Apple iCamera will likely replace the iPhone in the near future
I’m posing suggestively right now.
Last week here at KnowTechie, we discussed the ways Apple could bring back its innovative spirit. While we lightly touched on it, outside of suggesting a holographic Steve Jobs, one way Apple could truly innovate again would be to totally and completely lean into making a camera instead of a phone.
Apple is staring down two frontiers of personal technology, and neither is MacBook or iPad related. Instead, Apple is embracing the camera lens and the software and hardware surrounding our fascination with capturing the world around us and sharing our experiences as well as becoming an entertainment company. Let’s leave Apple TV+ for another day and focus on Apple fully leaning into cameras.
There was a time before smartphones that we didn’t have a camera in our pocket
It hung heavily around our necks, well, our father’s necks, and was used sparingly. Pictures were posed. Our lives were postcards, documented only as such. There were no pictures of food, save for the annual birthday cake or Thanksgiving table picture. Our face was rarely the only subject matter of a photograph, and film (film!) took time to develop. There was no place or ability to post a picture immediately. If you were lucky, it ended up on the corkboard in the kitchen.
Then someone put a camera on a phone, and everything changed. We started snapping shitty pictures with our flip phones, discovering that even with the pithy memory of early Nokia phones, we could save and share pictures from our pathetic lives to plump up our self-importance like a duck liver. Cameras in phones ruined our ability to moderate our egos within the world, our exciting (dull) lives were now to be shared and celebrated as if we were tiny kings shitting on the marble floor of the castle.
At the keynote last week, Apple spent more time talking about the camera in the iPhone than it did about anything else
Well, except for the Apple Watch, which apparently will save your life someday as if you couldn’t function in the world before it was tracking your heart rate. It’s the new “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up” device, just with better marketing and wrist bands. The camera on the iPhone is the future of Apple, and it knows it.
The point is that even Apple knows it has something here with the camera in the iPhone, so it seems almost inevitable that eventually, Apple will transition the iPhone and its marketing into a camera that also happens to function as a social media sharing device. It’s not like we actually make phone calls anymore, so having a camera that beats anything our dad had around his neck with the ability to quickly post to Instagram smells almost like innovation.
These cameras on the iPhone are no slouches either. Ultrawide, zoom, Deep Future AI taking advantage of the A13 chip and even Slofies are all solid selling features of the new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro camera phones. With more camera lenses and sensors being added than ever before and the future AI enhancements, Apple is counting on our egos driving our clamoring thirst for the iPhone and its camera.
So why keep up the charade for another year? It’s time for Apple to just ditch the phone bit of the iPhone and call it what it is, the iCamera. To this point, no phone manufacturer has fully embraced the camera use as the primary use for our phones. That’s what most of us use more than anything.
Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, and a billion other apps rely on visual interactions. Photos and videos drive our social interactions. Why not just create, but market a device that speaks directly to that? Sure, the iPhone is nearly there, but it could take that one step further and finally become the camera company we always knew it probably maybe was.
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