What it is: Apple’s hiring of health related talent has increased 400% since 2017.
At one time, Apple relied on the Macintosh computer for all its revenue, but the world had already standardized on Windows so Apple had little room for growth focusing on personal computers.
Then Apple introduced the iPod and iTunes, and suddenly portable music players and music downloads gave Apple a huge boost in revenue while helping it rely less on the Macintosh.
When smartphones threatened to kill the iPod market, Apple reduced their dependence on the iPod by releasing the iPhone. The iPhone proved so popular that it defined the current smartphone market.
However, the smartphone market is slowing down. People aren’t upgrading their smartphones as often because each new model offers minor improvements over the current models. That means people are holding on to their smartphones longer, which means slowing smartphone sales.
Not only is Apple reducing their future revenue guidance due to slowing iPhone sales, but Samsung is also forecasting a downturn in smartphone sales as well. The problem isn’t just Apple but the overall smartphone market.
That’s why Apple has been diversifying recently with services such as Apple Music, Apple Books, and Apple Pay. the idea is to reduce dependence on hardware and make money whether people are using older products or not.
With iPhone sales slowing and showing no signs of suddenly picking up ever again, Apple needs a new market to target and that new market will likely be health, led by wearable computers such as the Apple Watch.
Like the iPhone, the Apple Watch has gone through major improvements with each generation although there’s little reason to upgrade each year with the Apple Watch.
However what will keep people pinned to the Apple Watch will be its improving health sensors. Since everyone (especially older people) are concerned about their health, it’s easy to see how wearable computers such as the Apple Watch and future Apple smart glasses product can use health as their primary focus, targeting the world’s aging population.
Far more people care about their health than care about using the latest smartphone. For that reason, health will be Apple’s new focus. Unlike smartphones, health-related products take more time to develop, which means it will be harder to take off-the-shelf components and slap them together to mimic an Apple Watch.
The iPhone is fine, but it will no longer be the primary driving force of Apple any more just like Apple no longer depends on the iPod or the Macintosh for the bulk of its revenue.
Health is the new focus because everyone is a potential customer, even people who don’t like Apple. Such people will have to decide if their health is more important than their irrational dislike of Apple because their lives literally depend on their decision.