Notwithstanding the quantity of polish and Apple magic the company put on today’s big event, there was one unshakable truth that colored the goings-on: phones just aren’t selling like they used to. And unlike other industry-wide trends, Apple isn’t immune. The large-scale slowdown of Smartphone sales has had an unquestionable effect on the company’s bottom line.
Informal observers may not have noticed, but that harsh truth impacted nearly every mobile announcement onstage today at the Steve Jobs theater. Two elements in particular really stood out, however:
- Content and services taking center stage.
- Apple rethinking how the iPhone is placed.
The ceaseless predictions by Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal about the unavailability of iPhone X were not just grossly wrong, they also failed to grasp the direction Apple and its platform were moving. Uniting, key media outlets — and many attention seeking analysts — severely tried to make the case that phones should be cheap and what Apple was doing was wrong; that it should be following the lead of Google and its Android partners. In fact, these people were all completely wrong.
Technology that stretches to 11
This year, it’s comprehensively understandable that Apple has taken what was the distant future in 2017 and took the production price down to make it predominantly affordable, mass market tech in 2019. It’s not just a matter of bargaining. Apple brought down the price of the latest iPhone 11 by making and effectively selling enormous volumes of its formidable technology across the last two years.
iPhone 11 delivers even faster chips and sensors, a smarter camera with a new ultra-wide lens for capturing more in your shots, a distinguishing case design in a collection of new hues, and — in typical Apple fashion — a new kind of photo, the “Slofie,” that gives users another dramatic, complimentary way to capture themselves and their friends.
It doesn’t seem to be best possible conditions in the hands-on area at this year’s iPhone event to test Slofies, which hardly matters. It is surprising to find how efficiently the feature works nearly anywhere, even inside the Steve Jobs Theater with people walking around in the background. It’s bright and pensive and extremely easy to catch fun clips that make you seem like you’re selling shampoo on TV.
There are likely a few Android models that can apprehend slow motion video on their front facing camera, but going forward, all of Apple’s new iPhones will. That goes up to 100 million users over the next year. So Apple does not need to create the concept — it is simply making it widely available to everyone, designing a new way to present yourself that’s typical.