28 thoughts on “Some reflections on the new Apple Event”

  1. I think Apple get’s a lot of unnecessary bad rep form tech people always trying to say Apple is not worth the hype. But it always is and the results show it. It’s like The Beatles and Rolling Stone fan issue – I like Android, no I like Apple. Jobs was a perfectionist and intensely focused on the product. They will miss him, but people at Apple have learned enough to continue safely forward.

  2. Good insight. Your point about retailers possibly not being able to gather personal data may explain why some (particularly Wal-Mart) are opting out of Apple Pay for now.

    1. I don’t think it is the data issue that Walmart are concerned about and why they are opting out. I believe that they see it has a cost that they don’t want to be burdened with. Apple has never installed NFC capable terminals and the card reader ones they have are antiquated and either broken or falling apart.

      In fact I’ve always harped on until people tell me to shut up that the trouble with NFC adoption is that there are more than enough devices that have NFC but in the USA it just has not taken off because the retail establishment drag their feet. When the biggest chain in the USA has already dug their heels in it is up to their customers to shout out and say to them “No NFC no business from us!”, give it a year and smaller chains adopting NFC it may drive Walmart to worry that their decline in business is due to their refusal to replace their broken old terminals. You can bet that they (Walmart) won’t adopt Chip and Pin capable devices until banks start issuing cards without a magnetic stripe on them. It is the loss of sales that drives Walmart more than the introduction of new technology and sadly that is what will eventually push them but only if their biggest rivals make the move and customers start to feel that using NFC for payment is easier than using a credit card.

      1. US retailers will be replacing credit card terminals in the next year to support EMV or chip & pin. These new terminals will almost certainly support NFC.

        Walmart is withholding support because they are launching their own mobile payment scheme along with other retailers.

    2. Travis

      It is my speculation, so not really a fact. Divergent opinions here and also on my Twitter feed show that there is a lot of clarity that is needed here.

  3. Great thoughts, this is best article so far, I think Apple Pay will only make a difference at stores if its quicker, remember you still need to have your phone or watch with you, turn it on and probably have some app open, I mean you still need to hand over those items to some clerk. Is the process really going to make the process better, storing your credit cards in the phone is great, but all we really want is less time waiting in lines and convenience.
    Until you can pay for items automatically and have some reader scan all the items at once without waiting in any line at all, its still requires patience. NFC is great for businesses like hotels and car dealerships ,but at the grocery store I want a reader to scan all my items at once, I do not know much about RFID, but I want to buy a physical product right at the store shelf and walk out with it. That’s when I say we have made a leap.

    1. Errol

      It took a long time before iTunes came to Europe as well, but eventually it did and had an impact. I see similar dynamic play out as I do believe that NFC will get a boost now that both Google and Apple are pushing it hard.

  4. A lot if thinking went into this analysis, but a little too one sided.
    Those are speculations. The bottom line is that I just bought a new smartphone for my daughter, the Lumia 520. It costs north of 100€. Apple is asking that I pay 7 times that amount for an iPhone so that I can maybe enjoy paying with it. Having played with my daughter’s phone and liked it very much, I am now eying in the direction of the soon to be released Lumia 830. Apple, you did not convince me to through in more than double that amount to replace my 4s. I can keep paying with plastic or cash as long as it does not cost me that much.

    1. What is not said or speculated in the article is how will Apple measure success and how will journalists and analysts like Om measure success. I agree with Om that Apple could be spreading itself thin. Apple may not want to keep customers like cxp4 here who are focused on lower cost devices. They could be focused initially on customers who don’t mind the additional cost and one might reasonably assume that those customers will then shop at places elsewhere that also charge more. Those retail locations may employ NFC terminals to interact with their customers. Walmart may not right away, but why would Walmart not want an Apple customer. Typically those are people willing to spend which is evidenced by cxp4’s comment on pricing. Why would any retailer not want customers willing to spend more? I think in the long run Apple’s customers will be valued for that.

      I am not saying all Android customers are not willing to spend, many of them are, just not on smart phones or they see other value in Android (for example they don’t want to support Apple) or other perceived value in Android and other OS smart phones. But if you have an iPhone the argument could be made you are willing to spend. Just my conjecture to match Om’s.

