As is always the case with high-profile presentations, we arrived at Apple’s California Streaming event with a lot of rumors to be aware of. Most of what was expected materialized on the event stage, but many of the details certainly helped paint a much clearer picture of Apple’s vision of the market and how it plans to face the competition.
Early adopters and long-time users
When Apple presents its novelties, you can fall into the temptation to analyze each new product on the basis of how much it has evolved compared to the previous generation. However, the real opportunity is to understand how the new products compare to those of two or three years ago. For example, looking at the current iPhone user base, I would say that 75-80% of US iPhone users have an older model than the iPhone 12. These are the users most interested in the iPhone 13 and the ones who will have to find in new devices sufficient reasons to update.
The same reasoning applies to the Apple Watch Series 7. Comparing the various models above is perhaps the best way to understand the impact that the updated Series 7 screen will have on users of an Apple Watch Series 3, the ad model. more widespread today. For Series 6 owners, faster charging and the ability to get 8 hours of battery life in 8 minutes to track sleep will still have great appeal, as early adopters also tend to use their Apple Watch more extensively. , thus benefiting more from a better battery and faster charging.
For many early adopters the decision to upgrade is not necessarily driven by technical features, but rather by the desire to have the latest and best product anytime, even if it means incremental improvement. Early adopters also tend to have more disposable income earmarked for technology and rely more often on programs like Apple’s Annual iPhone Upgrade Program.
iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch: what you need to know about new Apple products
The choice of features
Apple has proven over time that it doesn’t like to leave it to chance how specs affect the price and perception of its products. This tactic allows Apple to test how effective a feature is and thereby attract users to other products or make an update more attractive. During this launch this approach was highlighted by two software features: Center Stage and Cinematic Mode.
First introduced in the iPad Pro, Center Stage is the ability of the iPad camera to always keep the subject in the center of the image and to adapt as more people enter the frame. The function is supported both when making a video call and when shooting a video. Now, this feature has been added to both the new iPad and the iPad Mini. With video calling being a part of everyday life and video becoming a form of expression embraced by many, it makes sense for Apple to add Center Stage to these new iPads that target educators and professionals.
Cinematic Mode is a new feature added to the iPhone 13 line that allows users to change the focus point after shooting video and, perhaps even more impressively, keep focus on a moving subject, allowing the at the same time that focal transitions occur automatically between objects when the subject looks away from the phone. The feature is driven by artificial intelligence and managed by the new A15 Bionic chip. Apple could have chosen to release Cinematic Mode only for Pro models, but enabling it across the range highlights Apple’s willingness to provide an uncompromising experience across all price levels.
For brands with a broader product portfolio, we’ve seen that chipsets are often used tactically to keep costs down on less expensive devices. This strategy, which Apple does not agree with, is motivated by the not always correct belief that users who spend less have to settle for lower performance.
Video is the new battlefield
I already talked about the importance of video in the previous section. Apple wants to dominate the field of mobile video in the same way it has come to conquer the scepter of smartphone photography. This should come as no surprise, considering how historically Apple has always appealed to creatives and how much video is now part of the output of creative professionals and creators. The fascination of video has no age limit. From teens on TikTok to grandparents on Facetime, video plays a significant role in what many of us do with our devices. The ability to deliver an experience that is intuitive, simple, yet excellent is why features like Cinematic Mode will make a difference for so many users.
All iPhones together
On the occasion of Apple’s most recent quarterly, CFO Luca Maestri said: “We expect supply constraints during the September quarter to be greater than those we experienced during the June quarter. The constraints will primarily impact the iPhone. and iPad “. Still, it’s interesting to note that Apple has chosen to make all products available at the same time rather than staggering them like last year. Of course, Apple can still prioritize models like the Pro, which tends to be the model of choice for early adopters. Keeping an eye on pre-orders and delivery times might give us a better indication of how things are going.
iPad Mini is an iPad Pro in disguise
As the Android ecosystem is moving towards foldable devices and consumers are increasingly dependent on technology and screens, I believe the iPad Mini update is particularly timely. The iPad Mini can play a much more significant role than in the past as an accompanying device to a computer or phone. The iPad Mini is now closer to an iPad Pro than a regular iPad. Still, Apple has leaned on the tablet-first use case by adding support for the Apple Pencil 2 rather than making it a mini version of the Pro by adding a Magic Keyboard to it.
Some have argued that the iPad Mini should have been a phone given the added support for 5G, but the reality is that the form factor wouldn’t have been as convenient for most users. Furthermore, in the corporate environment, a market that Apple highlighted on stage, not making the iPad Mini a phone has some advantages that should not be underestimated in the phase of supply to employees and in the management of devices.
Who knows if this doesn’t indicate that, at the right time, the iPad mini may be the first iOS device to introduce a foldable design.