Apple in the future: The iPhone is dead – but Apple is far from it

In a few days, Apple will – once again – make history. Decades ago the world of technology was revolutionized with the iPhone, and this year, “Apple EVE”, the first artificial intelligence with its own awareness, will be launched worldwide – a turning point.

The weekend column has been published on GIGA every Sunday for over 25 years. This is also the case today, on the last Sunday of 2042. In the past, many things were different. For example, Apple celebrated the iPhone X as the big hit of the year in 2017. Nobody uses something as antiquarian as a smartphone these days. I was still a young person, too, in my early 40s. Today, at 66 years old, is still far from over for me, but with my retirement at the turn of the year a new chapter begins for me.

Future theme week at GIGA

Yes, this is a post about the year 2042. No, you haven’t made a journey through time. This contribution belongs to the theme week “The Future in 2042” on GIGA, in which we will turn our millennium by 21 years and show you what the tech and gaming world could look like in 2042.

You can find all contributions from this topic week in our special on the year 2042.

Apple’s way of the past few years: the iPhone is a thing of the past

In my last column I would like to look back and ask: When was the beginning of the end of the iPhone? and how did it go after that for my favorite company with the bitten apple? In my opinion, we have to travel back in time 20 years and then slowly work our way forward.

2022: Somewhat surprisingly, Apple also launched the iPhone 14 in the fall first version of the Apple Glasses before. There was a lot of speculation about the mixed reality glasses. The combined AR and VR headset still requires an iPhone. But this should change in a few years.

Even the first version of the Apple Glasses was a feast for the eyes and an homage to the famous glasses by Steve Jobs (Image: Antonio De Rosa).

2024: Tim Cook is going into well-deserved retirement at the age of 64 and leaves the company strengthened for the future. There were rumors of Cook’s departure three years earlier. It was said that he wanted to successfully introduce one last major new product. The Apple Glasses meet this requirement. The sales numbers grow and grow, the glasses trigger a real hype. Suddenly it’s really cool to own a “nose bike” again. Former COO Jeff Williams will succeed Tim Cook and Apple’s new CEO.

2025: After many years of secret development, Apple presents this Apple Car, it’s just not called that. The name „Apple One“ is as minimalistic as the design and at the same time a bit confusing. After all, that was the name of the subscription bundle consisting of services such as Apple TV + and Apple Music. Apple simply renames that to “Apple Plus”. You can’t buy the e-car yet, it should not be on the market for two years.

2026: Apple glasses are becoming increasingly popular. In the meantime there is the 5th generation and it finally loosens the lines, because from now on an iPhone is no longer required for use. The control is perfected and is absolutely fluid, a new sensor detects the movements of the hands in the air more precisely than ever before.

Apple One looked good, but it was too expensive and came too late (Image: Silicon Designer, Tech Balloon).

2028: Apple One is finally on sale, one year late, mind you. However, the electric car from the manufacturer from California is not cheap. With a starting price of just under 120,000 euros, the mobile vehicle is significantly more expensive than the Tesla C, which was presented two years earlier. For Apple, the car is the biggest flop in the company’s history. Critics agree: Apple was way too expensive at the time and also came to the party way too late, the competition had already divided the market. There was no more room for Apple.

What else could have happened in 2042, we show you in the special edition of our GIGA headlines:

It will end in 2031 and the Apple One will no longer be sold. Plans for an Apple Two are on hold and CEO Jeff Williams has to resign. Isabel Ge Mahe is the new Apple boss. The Apple manager, who was born in China, was responsible for Apple’s business in China for many years and had been in the Forbes list of the most powerful women guided. Mahe’s occupation is a clear sign, both of a return to the core business and a concession to China’s supremacy in the world.

Isabel Ge Mahe: The future Apple CEO? (Image: Apple, FaceApp).

Worth mentioning: It was Isabel Ge Mahe who sold the loss-making business with the electric car, or whatever was left of it, to Tesla. This is where the collaboration with Elon Musk’s “Neuralink” begins, but more on that later. Needless to say, Mahe is still at the head of the company to this day.

Apple invents the “holodeck” and revolutionizes fashion

2031: The long-awaited ones join the Apple Glasses Apple Lenses. Miniaturization makes it possible to accommodate the technology of mixed reality glasses in something as delicate as a contact lens. The iPhone, on the other hand, is becoming less and less important. For five years now, Apple has been selling fewer and fewer smartphones. Apple Glasses, on the other hand, are the new star, and their success with Apple Lenses should continue.

2033: The last smartphone from Apple appears, the manufacturer simply calls it “iPhone Classic”. A limited edition should be sold for another year, then the era of the legendary product ends after 27 years. Today the last iPhone is a popular collector’s item, back then it caused relatively little stir.

