Apple's CEO Tim Cook has whet our appetite several times about his company's interest in the consumer side of watching TV. For too long, we've been waiting for something, we're not sure what, that brings to fruition what we hope is a futuristic and better vision. But what if new technology isn't what's stopping Apple. John Martellaro has a hunch.
Apple's iPad sales have been declining. Everyone in North America and Europe who needs or wants one has bought one. Now, Apple is faced with the need to engage new, perhaps less affluent geographies. But also, crucially, there is the business of getting the iPad on a path to more capabilities, growing with user needs and expectations. The phenomenal sales of the MacBook Air punctuates this lack of iPad development and maturity. What's the fix?
Estimates for sales of a product that hasn't shipped yet are tricky business. It requires some serious work with the right kind of candidate customer surveys and some shrewd mathematical analysis. Then, uncertainties must be calculated and presented. John Martellaro isn't seeing any of that.
When a revolutionary new service arrives, especially from Apple, the long term consequences are seldom appreciated at first. The tendency is to compare it to the known competition rather than explore the synergistic effects. Even now, those effects are kicking in, very early in the life of Apple Pay.
There is a fundamental tension between writing great software and picking your fights. Recently, that tension has bubbled to the surface with the release of iTunes 12. When times change and customer trends become noticeable, Apple software has to change as well. But throwing in the towel on the monolithic iTunes app isn't the way to do it.
Cool new products catch our attention, and sometimes it seems that the flashiest products are the byproducts of the most successful companies. In reality, there's much more to be said for good business sense and raw intelligence. Those virtues go a long way towards explaining Apple's success.
Large companies have large ambitions. When powerful tech companies come crashing into people's lives with products that give them pause, they naturally turn to a safe oasis. It's that human element, an Apple strength, that makes the company's products alluring. This week, Microsoft and Amazon were reminded of that while they watched Apple Pay become a warmly embraced product.
Almost a third of the installed base of iPads consists of iPad 2s without a Retina display. As a result, a casual look at the numbers suggests that the iPad Air 2 should do very well in sales. John Martellaro pulls out his calculator.
It's been all hands on deck for Apple in the last year. iOS 8, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, OS X Yosemite, the new Mac Pro, home automation, health monitoring, iBeacon, Apple Pay, and what looks like some very hard work on the Apple Watch. Some other products appear to have stagnated. Does the October 16 event invitation suggest a remedy? Is this even a problem? John Martellaro sizes up the promise of Apple's invitation.
When a new product category arrives from Apple, like the Apple Watch, it can be hard to size up the future prospects. Some observers only have a dim idea about how customers will embrace and exploit the product, and they don't yet see how Apple works to design success into the very DNA of any new product. In time, however, it all becomes clear, and the naysayers seldom turn out to be right.
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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-18
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