Last week, we watched Tim Cook unveil the new iPhone 7. From outward appearances, the new phone represents a modest step forward in tech development. Most of the attention centered on the absence of a traditional headphone socket.
But let's take a deeper look at the new phone. It seems clear to me that Apple is sharing its vision of a wireless future. Throw away your cables and your connectors, says Apple. From now on, connectivity will be largely a wireless phenomenon.
I actually believe this is just the beginning of an amazing transformation. Frankly, I do not believe that Apple and other tech makers will be satisfied by merely creating a wireless world. The real future extends far beyond going wireless.
Remember when Intel pivoted from memory chips to microprocessors and when IBM pivoted from mainframes to services? Those are classic examples of pivots. A more recent example of a world-class pivot would be Tiny Speck's switch from gaming to collaboration, which led to the creation of Slack, the incredibly popular collaboration platform.
From my perspective, Apple is preparing for its own massive pivot, from hardware and devices to cloud-based services. Here's why this makes sense: After you've eliminated the need for wires between devices, the next logical step is eliminating the devices themselves.
When Apple can deliver the features and functionality of an iPhone without the iPhone itself, that's when the real revolution begins.
Make no mistake, we're entering a new era of technology in which hardware and devices will be "behind the curtain" - largely invisible and hidden from view. Virtually all of the data and processing capabilities we need will be in the cloud. Any device we carry will be far smaller and far more powerful than any tablet or smartphone that we carry today.
Very soon, all the computational resources we need will be around us. We'll live in a state of continuous digital connectivity and seamless ambient computing. We won't need to actually carry devices because we'll be surrounded by smart infrastructure.
That is the underlying message of the iPhone 7 launch. The world is changing, and wireless headphones are just the beginning.