Apple gave everyone what they wanted

WWDC 2019 hit all the pleasure points.

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This year's WWDC initial conference delivered. These last few months have all been pointing up for a renewed Apple that lays the foundations of a post-iPhone world. Surely we've all seen it coming, but now the gears are turning. Without going into detail, the main few points:

  • Watch is still tethered, but not for long: watchOS 6 will bring wings to the platform, but the Apple Watch hasn't yet been unbundled from the iPhone. — This is the most important trend going forward.

  • Mac is back: with the new Mac Pro, a great line up of MacBooks and iMacs, traditional consumers have almost nothing to complain about. 

  • The iPad full transformation is here: the iPad has been in a cocoon for years, going from "big iPhone" to "keyboard-less full computer". iPadOS 13 adds plenty of old-school desktop flexibility without compromising ease of use. Every year the reasons to stay on macOS or Windows dwindle.

Tim Cook put his diplomatic hat on

The CEO argued that Apple will remain an unused pawn in China-U.S. trade dispute. "The Chinese have not targeted Apple at all, and I don't anticipate that happening, to be honest (...) The truth is, the iPhone is made everywhere. It's made everywhere. And so, a tariff on the iPhone would hurt all of those countries, but the one that would be hurt the most is this one."

I hope he isn't getting blindsided, but of all people in the world, he certainly should know best. He also said Apple "is not a monopoly".

The EU and the U.S. will soon decided on that, and while I think his points are right (while avoiding the point), his numbers are not. 

This takes us to the next segment...

App Store and competition

Phillip Shoemaker, the head of App Store review team from 2009 to 2016, talked openly about the struggles of running such an important division and the balance that must be struck between partnering and competing with developers.

On the post-iPhone era

Neil Cybart wrote an interesting article with his estimates of new iPhone customers and how wearables can unbundle the iPhone in several parts.

Above Avalon Number of Users Buying Their First New iPhone

This will be a crucial decision for the company: widen its base or get more from the same people, a choice that's has shown in the door several times in the past.

  • Go wide: unbundle the wearables from the iPhone, allowing AirPods, Watch, any future AR and health devices to run on their own & be somewhat compatible with 3rd party systems.

  • Go for more: stay with your billion of consumers while increasing sales of total devices to each of them.

Apple ads are about to change

Apple’s advertising agency, TBWA\Media Arts Lab, shuffled their leadership with both in-house and outside talent.

Talking about advertising, Justin Long ("Mac" from the "Mac vs. PC" series) gave an interview about his and Steve Jobs' role in the campaign: "Steve Jobs preferred when they weren’t super funny… because he thought it would detract from the point of the commercial".

I don't know about you, but this is my all time favorite commercial from the company.

The iPhone XR lost in a blind test

NPR's Marketplace taped the logos from 8 phones and asked five people to use them for a few minutes, gave an opinion and guess their prices.

blind taste test summary2.jpg

The Huawei P30 Pro won while the iPhone XR (the XS wasn’t tested) had the lowest score, the small focus group thought it was a $375 phone. This is purely anecdotal, obviously, but shows the strength of Apple's brand.

This year smartphone market will be even smaller

For the second year in a row. IDC says it'll decline 1.9% in units and Canalys 3.1%. The market has been static in the most mature markets such as Europe, North America and China for 4-5 years now. 

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