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Some Apple fans might be disappointed if there is indeed no new iPhone, as expected. But as our Silicon Valley bureau chief James Titcomb argued on Sunday, there are many reasons to be excited about a starring role for the Apple Watch.

Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, has said that in the long term, the company’s biggest contribution to mankind will be about health. That sounds better than selling electronics, so take it with a pinch of salt, but it speaks to the company’s ambition.

If this is the plan, the Apple Watch will be central to it. As a wearable device, it is much more capable of tracking vital signs than the company’s other gadgets. The miniaturisation of sensors and improved detection algorithms mean that the existing capabilities of the watch, such as heart rate monitoring, could be complemented by blood pressure or oxygen monitoring.

Hints at a fitness-related subscription service have also been discovered in the code to Apple’s forthcoming software. The company has been encouraging healthcare providers to make detailed medical records available to download on to an iPhone

Read James’s full column here.





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