  5. Good, solid article, Om. You told is what you know, let us know when you were hypothesizing, and also told us when you couldn’t offer an opinion yet because of insufficient evidence. The opposite of click baiting, my friend.

    You mentioned Apple’s DNA. This is not merely a metaphor for a storehouse of knowledge, but biologically DNA allows change to occur to adapt to new environmental demands. It is at the bedrock of learning systems, and this is where Apple excels. It learns from its own successes and failures, accepts change as inevitable, and attempts to mitigate the inevitability of occasional failure by creating its own future, rather than reacting as poor Microsoft has discovered to its misfortune (cue the video of Ballmer’s reaction to the original iPhone release, 2007.)

    There will be another Apple keynote soon, likely with new iMacs and other unexpected hardware – the one, two punch – which will dismay both Samsung and Google. Yosemite will be released – free of course – and we will hear more of NFC and iBeacon technology integration.

    What we saw last Tuesday was the first course in a sumptuous technology and lifestyle meal.

    It’s ours to savour.

    1. Thanks Les. I would say, there is a whole lot of things to be worried about as well, as Apple is doing too much and you can see resources spread thin, despite them being an awesome execution machine.

      1. I think Apple’s history has always been one of spreading its resources thinly, as Jobs’ official biography informed us, and from my own observations having met with certain teams and individuals. They work incredibly hard and long hours, and its creative teams operate like a startup.

        When Jobs returned, as you know, he restructed the product line which eventually gave us the digital hub concept. Which they’ve now dispensed with and reinvented once more via the iPhone. We’ve had an apparently quiet period of late (“Apple can’t innovate – my ass”), and we’re about to witness the interdependent result of this “fortress of solitude” period.

        For myself, I enjoy watching Apple try its hand at disempowering those who take their relations with their customers for granted, and upending them, as per music, movies and soon enough television and finance. Couldn’t happen to a nice bunch of myopics.

  6. Have a look at the demo video. It’s quite simple. You tap your phone on the credit card reading terminal and authorize with TouchID. If anything, this brings us closer to being able to do what you want which is scan an item with your phone and pay for it and walk out, but that’ll require a bit more work on the retailers than just handling the payments.

    1. I think that isn’t too far into the future, but for now they have to help people get used to the behavior of using hold/tap/pay.

  7. It’s almost 6AM here in Santa Fe and Nottingham Forest v Derby County prematch is about to start on beIN Sports. So, I’ll try for more compact than usual.

    Suffice it to say I rely on my iPad Air as portable device and as a retired old geek, shopping happens alongside my wife. All run through her accounts excepting separate online accounts – though we are an Amazon Prime extended family. She uses her iPhone 4.

    Banking IT is her craft and I ordered her an iPhone 6 as an anniversary present. We look forward to using it. It will guide much of our casual local shopping just as do adopters of the complete Square solutions do.

    Many of commenters what-ifs and misconceptions would have been answered if they were my kind of news junkie – w/Bloomberg running in the background all day – in addition to GigaOM style tech sites handy on the iPad in the living room. Folks should watch the BTV video interview Emily did with global innovation geek from VISA. Almost every geek question was answered in the Apple presentation. Go back and watch it, again.

    BTW, one of my [most boring] careers was in logistics. Tim Cook is a cross between Einstein and Field Marshall Zhukov. Making the worldwide entity that now is Apple work as well or better than their peers is what he was hired to do. He did it so well that Job considered him 1st choice to carry on running the company. ‘Nuff said. 🙂

  8. =) i don’t think, mostly, i just type. =)
    “Apple is now a lifestyle and not a computer-tech company.” yikes. i’m a bit more mac than apple, i’d say. its kinda like going to burning man now — why? to prove how you “think different” because you now make that a part of your trained responses because of all those behavior modification (or “sensitivity trainings”) you received from your human resources division because it gave you an hour or two outside your cubicle with the hotties from the 3rd floor? lol. a lifestyle implies a wholistic system of living — they’d do well to integrate #DavosPlanB before “Apple” deserves that designation in a truly positive light.

    1. Surdee

      What I mean is that they have an opportunity to become more relevant or just whither away. I think it all depend on their own capabilities and how quickly they move and what moves they make. I personally think they have been lagging a sense of urgency.

  9. Apple differentiating itself based on security is very interesting. Google can’t forgo all that user data without hurting their advertising model.

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