The release of Apple’s wireless approach is so perfectly timed that Apple must be thinking about the wireless ecosystem. Airpods and the W1 were released the exact year that wireless headphones became more popular than wired ones. As wireless replaces wired for almost all connections, it seems obvious that putting Apple chips in every pair of headphones would be a no-brainer. It would make every wireless headphone in the world work better with the iPhone, building unprecedented ecosystem lock-in.
There are several approaches Apple could take, but perhaps the one that makes the most sense is selling chips made with its own designs while also taking a patent fee. Manufacturers would register with MFi, maintain certain standards, and get an instruction set they could use to make wireless everything that works better with iPhone. Imagine, for example, if Apple’s new car key function was even more secure because it used an Apple Silicon design made for cars (we’ll call it the C1). Why should smart locks and smart lightbulbs use their own bridges like zWave instead of just connecting through a trusted bridge made using custom Apple Silicon?
I have been thinking of the wearables market and why it would be beneficial to stay in a locked up ecosystem like Apple. This statement goes against what I have always pushed forward- decentralisation and open standards. One primary reason is Apple has nailed the chip architecture, one which requires a continuously-power background-always-on” kind of profile. Technologically, an iphone with an IOS is hopeless. However, the instructions managing the chipsets and the silicon itself is stellar. For example, having a Mac is a terrible idea because the OS is useless. Yet, they perform incredible hardware with its own set of limitations.
Likewise, the healthkit standards will eventually evolve under the ambit of “security and privacy” with a massive concentration of the data with Apple. The author makes certain intelligible assumptions in the linked article, but there are other evolving standards in the IoT space.
The future is already locked up in the limited choices we have but Google realises the importance of having their own chipsets and are struggling to wean themselves off Qualcomm and developing something with Samsung for their Exynos line. Exynos isn’t the panacea, but they improved massively from the previous generations and Samsung is pouring in money to monetise the chip lines backed by a robust demand.
I am not a Apple fanboy, but each technology behemoth is attempting to own the most important aspect of you- your health data. Beware of the designs!