Today at 1pm EST, Apple will be holding it's developer's keynote in San Francisco. This annual event is one of the few times a year when Apple announces major product and software updates. But this year is different.
Sure, Apple continues to be wildly successful. iPhones and iPads continue to dominate the market, in mind share and in profit. But in the past year, other companies have been gaining traction (namely Google and Samsung). And at Google I/O last month we've seen that in design, mobile software innovation and the cloud, Apple has fallen behind.
Normally, even during the biggest Apple announcements, the changes are iterative. Products like the iPhone and iPad receive relatively minor updates annually, and their software, iOS, looks and functions similarly year after year.
Apple can no longer be iterative. Like in 2007 when it first announced the iPhone, Apple must wow both their faithful following and companies like Google and Microsoft.
Many people may not even know Apple has a keynote today, and even more probably don't care. But what Apple chooses to announce today will effect everyone. Either they will show a newly designed, innovative and ahead-of-the-curve mobile operating system, or they will continue to iterate on the same old tired design.
If they choose to do the latter, the phone you will be using two years from now (myself included) will most likely be made from someone else. Probably an Android phone.
Or Apple may surprise everyone and show us what the future of mobile technology will look like for the next five years (as they did in 2007).
The event will be streamed live on Apple's website for Desktop and Mobile Safari users, and on Apple TV: http://www.apple.com/apple-events/june-2013/