Tuesday, at Apple's September special event, CEO, Tim Cook and crew revealed iPhone 7. Among it's biggest new technologies was the omission of a legacy feature – Apple has done away with the industry standard 3.5mm audio jack, and for a slew of good reasons. But none more impactful than the fact that Android makers are now torn in what to do with a standard Apple just ditched.
Apple VP of World Wide Marketing, Phil Schiller, pointed out new digital advantages for moving past the the analog standard. Yes, the move brings wireless headphone technologies towards becoming the new standard. Yes, it saves space within iPhone. Yes, the removal of the jack eliminates another area for water and dust ingression. The shift to using iPhone's Lightning connector for headphones certainly ushers in the digital age for Apple's headphones, but the initial pain it brings to the competition is greater than the benefits within iPhone 7 in and of itself.
Here’s a quick run down what of what I think we will see today with Apple’s Special Event
To my surprise on my 51st birthday my son bought me a black Apple Watch, Sports Edition. He did not pay full retail, but took advantage of deals found on eBay. While I know this fall will probably be the launch of Apple Watch 2.0, it was a great gift for this aging tech-dog.
So now after two weeks of wear what are my thoughts? Glad you asked. I still do not see a need for Apple Watch. But now that I have been wearing one for two weeks, I have found it makes a lot of things easier than before. First off is the taptic sensors that notify you of an incoming text or alert. This is far more convenient than a phone that dings or vibrates. And that is the trick, how do you measure “convenient” in terms of dollars? Let me just say this, going back to the old way, without an Apple Watch would be hard-to-difficult. I am now use to alerts and notifications on my Apple Watch. What could be better is some sort of proximity monitor so that when my iPhone, MacBook Air and Apple Watch are close enough, only one device alerts me instead of all three or two of the three. That would really be a nice “feature.” For example, when my brother texts me I do not need to be tapped on my wrist, my iPhone to vibrate on the table (or in my bag) and an alert show up on screen of my MacBook Air. Just one of those is enough, thank you.
Sales figures have yet to be officially released about Apple Watch’s Christmas holiday success. Matter of fact, Apple has yet to release sales figures concerning Apple Watch and their policy isn't likely to change any time soon. All I know is that over the holidays every retail outlet that had some sort of “sale” or “special bundle” for Apple Watch and sold out of the most popular models quickly. This phenomenon gives credibility to my earlier claim that the problem with Apple Watch is not any of its features, but its price.
2016 is a year where Apple has the ability to do two things:
2015 has not been a great year for Apple, but the year had started with great promise. Apple Watch was to be Cook’s new product category, helping balance Apple’s sales ledger from heavy iPhone success. It was to be Cook’s version of the introducing the first iMac, iPod, iPhone or iPad to the market. However the Apple Watch launch was blundered like no other in recent Apple history. Within hours, Apple Watch inventory was depleted from online sales, leaving nothing for in-store purchases — on the first day! You could come in, try on a Apple Watch, decide which one was right for you, select additional bands, and then go over to a Mac and order online with a delivery not to happen for the next 2 or 3 months. Awful. What should have been a great success, and caused huge lines in the malls across the country turned out to be a big, big dud. Since then Apple has built up the inventory to match a marginal demand, but Cook and company missed their big opportunity that the iPhone had upon its first day of sales.
Steve Jobs is famous for many things: iMac, iPhone, iPad, OS X, iOS and the resurgence of Apple. He is also famous for his in-house rants and various perspectives. One such quote was,
iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad — all the non-OS X products in Apple’s stable have been revved and the product line is clean and clear. For example, there is no product overlap between an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus — or even between those and the previous iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Also there is no overlap between iPad models or between Apple Watch models. Within each of these product lines if you have a specific need or want, the choice of which product is right for you is fairly straightforward. That is unless you are in the market for an OS X powered notebook.
This is where things get messy and rather quickly. Usually bigger size means more money. But not with Apple’s notebooks. There is the entry model MacBook Air that leads the pac for price conscious consumers starting under $1,000 USD. But both standard 13" MacBook Air models are at least $100 less expensive than the smaller, entry level 12" MacBook. The MacBook offers more state-of-the-art technology than the Air’s (new keyboard, Force Touch trackpad, retina display, USB-C and multiple colors), but in consumer’s minds 12" is less than 13" so shouldn’t it cost less? Making matters worse, if a customer asks which one is more powerful, confusion can quickly ensue. The MacBook and MacBook Air use different chips, thus the MacBook Air is more powerful, and has powerful upgrade options, than the lightweight MacBook.
On Tuesday Apple announced updates to its Apple Watch product line this week at Apple’s Special Event held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. New gold and rose gold colored Sports Edition watches have been added to the line up, as well as several new wrist bands — ranging from different colored sports bands to some very stylish (and pricey) leather bands.