Today’s epic Apple event was built on hype, anticipation for new products, and a hope for the revolution of Fanboys and Fangirls everywhere. What we are left with are reinvented concepts, a more connected society (if that’s possible), and a crap load of data that will be collected. As many of you know, I am a self proclaimed Apple Fanboy and worshiper. Why else would my nickname be iTom-smile? My title of this article is not meant to suggest that Apple is dead, but that with Steve Job’s passing they simply have one foot in the grave. The other one is alive and kicking, however it’s going to have to work pretty hard to stay alive.
The announcement today made me think of a beloved Rolling Stones song with the line, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Go ahead, finish the song, “But You Get What You Need.” Apple does an amazing job of timing the market, knowing what the consumer needs, and building a business model that evolves with technology. That is what makes them innovative and not necessarily the products. So what did I think of todays announcements……..iSmiled.
Here is my breakdown of the announcements and what they mean to the everyday user.
iPhone 6 & iPhone Plus
There is NO real significant change in the hardware or battery life between the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 6. The big jump, if you would call it that, is when you go with the iPhone Plus. You get a faster processor, graphics, and battery life. That alone should not make anyone want to move from an iPhone 5 to an iPhone 6.
The bigger is better mentality is one I do not share when it comes to my phone. I am not a fan of the bigger iPhone 6 Plus screen size, but may be forced into buying it if I want some of the other bells and whistles.
Apple decided to go with a new focus pixel feature that gives photographers and selfie takers faster focus, better macro images, and time lapse video. This new feature should allow small time photographers and videographers to make some amazing projects that rival the pros.
The iPhones ship September 19th and you can pre order them on September 12th.
Hallelujah somebody solved the mobile payment problem – maybe. This was a highly anticipated function that was suppose to be in the Apple 5s phone, but wasn’t. The game changer for me is the separate storage of the encrypted information and the encrypted tokenization each phone sends out per each payment. This is huge and ensures a much more secure payment system online and at the store. If the device becomes stolen or lost, you can simply use the Find My Phone app to disable or cancel payment options (brilliant). Some of the businesses already on board are McDonald’s, Target, Starbucks, Toys R Us, Panera and opentable.
Two things have to happen for this to truly work:
1. Existing POS systems have to easily integrate with the NFC scanners. This includes cloud based POS systems that are on the rise and making it more affordable for small businesses.
2. Apple has to get the major online retailers and brick and mortar stores to adopt this payment method. They HAVE to integrate this payment system into their development kit for programmers. Otherwise, it will be one of many payment options.
A nice bonus is how the Apple Watch will also be a way to make payments. This cuts down the time to pull your iPhone 6 out of your case or pocket.
Finally, the Apple Watch is intriguing and dangerous. Intriguing in the design, the interchangeable bands, and dangerous in its integration into your everyday life. The concept of utilize the crown was brilliant along with the touch display that recognizes pressure and touch. How much will we utilize the watch in conjunction with our phone? I say very little. The watch is going to do an amazing job of collecting data about you and your activity. This will come in play 2 to 5 years down the road when Apple forms partnerships with the Healthcare industry. Yes, I predict a more comprehensive business relationship with Apple and the Healthcare industry.
The starting price at $349 was lower than I expected, but that will be the entry level for one of the three categories they are targeting: Sports, Everyday, and High End. I am not going to lie, they look amazing and the design is stunning. They even have a Mickey Mouse clock you can choose from as your default clock. The top three functionalities for me are the Apple Pay integration, 3rd party controlled Apps and Hardware, and the health and wellness integration. Do those three alone justify spending the money? I am not sure. I will have to get my hands on one first.
The creepiest function to come out of the Apple Watch is the sharing of your personal heartbeat with another person close by. I can see that NO good will come of this, but it may be something the online dating services integrate.
As developers come up with more apps and functionality for it, I can see the Apple Watch playing a bigger role in our everyday lives 2 to 3 years down the road.
The best overall non Apple events today was U2 playing and giving away their album for free, Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon’s iPhone commercials, and drum roll please………….the fact that the live streaming event was not working. They experienced issues from the start and Twitter was full of complaints and funny tweets.
What Apple does now is entirely on how well they continue to baby step our everyday lives into their ecosystem. Today could have just been the first step towards total Apple assimilation – iSmile