Research Kit - Nicely Done Tim!
Research Kit has to be the bit that struck me the most during the recent Apple Event. It is a powerful statement, to me, that Apple still views changing the world as an important part of their mission as a company. To be clear, Apple gets value from the announcement and subsequent developments. It reinforces the differentiation of their business model from Google and Facebook as Apple won't directly benefit from the data. They made an open source platform that can truly transform some difficult research work by bringing "big data", impartiality of response (in that the phone will respond predictably when used in the same manner), ease of data collection, flexibility, scale, and weight of the industry.
To fall back on a crude analysis that can be refined by folks who can better figure the assumptions (Ben Thomson comes to mind). With pretty much any assumption, such as 5 apps with 1 developer each at $150K ($120K as (Apple Developer Salary (search for it) with 30K in other benefits including Health Care seems reasonable), plus the salary of the folks who brokered the deals with the 17 organizations on the Reasearch Kit site, and the VP or Medical Director Team setting the vision for this, and other support staff, it's a substantial investment that Apple made in the area. I can easily put this at over a million dollar resource investment. Given the attention and importance of getting this right, it's easy to further imagine it is double this amount, or more.
So Apple has Billions in the bank and this hypothesized investment is a drop in the bucket you say? It is a substantial amount, a very visible and challenging commitment made by a company that has historically taken this kind of view. It is not without risk of failure and takes some courage. As such, nicely Done Tim. I'll judge Apple through this lens more than on the importance of the Apple Watch, which I am going to get and is sure to be popular.