After Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event in early August, I wrote that the company’s “unveiling” of several well-leaked products was a meaningless mess – an overly long and poorly organized mega-event that should have been divided into several product-specific announcements. Yesterday, as the first step in what are now expected to be September (Apple Watch / iPad), October (iPhone) and November (Mac) mini-events, Apple showed everyone what the alternative to a giant information dump should look like. But it also revealed potential weaknesses for the smaller event strategy: If the fewer announcements are not large or are too focused on a narrow product category, no one will bother to tune in.
By Apple standards, the September event had enough news to deserve attention, and I knew just as much in advance. There would be new flagships and mid-range Apple Watch models, new mid-range and novice iPads and two new or new subscription services. I was ready and able to cover all that news. But I was asked two questions that could not be answered definitively before the event: Would any of the news be transformative level important? Would an audience of business makers care about what Apple was about to announce? Unless the answer to both questions was yes, the announcements were not worth covering as news.
If this was not already obvious, it is very difficult to make the case a skeptical person that some news ̵
Revolutionary products rarely appear out of nowhere. I’ve only had two or three opportunities to witness examples of the opposite in person – such as the first iPhone to appear completely formed from Steve Jobs’ pocket – and I can say with some concern that many people do not appreciate the importance of what they see when it happens. It is very easy to downplay a big announcement; It is far more challenging to properly point out a controversial that is likely to be important going forward.
You may recall that some publications believed so strongly in Microsoft that they let then-CEO Steve Ballmer fart at the impending launch of the iPhone, claiming that Apple had “no chance” of gaining “any significant market share.” (Ballmer also suggested that Microsoft’s software would drive 60-80% of the phones, while Apple “could get” 2-3% of the market.) As important as the iPhone became, and eventually Apple could reach $ 1 and $ 2 trillion market cover before Microsoft . , with such a prediction back in 2007, would make someone laugh out of the room.
Iteration has undoubtedly been the key to Apple’s success. It’s actually remarkable that there is so much physical and conceptual similarity between the original and current iPhones, even though Apple’s evolution from selling 10 million to over 200 million iPhones in one year all comes down to the small changes. Price adjustments helped. Faster chips helped. Clearer and larger screens helped. Stronger glass helped. Better camera helped. These changes did not happen all at once, and individually they may not have seemed “transformative”, but there is no doubt that they helped Apple – and its rivals – completely change the way people used phones and established phones, no doubt . dominant data processing platform.
At one point, this was not generally understood by business. Apple’s stock chart looked like a pretty boring roller coaster with small peaks and valleys. But several years after the iPhone was launched, the chart began to look like a rocket that took off, and smart investors became rich investing in Apple – not against it. At the same time, iPhones, iPads and Macs pushed their way into Fortune 500, 100 and 50 companies. Not a few executives swapped Rolexes for Apple Watches, even without an 18-karat gold option to choose from. By 2017, the Apple Watch was the best-selling watch in the world, and last year the Apple Watch out-sold the entire Swiss watch industry combined.
In other words, an event that is “small” by Apple standards and focused mainly on new watches, means something because millions of people now rely on completely personal computers to track their health and help them work more efficiently each day. The addition of an oxygen sensor in the blood or a 20% faster chip may not be a very big deal that changes everything, nor is it the release of a midrange model that sits between Apple’s flagship and cheapest watches. But if each of these devices is likely to outsource all of the Rolex releases this year, who’s going to say what’s more interested in decision makers?
Apple’s successes have not come as direct, immediate responses to “transformative” announcements. They were gradually won over several years by continuously refining convincing but imperfect initial products. Furthermore, the growing scope of these product launches suggests that they have become important to everyone, both Apple customers and competitors.
I will be the first to admit that the announcements from Apple “Time Flies” yesterday were as iterative as they come. When you put aside the Watch news, the new iPads are basically old iPads with faster chips, and the subscription service messages were somewhat overwhelming. It would be easy to reject all of yesterday’s news and wait for something more obviously important on the horizon.
But every evidence I’ve seen suggests that interest in what Apple is doing is at an all-time high. Call the company boring or predictable, but people seem to care more than ever about even the small updates, as they can have a big impact on the way people live healthy lives, work and enjoy entertainment. My favorite just announced Apple Watch feature is a bit small, but it makes me smile every time I look at my wrist, and it means something – especially in times that are as turbulent as the ones we all go through.
If you can believe the reports, there will be an iPhone event in October, followed by a Mac event in November. I look forward to the announcements, only in part because I believe they will be milestones – my strong belief is that they will be of interest to many people who either use or compete with Apple products. If you are reading this, I would like to hear your thoughts, as opposed to or otherwise.