As in the Revolutionary User Interface story, the symmetry in approach to the launch is telling, but what I want to note is that the three things which the iPhone was defined as being are no longer things that it is most used for.
Yes, the iPhone is still a wide-screen iPod which gets plenty of use but I don’t think anyone thinks that is a defining feature. It’s also a phone, but the Phone is just an app which, for me at least, is not frequently used. I communicate with my iPhone but the go-to app is iMessage or FaceTime or Skype or maybe Email or Twitter. Phone is something I use so rarely that the interface sometimes baffles me. And yes, it’s an Internet appliance. Browsing is something I do quite a bit but many of the browsing jobs-to-be-done are done better by apps. News, shopping Facebook and maps are “things which were once done in a browser.”
So I wonder whether the tentpole product-defining anchors used to introduce the Apple Watch will be faintly amusing a few years from now.
Timekeeping and fitness tracking, I don’t know. Those could fade in importance after we get a rich ecosystem of apps. But communication seems key to the Apple Watch concept — it’s the only feature other than the home screen with a dedicated hardware button.