The new Apple iPhones are expected to have a major impact on the UK mobile industry, here experts from across the sector give their reaction to the new phone:
Scott Hooton, Chief Marketing Officer, Phones 4u:
'Today’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus unveil is incredibly exciting not just for us, but for everyone that loves to get their hands on the latest and most innovative technology. People across the globe look forward to hearing what Apple has got up its sleeve for us next, and every year it delivers smartphones that excite, break the mould and set the path for further evolution. We’re thrilled to announce we’ll be stocking both new iPhones at all our Phones 4u stores and online, as soon as they arrive in the UK.
'The iPhone is the most sought after smartphone at Phones 4u and today it has raised the benchmark again, with not one, but two innovative new handsets. The iPhone range has been exceptionally popular ever since its initial launch in 2007, and our exclusive research shows over half of people are interested in the new iPhone models, which clearly demonstrates the continued popularity of Apple across the nation. The research also showed that people are torn between the two newly unveiled screen sizes – with 39% preferring the 5.5inch model, followed closely by 36% opting for the 4.7inch – so it’ll be interesting to see which one wins favour when they go on sale.'
Mark Windle, head of marketing, OpenCloud:
‘Mobile operators may look at the new iPhone 6 handset as a way to attract customers to their networks, and may have considered acquiring deals exclusive to their brand. However, exclusivity on handsets can be expensive and short lived because device manufacturers don’t want to be restricted to a single operator, or select group of operators. These are ambitious global brands and an exclusive agreement with an operator, no matter how big, restricts their addressable market. The effectiveness of exclusive handset deals is questionable anyway.
‘According to recent research conducted by IDC, smartphone shipments in Europe and the U.S. are slowing and may even have peaked; the purchase of the latest handset model is no longer a priority for consumers. This isn’t to say that the iPhone 6 will not sell – however this trend suggests operators should not rely on exclusivity deals to obtain and retain customers in the long term.
‘Relying on any other party to act as a source of differentiation isn’t an effective long-term strategy for mobile operators. They need to break the mould of leaning on exclusive handsets and content deals. Instead they should equip themselves to start competing on the services that they deliver to their customers; innovating in voice and video communication services in order to differentiate effectively. Like Apple, who constantly produce new features for their handsets, mobile operators must invest in developing services that add value and strengthen customer loyalty to their brand.
‘Operators that acquire the capability to deliver service innovation independently without having to rely on the latest handsets will have more control over their own success: they will have an edge over their competitors.’
Ernest Doku, tech expert, uSwitch.com:
'All eyes have been on Apple's entry to the smart watch market, and sure enough they've brought their design chops and new hires to bring a truly attractive device to the table.
A bit like Apple’s phones and tablets, the watch has an elegance and luxuriousness which has eluded the efforts of other manufacturers. Apple seems to have understood that, like jewellery, watches are highly personal. A choice of sizes, finishes and straps will no doubt convince people that a smart watch is worth investing in.
'However, the fact that users will also need an iPhone with their watch, and it's therefore not a standalone gadget, was glossed over fairly rapidly.”
Alain Falys, co-founder and CEO, Yoyo:
‘Apple has always released enabling technologies which have allowed others to offer great apps and services. We’ve been eagerly anticipating Apple’s entry into the mobile payment space, as it will make mobile payments accessible and ubiquitous. Simply put, Apple enabling mobile payments will be good for the entire industry’
Mark Carter, VP Mobile, Skrill:
‘Years on from the first suggestion of NFC technology, there’s still huge debate about the usefulness of it. The staying power it has shown may well be the best evidence that it is a technology waiting to explode in popularity. With the whispers growing louder that Apple is finally about to use NFC technology in the iPhone6, we may be close to the tipping point needed for NFC to really take off.
‘I believe Apple will integrate the NFC and BLE (iBeacon) technology to provide a truly seamless and integrated payment experience. For small to medium sized businesses in particular, this move will remove cost barriers associated with NFC, and location-based incentives will offer extra value to consumers. In addition, integrating finger print authentication of transactions will provide a second level authentication element which will remove the transaction levels currently in place for NFC transactions.’
Mark Slade, EMEA MD, Opera Mediaworks:
‘The iPhone 6 is going to have a profound effect on how marketers use mobile. Video and interactivity are increasingly features of mobile advertising campaigns so the larger screens, higher resolution and increased processing power of the new iPhones will provide increased opportunities for a much richer end user experience. We’re also going to see some new data opportunities for advertisers, giving them better information about what users are doing with their apps and on their handsets in order to serve ads more accurately.’
Richard Parris, CEO, Intercede:
‘Despite the fanfare surrounding the latest big brand handset releases, for the majority of UK customers the brand name is far from a priority when selecting a new device as security, functionality and ease of use take precedence. In fact, according to the recent The Rise of the Identity Centric Economy survey, only one in five considered brand to be an important factor, compared to almost a third who prioritised security.
‘This striking result shows consumers are becoming very aware of the need to protect the data and digital assets stored on their handsets and now rank this feature as more important than buying the latest device from their favoured manufacturer. The number of high-profile security breaches in recent weeks has further increased the public’s awareness that a basic password is not adequate protection and they require more robust security features on their handsets.
‘As public awareness grows further we can expect even more people to select devices based on the security measures they offer rather than the name on the box’
Stephen Ebbett, global director, Protect Your Bubble:
'If ever there was a gadget to make the clothing industry reassess its average pocket size, it’s the iPhone 6 Plus. Phones have been getting bigger for a while but, with Apple joining the fray, the phablet just got a whole lot more mainstream.
'The iPhone 6 Plus is smaller than its biggest rival – at 5.5 inches to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4’s 5.7 inches – but this launch of an Apple phablet is still testament that size really does matter.
'The months of rumours turned out to be more or less spot on, but there was one glaring admission. Although the Apple Watch boasts sapphire glass, there were no mentions of improved robustness or new materials for either the iPhone 6 or the Plus.'
More to follow...