NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) is such a large company that it's always working on multiple projects at the same time. Even more interesting is the synergy of those efforts. In contrast to some companies, Apple's coherent vision of where it wants to go means that it works on seemingly disparate projects that are nevertheless designed to eventually dovetail.
In the course of developing those projects, some are rolled out as standalone features that may seem questionable in isolation. That's because some technologies must be stress tested before the final integration.
For example, what's the relationship between TouchID -- Apple's fingerprint recognition system on the new iPhone 5s -- and iCloud? The connection doesn't seem obvious until Apple adds iBeacon, a secure payment system with its AppleID and the iCloud keychain. The result is that, at some critical point, a complete architecture for mobile payments is suddenly, surprisingly in place.
Another example is the 64-bit A7 System on a Chip (SoC) in the new iPad Air, mini Retina and the iPhone 5s. This caught competitors completely off guard, but it makes sense within Apple's long-term efforts. For example, if Apple were planning hybrid notebook computers or larger iPads (the rumored iPad Pro) with low power ARM CPUs, they'd have to have a larger address space and 64-bit capability, just like the Macintosh brethren. A Qualcomm employee recently said: "The 64-bit Apple chip hit us in the gut."
The lesson here is that Apple has long-term plans, but we often only see the pieces rolled out when they're ready and, many times, out of phase, until the dots get connected.
The Depth of Apple
1. 10 signs Apple is very serious about China. The long and patient negotiations with China Mobile seem ready to pay off to the tune of, eventually, 100 million iPhones per year sold in China.
2. Interesting new Siri Invention Emerges Today in a Sea of 204 New Apple Inventions. Siri is often seen as a static product. And yet, the Holy Grail of computing is to be able to have an intelligent conversation with our computer. The handwriting is on the wall here.
3. Three Bullish Apple Data Points. Apple has built an infrastructure that customers appreciate, according to Tim Parker at Benzinga.com:
Charlie Wolf, of Needham & Co. said that market share matters "very little" because the Apple ecosystem is so vast that each customer will purchase more than just the device. This will include apps, music, and other hardware devices. Google's Android devices hold a larger market share but the margins are lower and the ecosystem isn't as developed.
4. The iPhone 5s and 5c are highly favored by U.S. wireless customers. Daniel Dilger at AppleInsider notes that "iPhone 5s and mid-range iPhone 5c as the handsets took two of the top three sales slots at every major U.S. wireless carrier for the third month in a row."
5. It is widely believed, based on previous comments by Tim Cook, that Apple is cooking up a next generation TV experience. When Apple does this kind of thing, it's massively disruptive, but that's not appreciated before it becomes a product because innovation is always surprising and non-obvious. For example, when Apple introduced the 64-bit A7, it wasn't just thinking about phones and tablets. It will likely have a role to play Apple's TV plans.
After Apple rolls out its unique brand of next generation TV, everyone will desperately copy Apple because the results are so cool and no company wants to be left behind. That creates a technical consensus and momentum, a built-in success factor that's seldom predicted. Only Apple can get away with that.
6. Apple is spending multiple billions on robots, milling machines and industrial lasers to lay the groundwork for new products. To put that in perspective, the $10.5 billion that Apple is spending, according to Bloomberg News, is more than the cost of a new nuclear powered aircraft carrier (see the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford). When Apple spends that kind of money, it's clear the company has serious, long-term plans.
7. Finally, evidence is mounting that Apple will release a 12.9-inch iPad Pro early next year and what's being called an iWatch later in the year. The iPad Pro would be significant because it would carve an even larger slice out of the PC market -- which generally uses larger displays.
Connecting the Big Dots with Apple means looking at the company's massive manufacturing capacity, its interest in next generation TV, an ecosystem that draws paying customers into greater participation, spending and loyalty, a strong move into seizing mindshare and capability in mobile payments, aggressive and smart dealings with China, highly desirable, secure iPhones, continued research with Siri, and the disruptive effects of larger iPads and wearable computing devices.
The scope of these parallel efforts is breathtaking and seldom appreciated as a whole.
At the time of publication, Martellaro was long AAPL, although positions may change at any time.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.