Fireside / June 2012

A Great Week for Apple Fans

It’s been a crazy week in the technology world, and I’m just getting around to sifting through the news out of Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference earlier this week.  The computing giant unveiled a new operating system for its iPhones and iPads along with a new version of its MacBook Pro laptop computer, among other things. Nobody merges technology into a lifestyle brand better than Apple, and there have been countless fan boys and girls expounding the beauty of these new software and hardware wonders.  But what about the impact Apple’s news will have on other brands in the technology industry?

Fast Company’s @kiteaton has a great article (here) dissecting the news and how it will impact everyone from search companies to car companies.  Here’s a brief synopsis of some of the ways Apple is changing the world this week:

  • Apple’s new mobile operating system – iOS 6 is what the industry calls “backward compatible.”  That means you can use it on almost every iPhone – even your iPhone 3GS from 2010 (which it still sells today).  This sets a precedent that anyone can have the latest software systems and apps, even on low end devices.  It could be a game changer for the entry level smart phone market.
  • Siri gets serious.  Eaton points out in his article that Siri is a gateway app – it makes it easier to use a whole bunch of other apps – from planning to navigation tools.  Now, with an open API for Siri, expect to see a new generation of apps emerging that will be richer and more dynamic than what we’ve seen in the past.
  • Oh yeah – and Siri queries get routed through Apple servers, not Google servers, so guess who doesn’t get to collect your search data first if you use Siri…? That’s right – Apple gets your search data first and then chooses where to send your query – so Google may or may not get a search from Siri.  It’s interesting that Google moves down a notch in the search data hierarchy.
  • Not that business users needed any other reason to use Apple products – every business person I know has an iPhone – but, Apple added a host of innovative and useful business-friendly functions.  These include new cloud editing features for working on documents on the go, the ability to move IM discussions from laptops to tablets to mobiles, video conferencing capabilities over cellular networks and even a do not disturb function for multiple Apple devices.
  • Lastly, the sleek design of the MacBook and the awesome Retina display now available across the line up means that other hardware manufacturers – think mobile, gaming, tablet and computer – are on notice.  The bar has been raised and some will struggle to keep up while others will be just fine (cough, Samsung, cough, cough).

In the immediate future and in the long run, the consumer benefits the most from Apple’s news this week.  The company is continuing to push the envelope for mobile computing and enhancing the user’s experience across all devices.  The news also puts additional pressure on competitors, but that is good for the market overall – in my opinion.

Happy Shopping Mac Fans!  It’s gonna be a great year for you.