April is almost here, and that means the launch of Apple Watch. The one looming question we here at T-GAAP have is, “What problem does Apple Watch solve?” Will it tell time better? Will it be a better status symbol? Is Apple Pay enough to make it valued and unique? To answer these questions we took a look at two previous launches of brand new Apple products and the time piece industry itself to find the answers.
Apple’s iPhone entered a market during a time when “smart phone” meant a devices such as a Blackberry that could handle email and not much more. Many tried but failed with web browsers. Managing contacts and calendar events was a downright nightmare, and the phones themselves were clunky and difficult to use. No one loved their mobile phones, everyone just put up with them. Enter iPhone. iPhone made all of functions exponentially easier. The multi-touch interface and full screen display made using iPhone simple yet elegant. iPhone did everything well and that was just the beginning. Once Apple delivered the App Store the entire platform exploded.
A good CEO knows that if their company rests on its success, impending doom will soon be at their doorstep. IBM became distracted and complacent. Microsoft believed it was invincible with over 90% market share. Thank goodness Tim Cook and Apple think differently.
Cook knows that despite all the success and glory with the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad and the resurgence of the Mac, if Apple stands still history shows that Apple’s fate is certain — decline. While IBM and Microsoft are still with us today, they are not the companies they were at the peak of their success. The question is how Apple will maintain its success into the next decade.
Rumors of both a 12-inch MacBook and iPad have surfaced in recent months. Where there is smoke with Apple rumors there is often a form of fire, and claims of the an iPad Pro have been heating up quickly. We have put our stamp of approval on a 12-inch MacBook, but a 12-inch iPad (now with a stylus?) have us questioning the merits of why a product should exist.
Sometimes we get spoiled. We seldom stop to reflect on what has happened, always wanting more of something we don't yet have. Tis one of the pitfalls of capitalism coupled with our natural, insatiable tendency for something more. The fix for this problem is gratitude — being thankful for what we do have and have been given.
In the realm of Apple, this plays out in our desire for the “next best thing” instead of looking around us and being amazed at all the things Apple has done, just in 2014. Here are a few highlights to reflect upon from Apple in 2014.
You may – or may not – have heard about Google’s latest mobile OS, Android 5.0 Lollipop. If you are one of the rare birds who has actually used Lollipop you may have experienced a few problems, mainly in the area of the OS containing some major screw-ups. The issues are so bad that the few devices that ship, or can support Lollipop, are almost unusable. Think iOS 8.0.1 with more problems and you are on the right track.
One of the distinguishing features of Apple’s new iPhone 6 Plus is that if the device is turned sideways, the “desktop” will also rotate into landscape mode. While this has been around since day one with iPads, iPhones have only received this feature with iOS 8 — and only on the iPhone 6 Plus.
Apple's latest iPad Air 2 is the most advanced iPad, or tablet, shipping today. Touch ID, iOS 8, an aluminum frame second to none, and the most mature app ecosystem in the world, the iPad Air 2 is in a class by itself. The competition either delivers slower systems, or an ever-changing interface (not always for the better), and a less than mature selection of apps. But Chinese publications are increasing supporting the idea that Apple will be launching a 12-inch iPad. With the iPad Air 2 acting as Apple's flagship tablet, why would Apple want to introduce a 12-inch iPad?
Apple's main competition in the 12-inch space appears to be Microsoft's Surface Pro 3. Microsoft has continued to bash away on Apple's MacBook Air through its cash laden ad campaign. To-date it is estimated Microsoft has thrown over $2 billion into their Windows 8 and Surface advertising campaigns, focusing more of it's budget on the Surface during the 2014 calendar year. Ads have steered away from the highly criticized Windows 8 software, promoting Surface's hardware features instead, such as it's kickstand, and removable keyboard. But for all of Microsoft's promotion of Surface Pro 3, Apple continues to sell record number of Mac computers. The latest rumor suggests that Surface Pro 3 is going to be discontinued in the first half of 2015, with Microsoft shifting support to their hardware partners.
Apple’s October special event invitations were graced with the tag line “It’s been too long.” The special event delivered refreshed iPads (which are typically upgraded on an annual basis), a rev to the Mac mini line up and a 5K 27" iMac was also added. Surprisingly, there were many Macs in need of major facelifts or minor updates that were left waiting and wanting. Apple’s next special event could simply recycle the tag line, as many Macs are well overdue for something new.
It was just a couple of months ago that bloggers across the globe — including a few of us at T-GAAP — were asking whether Apple CEO Tim Cook was ever going to take Apple forward. More iPhone, iPad, an Mac updates, it was becoming an innovation snooze-fest as Apple hadn’t entered a new market category or created a revolutionary new product for years.
While WWDC gave developers an entire suite of new software tools such as Metal, Heath Kit and Swift, consumers were wondering whether the magic of creating something new had died with Steve Jobs. Don’t get me wrong, Tim Cook has done a wonderful job managing the company, but users of Apple product expect more than just good company management, they expect cool new technologies that no one but Apple can deliver.