Consumers and the media are obsessed with Apple’s products. A second after a new product is launched, the buzz about what’s coming next starts. Rumors and photos spread all over the Internet months before a new product is due in stores. Not for nothing, the Apple brand is the most powerful brand in the world; it helped the company generate over 40 billion dollars in profit last year.
Small businesses love Apple products too. A recent survey among SMB owners shows that 68.2% of all smartphones activated by them are iPhones. When it comes to tablets, that rate reaches 92.6%.
After Steve Jobs’s death, some said Apple wouldn’t be able to recover and succeeded without its visionary. But after the recent iPhone 5 launch, which was the most successful iPhone launch ever, this is clearly not the case. The company is moving full steam ahead.
So what should we expect from Apple in the future—an even smaller iPad or a better battery for the iPhone? Well, according to Apple guru Steve Wozniak, the future lies in artificial intelligence (AI). Artificial Intelligence refers to computer or mobile devices that have abilities that are currently reserved only to humans. As Wozniak puts it, “In forty years we will have computers that are conscious, that have feelings, that have a personality. My iPhone will know so much about me, I won’t want you humans.”
AI technology will allow us to communicate with our electronic device on a much deeper level and will enable us to delegate some of our daily tasks to it. Siri was the first sign of this trend that is expected to be Apple’s main focus in the upcoming years.
According to Eric Jackson, who talked about this subject on Forbes.com, in five years we will be able to fully integrate our iOS6-operated devices to our cars’ dashboards, communicate easily and deeply with a “personal assistant” such as Siri, get helpful location-based commerce suggestions, and receive TV-content recommendations based on our taste and past behavior, to name a few.
In his article, Jackson also suggests that Apple is currently the only company that has the time, talented AI people, money, and data to turn AI dreams into a reality. This could be the case today, but as we preach here often, through cooperation, knowledge sharing, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, SMBs can get the time, money, talent, and data needed to win a big slice of the artificial-intelligence cake.