It appears that the tech world — including Apple — has reached the end of the device differentiation road.
Instead of innovation it is being forced to over populate software and hardware with gimmickry. They can make the display edge to edge, but it remains a display, finer in detail than the human eye can perceive.
A telephone can only work perfectly well before all telephones perform as well. Data can only flow down & up so fast before the next increment of speed is not discernible by the human nervous system. A smart phone can only function in a finite number of modes before many modes become superfluous and eerily similar.
The pad was an innovation: It was the application of proven technologies and customer accepted functionality into a discernibly new device.
Without a new device, meaning new hardware that is perceived by the masses as required, tech minds everywhere will be forced to enhance software and hardware with superfluous gimmickry.
At some point, too much of that gimmickry will be bug prone to degrees that will not be repairable, vis a vis current rumors concerning the iPhone 8. The iWatch and China’s variances of it, may eventually fill a niche. However, technological innovations will always be limited by human capabilities and desires to stretch to utilize those capabilities.
The tech industry needs a new device just as the auto industry needs electric vehicles.