So with the iphone 8 due Q4 2017, with tech sites hinting it will contain wireless charging, twin cameras, rear fingerprint sensor and other wonders which we will wonder how we lived without - what will the next 2 generations offer?
First the physical architecture. The trend is towards slimmer body and larger screen, but there are obvious constraints driven by the strength of the unit versus bending or drop force. Could the answer lie in replacing the rigid iphone structure with a bendy version? Electronics can be safely packaged in flexible circuit boards, and organic screens are coming on nicely. If we do away with charging/headphone ports then the roll up iphone becomes a possibility.
As a personal communications device, it will still have to work as a phone. But with the increase of processing power still following Moore's Law, the mobile phone can double as a laptop - especially if the size can be increased and the cloud is universally available for personal data storage and processing.
The iwatch still hasn't caught on, although Apple are shy about releasing figures. I can see wearable accessories working, but more usefully as a lens which can project a virtual image direct to the retina. Think glasses re-imagined, with real-time data directly superimposed on your vision under voice control. If you can build in enhanced vision and a camera, and you don't end up looking like a prize geek - there's the wearable application (until it's hard-wired into the brain but maybe that's the iphone 2000).
Big data mining is already upon us, with Google et al fully aware of our personal life habits, likes and dislikes. It's only a matter of time before our location impinges on the data we're fed; from marketing to more unsavory uses. On the plus side, hopefully it becomes easier to find a parking space/destination/fact/pertinent information.
Apps are still the icing on the cake. With every new technological innovation, up pops another app to make use of it. Voice recognition will improve, although the Glaswegian voice-operated lift will still be a challenge - and AI will gradually ease into our lives by stealth.
As always, the next generation will adopt this new technology without a second thought - and wonder how previous generations coped. With BT removing the last red telephone boxes, those that haven't been converted to libraries or greenhouses, how long before the iphone becomes obsolete?