In case you haven’t heard, Apple made an announcement recently about some of its new products coming out in the next few months. Full disclosure: Apple is not our client. But we wish it was, because despite the great innovations and technological advances that Apple’s now-CEO Tim Cook divulged Tuesday, the company’s marketing department did drop the ball a bit during the big to-do.
Among the several new products discussed was the new iPhone models, the 6 and 6 Plus, which are available for pre-order starting today, September 12 and will ship a week later. They will be equipped with an updated operating system, the iOS8, which will be available for current consumers to download on September 17. What’s so great about the iOS8? We don’t know, because Cook didn’t spend more than a second on that slide of the presentation. Helpful, Tim, very helpful.
Moving on. The 16GB iPhone 6 starts at $199, the new 64GB is $299 (a steal, really!) and the 128GB iPhone 6 is $399. The 6 Plus is $100 more each. Why should you buy one? The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will have 38% and 185% more pixels, respectively, than the most recent iPhone, the 5s. In addition, the new phones, respectively, come with crazy 4.7” and 5.5” screens and are 6.8mm and 7.1mm thin (compared to the 7.6mm 5s), but with comparable battery life—supposedly. Only time can tell if that claim is justifiable.
The “6” models contain a new Apple A8 processor, which does a whole bunch of stuff that only tech nerds really understand, but it must be great; and a new M8 “motion coprocessor” designed for fitness apps, which has a bunch of stuff that fitness freaks would love, so that’s awesome, too.
Both new phones have improved cameras—with doubly quick autofocus and better stabilization, for example. There are new gestures on the iPhone 6 Plus and improved keyboard options, among other things. Basically, it is like a new and improved mini iPad mini, or so Apple claims. We shall see.
Other products publicized at the “big reveal”:
- Apple Pay. IT DOESN’T SAVE YOUR INFO! This is huge during a time of data breaches and credit card thievery. Apple Pay stores encrypted payment information securely by using one-time payment numbers and a “dynamic security” code. Even better, Apple won’t keep track of what you bought, where you bought, or how much spent. Right, just like Facebook doesn’t creep everyone out by recognizing people in pictures and doesn’t disturbingly know what you’ve been looking for in an unrelated search engine…Apologies for the digression.
So far Apple Pay only works with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which have Near Field Communication (NFC) strips across their tops. American Express, MasterCard and Visa work with the mobile wallet already, which equates to 80% of U.S. consumers. Additionally, 22,000 retailers will work with Apple Pay, so it will already be available for decently widespread use. Furthermore, it is quick and easy to use—simply hold your phone up to the sensor display at the store and push the TouchID button. Done and done. This one-touch shopping in stores and online will be super…until you realize you updated your Facebook status one too many times and tweeted too much and your phone died and you left your physical wallet at home…so much for that shopping spree.
- Apple Watch. During this part of the Apple presentation, it started out with all “ooohs” and “ahhs,” but then it just went really over-the-top. For your run-of-the-mill marketing professional, it seems a little involved. Cook cautioned that the Apple Watch is not just a “wearable,” nor is it just an iPhone strapped to your wrist. But wouldn’t be cool if it was?
The Apple Watch, available in early 2015 for $349, will use a digital crown for scrolling, zooming and returning to the home screen. It will be available in two sizes, with six different types and materials of straps and three different versions (a basic style, the “edition” made from 18 karat gold, and the “sport” that has an aluminum casing). It too will utilize new gestures that will NOT be used on the iPhones, which may or may not get confusing for Apple aficionados. There are also a bunch of other cool specs about which we will not go into detail here. From a marketing standpoint, the last two sections of the entire production (about the Apple Wallet and Apple Watch) featured the presenters actually pausing and taking breaths, letting the information sink in, so that was nice for a change.
At that point in the presentation, U2 performed, which was kind-of irrelevant except it gave Apple an excuse to talk about iTunes. Yet throughout the entire announcement, there was no mention of one of the last of Apple’s “big deals,” the iPad. Hmmm…
Overall, Tuesday was a big, big day in the history of Apple. So maybe the marketing industry can overlook the oversights the company failed to include in its presentation, namely regarding connectivity and data requirements. Also a huge faux pas in the marketing and advertising field was committed—branding inconsistency.
Flash back to 1984, when the Flint Center in Cupertino, CA, was the site of the big reveal of the Macintosh computer, and again to 1998 when the announcement of the iMac signaled the rebirth of the Apple brand. Since then, Apple’s revolutionary products have been labeled using iBranding—iPod, iPhone, iPad…And now, with the revelation of Apple Pay and the Apple Watch, we are suddenly getting away from that branding, with no warning or explanation? That makes no sense! One of the key aspects to maintaining brand loyalty is a consistent look and feel of products and collateral. For many companies a move like this could signal the apocalypse, but apparently Apple is leaning on its strength of products to preserve its stranglehold on the SmartEverything market.
But will it be successful? Probably. There is no doubt that within the next few years these new Apple products (not iProducts—ugh, that is so irritating!) will be widely adopted across the globe. That’s our take, but what is your opinion on all of it?