It been two days since Tim Cook and company took the stage in San Francisco and to be honest, I’m still trying to wrap my head around all that was discussed. The keynote went 2 hours; the longest Apple keynote I can recall. And not a leisurely two hours at that either as Tim and mostly Craig (AKA “Superman” at an hour and 17 mins) quickly highlighted the major updates to Yosemite and iOS 8. As John Gruber said; “So much to digest in one day.”
Here’s some useful links:
-The full two-hour keynote
-A 90-second version of the keynote
-An overview of 8 key iOS 8 features
Too much for one blog post to review, here are three key nuggets from the keynote:
(1) Apple is positioning itself to be the “home base” of the “Internet of things” – Earlier this year, Apple introduced CarPlay and yesterday, Apple introduced HomeKit and HeathKit. In short, Apple, with its iOS powered devices wants to be the center of all your Internet/Bluetooth connected “things.” Apple does not have to make all these devices but Apple is providing the platform for all of your devices to connect to or to be monitored by. So Apple has a platform for the car, the home, and your health; if I were a betting man, I’d say Apple would go after your wallet/finances next with mobile payments.
(2) Apple took multiple shots at Google yesterday – While most tech journalists noticed the Android pie charts during the keynote, the vastly improved Spotlight in both Yosemite and iOS practically eliminate the need to do a Google search for anything. Moreover, Apple is even modifying the URL coming into both mobile and desktop Safari showing only the main domain as opposed to the main domain and all its assorted extensions. While we do not know the full ramifications of this yet, it very well could make the SEO in Google’s search universe less accurate (read=very bad for 96% of Google’s revenue stream).
(3) The other major shot Apple took at Google is the fragmentation if its ecosystem. One of Google’s strength is that anyone can make an Android powered device and Android market share has been climbing ever since. The downside is anyone can make an Android device and quality and user experience varies greatly. Apple, with control of both the operating system and the hardware, can do things that Android cannot such as take a call from your computer or hand documents/emails/texts to you iPad or laptop or with new iCloud Drive, sync all your photos/music/documents across multiple devices without having the files on anyone of them or buying apps/books/music that can be used across multiple devices (and synced single credit card purchasing). Apple is positioning the iPhone to be the center of everything you do – it will be the ultimate linchpin.
Bonus Nugget! Again we do not know the full ramifications of this yet but the new software code announced Monday, called Swift, appears to have superior performance implications – in both speed and battery life. In other words, iOS powered devices will have the speed with greater battery life then most current laptops running a full OS. Apple started calling the iPad – the iPad Air last year. It very well might be the case that the iPad Air might have the same performance capabilities as the best selling laptop on the market – the MacBook Air – at half the price and sooner than anyone expected. I can easily see these two product lines converging as A8/A9 ARM chips running Swift arrive in the near future.
Check out some of those links when you get a chance…
Associate Professor of Marketing
Stillman School of Business
Seton Hall University