The next 10 years of Apple will include self-driving cars, computer glasses, and — yes — a much faster iPhone
- For the past 10-plus years, Apple has made billions of dollars by manufacturing and selling the iPhone.
- But what's next, after the iPhone? That's the big question.
- Apple has a few major projects in the works, from a set of smart glasses to self-driving car technology to - yes - more iPhones.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Apple dominated the last decade in tech with the ubiquitous iPhone, and it's gearing up for the next 10 years with a variety of projects.
Notably, at least one of those projects is intended to outright replace the iPhone.
From self-driving cars to smart glasses to taking on Netflix, these are Apple's plans for continued domination in the decade to come.
1. The iPhone replacement: Apple's smart glasses.
Apple's looking to replace the iPhone "in roughly a decade," according to a new report in The Information.
But what comes after the iPhone?
Some version of smart glasses, the first pair of which could arrive as soon as 2022, the report said. A "sleeker" pair is scheduled to arrive in 2023 - and Apple's senior managers see the headsets replacing the iPhone "in roughly a decade."
Neither product has been announced by Apple, but the two headsets were reportedly detailed to a packed room of employees in a secret October meeting at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California.
According to people who attended the meeting cited in The Information's report, Apple detailed the two devices as such:
- The first device, expected in 2022, is said to resemble the Oculus Quest virtual-reality headset, with a high-resolution display, cameras mounted on the outside, and the ability to map its surroundings.
- The second device, expected in 2023, is more akin to sunglasses, with a thick frame to house a battery and processors. These glasses are intended for all-day use and are a step closer to Apple's eventual goal of releasing a device that replaces the iPhone.
Previous reports about Apple's smart-glasses project have pointed to a release as soon as 2020. Apple has reportedly been working on some form of so-called augmented-reality eyewear since at least 2015.
2. Services galore, and maybe even a bundling of those services.
First it was Apple Music, and then it was Apple News Plus, and Apple Arcade, and, most recently, Apple TV Plus.
In the last few years, Apple has rapidly evolved into a major player in a subscription services market dominated by the likes of Netflix and Spotify. But the company's next big move in that space may be a contraction of sorts: Apple is considering a subscription bundle that would include Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, and Apple News Plus, according to a report from Bloomberg's Gerry Smith and Mark Gurman.
And that new bundle could arrive as soon as this year, according to the report. The bundle of services that is said to be coming in 2020 doesn't include Apple Arcade, the video game subscription service Apple launched in September.
Starting with Apple Music in 2015, Apple has pushed hard into digital subscription services across the last several years. In 2019 in particular, Apple has launched three major new subscription services: Apple News Plus, Apple TV Plus, and Apple Arcade.
And Apple is showing no signs of slowing down in the coming years - especially as competition from the likes of Disney, Netflix, HBO, and more continues to heat up.
3. Self-driving cars, anyone?
Even the secret codename for Apple's self-driving car efforts is grandiose: "Project Titan" is what it's known as internally.
The company has been working on self-driving car tech for five years at this point - the project has thousands of employees, and has even had layoffs along the way.
Apple hasn't officially unveiled Project Titan, but the company has acknowledged that such efforts are underway. "We continue to believe there is a huge opportunity with autonomous systems, that Apple has unique capabilities to contribute, and that this is the most ambitious machine learning project ever," the company said in a statement to CNBC back in January 2019, when it moved hundreds of employees to other projects.
So, uh, what is the mysterious project?
At one point, it was said to be an entire car - an Apple car! - with self-driving technology. In the years since, Project Titan has reportedly evolved into a software-focused project.
4. The fastest iPhone yet, with 5G speeds, could be coming as soon as this year.
It's true: Apple will continue to make the iPhone for years to come, regardless of the various projects in the works.
2020 is no exception, with analysts and media expecting the iPhone 12 (or whatever it's called) to have 5G connectivity.
5G is the next major step for smartphone data after 4G LTE, the current standard. In short, 5G will bring faster-than-ever speeds to smartphone users. But the jump from current speeds to 5G will be gradual, and only phones with hardware that works with 5G networks will be able to take advantage of the speed increase.
According to several reports thus far, Apple's next iPhone will have hardware built-in that enables it to work on 5G networks. 2020's iPhones are also expected to feature better cameras and a new form of Touch ID underneath the glass screen - Apple holds its iPhone reveal event each year in September, so we're unlikely to learn more about the next iPhone until many, many months from now.
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