, entering the automotive industry is on an entirely different plane. “Tesla’s Elon Musk met with Apple executives at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters, suggesting the electric car company could be a target for Apple’s next venture” (Klimas). Looking into electric cars seems entirely plausible for a company that has vast experience with technological advances. Could Apple popularize an electric car, something that many manufacturers have struggled with thus far? It is no surprise that Apple is looking for opportunities in new industries. They have a reputation for innovation and are always looking for the “next big thing” (Klimas). Whether they stay true to their roots or decide to announce something entirely unexpected, it will be interesting to see what Apple unveils to the public in 2014.