In the meantime, by 2033, most customers will only be using Apple Glasses or Lenses. If you still prefer to look at a larger display in the classic way, you would prefer to use the iPad. This has largely replaced the Mac for a long time and has blossomed into an absolute replacement in creative content production. Only a few professionals still use the former cult calculator, mostly older semesters. I, too, remained loyal to the Mac until the bitter end – old love never rusts.

In the beginning the iSuit was still very technical, but later became an absolute fashion highlight in different designs (picture: Clement Balavoine).

2034: The last iPhone is rolling off the assembly line and the Mac is also being discontinued for good – after 50 years. The end of an unprecedented success story. But in September company boss Isabel Ge Mahe presented the next big thing – the iSuit.

What initially looks like a combination of space travel and diving suit has been an absolute fashion trendsetter for years. The innovative full body suit from Apple with haptic feedback mutates in interaction with Apple Glasses to the “Holodeck” – known from old Star Trek episodes. Useful and a resounding success for the adult industry. Even if Apple doesn’t like to hear it and often keeps it quiet, the iSuit was as important for the industry as it was once VHS, DVD and the Internet.

Today the iSuite is available in different designs. Men, women and divers also wear the item of clothing in their normal everyday life. Apple manages to combine fashion and technology like no one else before. The annual edition models by Chanel and Boss are legendary.

Apple’s Future: Neural Networking and Artificial Consciousness

2038: Four years ago, a joint venture became public that completely turned the way we see ourselves as humans on its head. The glasses manufacturer presented together with Neuralink “Apple LinK” – the first human-brain interface to be produced in series. Idea: The thought controls the machine, in this case Apple Glasses, the iSuit and much more. In addition, there are new health features every year, because many parameters that could previously only be determined in the laboratory are now simply read out with the wireless interface.

Here you can see one of the first prototypes from Apple LinK – the finished product was much smaller in the end (picture: Neuralink).

In contrast to the other products, Apple is not interested in quick success, it is rather a project of the century, said Isabel Ge Mahe at the presentation. After all, it takes one Small, surgical procedure under awake anesthesia. So far, around 28 million people around the world have agreed to do this.

The majority are still skeptical about Apple LinK, but above all the Alpha and Beta generations, i.e. those born after 2010, see this “Cyborg-Implanted” rather pragmatic. The Beta generation (born from 2025) are not even allowed to use it themselves – minimum age 18, there is no discussion.

Good to know: The collaboration between Apple and Neuralink secretly began in 2031. The sale of Apple’s e-car project to Tesla paved the way for company mogul Elon Musk. The now 71-year-old loves the surprise and was actually able to keep the secret to himself for so long, despite his well-known loquacity.

2042: If everything goes according to plan, EVE will go online on December 31st at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time. In this country it is already New Years morning. Apple EVE is the first conscious AI. Until then, it had been kept under lock and key for years and was shown to an astounded global community for the first time at the WWDC in June of this year.

While Siri was once a relatively stupid algorithm, EVE is actually something like an artificial consciousness that you can converse with in a completely natural way. EVE is constantly learning and, according to Apple’s wishes, it should now become a central component of all operating systems. EVE is best comparable with the AI ​​”Samantha” from the Classic film “Her” (2013). But there are also concerns.

In the 2013 film “Her”, a then young Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with an artificial intelligence, spoken by Scarlett Johansson:

Quite a few people think of “Skynet” from an even older ham, even if only seniors like us can remember the “Terminator”. Skynet declared war on humanity and plunged earth into the nuclear holocaust. But it shouldn’t come to that. That Pentagon assures: EVE does not get access to missile launch codes and would have passed all security tests with flying colors. Not all people could be convinced of this. Today, just before the launch, there are still isolated protests. Apple sought dialogue, but the schedule is there.

For my part, I hope for the best, after all, I want to be able to enjoy my well-deserved retirement and not have to fight for my life in the apocalypse triggered by Apple. The Corona years at the beginning of the 20s were already the end of time enough for me and many fellow sufferers.

The bottom line: For a long time it was believed that Apple could only maintain its outstanding position because of the iPhone. However, in the past 20 years the company has proven otherwise. Setbacks such as the failed e-car project did not deter them for long. The crew quickly took the helm again and stayed on course. Today Apple is more impressive than ever – Apple Glasses, Apple Lenses, the iSuit, Apple LinK and in a few days Apple EVE. If company founder Steve Jobs had been able to experience this, he would be visibly proud of his legacy and would still have joy in the future at the age of 87.

I’m leaving the field now. A small sailing boat is already waiting for me in retirement for the upcoming circumnavigation of the world (Image: Sven Kaulfuss, FaceApp).

And with that I close this column in 2042 and say goodbye to our loyal readers in a nutshell. It was both a pleasure and an honor – take care and thanks for the fish, my dear hitchhikers to the galaxy.