Not only does Apple Inc. develop a lot of new hardware and software capabilities, they do a great job of integrating these new capabilities where it makes sense.
Consider the lifecycle of Coverflow: a software capability that allows fluid visual browsing of digital assets. Coverflow first appeared in the iTunes media application, then made its way to the iPod line of portable media players, then became an optional way to browse files in the OSX Finder, and now serves as a visual search results list for your browsing history in the Safari Web browser.
The iSight video camera, which began life as a stand-alone hardware peripheral, was integrated into the laptop line, then recently made its way into the latest version of the iPhone. Even the video editing software on the new iPhone started life elsewhere like iLife, Final Cut, and Quicktime software.
Other notable integrations include multi-touch (phone to ipod to laptop), non-removable extended life batteries (ipod to phone to laptop), glass & aluminum, and more. Given the consistent level of integration of Apple’s hardware and software integrations, it may be reasonable to look for clues of what’s next by considering integration opportunities. For instance, face recognition was shipped in the 2009 version of iPhoto. Chances are it will show up in the iPhone soon.
Other potential integrations include: