A couple of days after the iconic Apple keynote, we end up with a feeling, that is not new, that the magic is broken. There is definitely something not working anymore and despite the fact it is always easy to criticize a company like Apple, we must admit that today they are not anymore the “king of cool“. Is it a maturity thing? Next April, Apple will celebrate its 40 years of existence. They are really a successful company. With a total sales of $233 billion and a net profit of $53.4 billion, Apple is the most profitable company in history. Their communication budget reaches $2.1 billion so they know generally how to make you crave for the next phone or tablet. But the thing is that people are not fool anymore and competition is better on certain things.
With the kind of announcements they did this week I would rather just not do it at all. This is more damaging the brand than anything else. Well at least Samsung, Microsoft and Huawei were happy.
New iPads, Samsung was right
With the new announcements on Apple iPads, we can see that their speech sounds like Samsung: more pixels in the camera, a SD card reader via lightning and USB as well. So the entire philisophy of being autonomous and in a cloud environment is all gone. So Apple end up saying that Samsung was right to add usb ports to its tablet. With the iPad pro it is a different topic and also a different company. With the iPad pro Apple says that Microsoft was right. Microsoft is definitely leading the tablet market with Surface and companies are switching their laptops to Surface Pro 3 and Surface 4.
Apple realizes that people might have embraced the iPhone (as a true revolutionary device) but there is nothing really revolutionary with the iPad compared to competitors. Speaking about Microsoft, Apple has also “said” that Microsoft was right with MS Office. Since last year, not only Apple make demos with Word, Excel and Powerpoint but they even invited the Microsoft head of developments on stage last year. In a way, they have admitted that Pages, Sheets and Keynote are not necessary the best. This sounds like an Apple Developer nightmare.
The new iPhone SE… Or the new iPhone 5?
Sometimes in art we use to say there is always an eternal restart but in technology we should always move forward. The very first impressions we get from the new iPhone SE is that finally Apple got the iPhone 5 right. It is the same case they just changed the back case and naturally the “inside”.
Unfortunately there is nothing really new as a product. So if you still have an iPhone 4 or 4S you might move to the iPhone SE and then you will go directly to the iPhone 7. What was the interest of this product? The price positioning is still very expensive compared to competitors so it is not even a recruitment product. Why bringing the size down of the iPhone? We could say that it is more handful when you are using your phone to… Place a call. In average we know we switch on our smartphones at least 100 times a day and definitely not to make 100 calls. So all the point to get bigger screens was because people are doing more than “picking up the phone”.
Apple watch, health and fashion
There was nothing really new around the Apple watch a part from 2 things. The first novelty is… A nylon bracelet. According to Apple there are 1/3 of Apple watch users that change regularly their bracelets. So it is a fashion item. The second novelty, much more interesting is the Care-kit to help developers to create new apps related to people’s health. There is definitely a health market that is constantly growing, especially in the US. So by placing the Apple watch as health tool they might get a slice of the multi-billion dollar market.
Apple also announced that it was probably the last Apple event taking place in Town Hall. All keynotes will take place in their new campus where they have built a new amphitheater. It is a big change but probably people attending will definitely be excited to visit the “mother-ship” . There was also part of the keynote dedicated to environment. Apple is working hard to have a 100% recyclable iPhone. For that they have built a robot capable to dismantle an iPhone completely. They also talked about environment and how they are trying to be the greenest company possible. It is great to see that big companies are making efforts to get to ecology nirvana. Sometimes it is hard to measure the value of the news. In one hand we can congratulate Apple to try making a sustainable business from an ecological aspect, but in the other hand you could say: “how can you build new products since the years 2000 that are not 100% recyclable???” When they proudly announced they have sold so far 30 million iPhones so far, it means in average 3’000 tons of non fully recyclable material. It will probably end up somewhere away from our sensitive eyes.
So the true question is why Apple feel obliged to make events and announcements for so poor real news? Is it because they are in the stock market? Pressure from the stakeholders?
Certain companies went from market leader to… Nothing in less than 10 years. Take the examples of kodak or Blockbusters. When economic crises is bursting the way, only real innovation can guarantee leadership
Is it an unavoidable race for “new” ? The fact is that less is more and sometimes doing nothing is better than doing anything.