Last night Apple launched a new iPhone along with a phablet and the Apple Watch. Here’s what Mobile thinks the launch means for the industry:
The time is now… Sell! Sell! Sell!
The products have been launched now it’s time for sales teams up and down the country to start shifting units. Initially this shouldn’t be too hard interest in any Apple launch is always high and undoubtedly there will be store staff fielding questions from customers right now on how they can get their hands on the new devices as soon as possible. What will be interesting is what tariffs are sold off the back of this rush to the stores. For the networks the furore presents a great opportunity to flog a whole host of bumper 4G contracts to customers desperate to get their hands on the new phone. However, it will be interesting to see how many more people will buy the handset outright and invest in SIM only deals compared to the last iPhone launch, if they do it will be the biggest sign yet that the market is really changing.
The big problem with the launch (apart from the technical mishaps!) was that it was all a bit predictable. The new additions to the Apple range were a phablet and a wearable; hardly ground-breaking. Although Apple has always tended to finesse a piece of technology already in the market rather than looking to spark a revolution. It is whether they’ve done enough this time to make people excited about phablets and wearables to the same extent as they were about iPhones and iPods. A lot of the industry will hope that they have, as we saw with the iPad even rival manufacturers can benefit from a bit of the Apple product buzz, as customers see the potential applications new devices can have. However, relying on Apple to lead customers by the hand towards each new technological innovation is a dangerous game to play. Perhaps a good marker for how successful Apple still is in bringing new technology to the mainstream is by measuring the amount of enthusiasm that the Apple Watch receives at its launch next year.
But what does that mean for me?
Apple’s decision to choose to move into mobile payments and wifi calling is significant for industry insiders. But it also raises another issue; how do you explain to the customer exactly how they benefit from such features. Especially if you’re also trying to sell them a 4G, Sky Sports and Spofify mega bundle. Is it another bit of value that they will benefit from? A technological tool that will last for years? Or an extra gimmick that people won’t actually use yet? It’s pretty hard to say. With many complications and uncertainties still surrounding mobile payments that will be a difficult feature to explain honestly and concisely to a customer. The same goes for some of the features included in the fitness band, the real challenge lies in convincing a potential buyer that they are essential.