Apple has always been on the forefront of new technologies. They were the first to come up with the home computer and in recent times have led the charge into the smartphone era. With hardware being so inexpensive the industry has been creating thousands of new smart appliances, ranging from smart cars to smart homes. The rise of the tablet is evidence that the average consumer wants new smart appliances. With so many companies investing into this emerging market, what will Apple do? How far are they willing to go into this new foreign area?

A History of Innovation

The first Macintosh was released in 1984. It was the first truly affordable personal computer. It featured the groundbreaking new concept of window management. This paradigm in computing is still used today by almost all desktop operating systems. Nearly every facet of Windows or Linux has been dramatically influenced by the original Mac. Apple did not stop there, however. It seems that whenever Apple strikes big, they change the market forever. They have released countless innovations including, but not limited to, the iPod, iCloud, iTunes, and most recently, the iPad.

The Current Tablet Market

The tablet makes so much sense it’s a surprise it hadn’t been perfected earlier. It’s an extension of the desktop computer except without all the limitations of a desktop computer or laptop. The iPad made it possible to lie down on the couch and watch a movie comfortably. It opened up a new demand for games, music, and movies, further increasing the dominance of iTunes in the Internet app market. Other companies have taken heed of Apple’s success, most noticeably Microsoft. Microsoft’s new Windows release, Windows 8, is completely geared toward tablets. Windows, which has a long history of being designed for home and business computing, is now a tablet operating system. Microsoft obviously predicts a shift in the demographics to come, and is investing heavily in the market in which Apple already has a strong foothold.

What Does the Future Hold?

Along with tablets, the emerging market of so-called “smart” technologies grows better and more comprehensive every day. Integration of the Internet and social media with everyday devices is something that consumers want and companies are ready to serve. There are now smart cars that connect to online radio stations like Pandora, smart TVs that can stream YouTube, and even smart refrigerators that can display the weather on a screen. The possibilities are endless and it only makes sense that Apple, with a long history of innovation and involvement in new markets, will invest heavily in these smart appliances.

The future is exciting, and Apple is a computer focused on the future. Even just walking into an Apple store is like entering a vision of what could be. With new smart appliances exploding on the scene and companies competing for a piece of the market share, will Apple continue to lead the industry? It’s a difficult question to answer. The Apple stock is falling and the recent death of Steve Jobs has put a shred of doubt in Apple’s once-untouchable image. For Apple to come out on top, it will take expansion of their current products, like iTunes and iCloud, but most importantly, new markets. Apple must not forget what got them into their position originally: their culture of innovation. If Apple can navigate out of this tough period, they will definitely be an industry leader in smart appliances.

Stevie Nickels is a freelance tech and home design blogger, currently residing in McKinney, Texas. She is particularly interested in new energy efficient and technologically advanced Texas Roofing trends.