Not so long ago, just two years ago, after the presentation Apple, the whole world was traditionally divided into two camps. Those who scold the Cupertinians for their flaws, and those who praise, no matter what, in other words, fans and haters. Today, more and more often one can hear a neutral, and most importantly, well-reasoned opinion from both camps, forming the third camp – impartial observers who increasingly began to note that Apple is not the same.
I would like to say that I have always been in the middle and looked at all this with a cold head, remaining impartial, but this will not be true. After all, most often I found myself on the side of the haters, scolding Apple for this or that shortcoming, the main of which I considered the technological lag, expressed in the secondary or even in the absence of some functions and capabilities. The first things that come to mind are NFC, wireless charging, fast charging, waterproof, etc.
Most of the listed functions and capabilities appeared in Apple devices years after, for example, Koreans, which is why Cupertinians almost always found themselves in the role of catch-up. Despite this, the merciless marketing machine Apple managed to twist the brains of its fans so that they, despite the facts and figures, continued to attribute Apple the primacy even where it was obvious that the company's products were secondary. Because of this, absurd passages could often be found on the forums and in the comments, for example, that Apple was the first to implement payment using NFC.
Despite this, to my displeasure, I again and again had to admit that very often, despite the delay in implementation, it was Apple that made certain functions or technologies popular, massive, bringing convenience to the consumer and the benefits of using them.
This happened not only with smartphones, but also with accessories, such as, for example, TWS headsets or smart watches, which appeared on the market long before they were reinterpreted by Cupertinos. However, they became widespread and popular only after Apple showed her vision of these products and explained why they are needed, what to do with them and 'who is the standard'.
And over and over again they manage to turn this trick, despite, to put it mildly, not the most outstanding characteristics of their products. And so far they are doing great.
For example, AirPods are wildly popular, despite the very mediocre sound, although, in theory, the sound quality for headphones is considered the most important parameter. Or not?
Even me, a fan of good sound, no, no, and I wanted to buy myself AirPods as spare headphones just in case. In fact, I just like their minimalism and completeness of forms, especially the case, in the miniature size of which they managed to squeeze everything they need.
But what to say about headphones, if, while watching the presentation at the stage of price announcement, I even had a thought: 'Shouldn't I try iPhone 11 by ordering it from the USA …'. Yes, most likely, I will never do it again, but there was interest, and the desire arose not least because of the very software chips that the eleventh generation of smartphones will have Apple. And if you take into account all those indulgences that occurred in iOS 13, for example, in terms of access to files, the transition should not be so painful. But this is all lyrics, momentary weakness, and you need to hold on. ?
It seems that in Apple they have long understood what some manufacturers have been pursuing for a very long time, some are still going, and some will not reach anywhere: the average consumer for the most part often does not understand most of the parameters, since he does not hear , does not see, does not understand. It is much more important for him, this consumer, that the product simply fulfills its function, be convenient and does not make the brain strain again.
And if so, then this very consumer will not appreciate all attempts to make the very best product from the point of view of possibilities, which means he will not buy it, since he will not understand what he should pay for. This means that he will pay the one who can not only provide a convenient product 'according to needs', but also explain why it is convenient and how to use it. And even if he does not have the very, very, but what is, will cover the needs of the vast majority of buyers and do it comfortably.
The same thing happens with other foods. iPhone does not have the most outstanding cameras in terms of the quality of photography, and the gap grows every year, but no other manufacturer succeeds in making the process of taking a photo as simple and understandable as in smartphones Apple.
After all, most people want to use their smartphone's camera on a point-and-shoot basis, without having to delve into fine settings, choose shooting modes, take into account lighting and understand what aperture or focal length is. Most people want to get their phone out of their pocket, turn on the camera, take a picture and get a great result instead of having to tune PRO mode for a few minutes.
Yes, in the end, with PRO mode on devices from other manufacturers, you can get a super-duper picture, but for this you have to understand what the same apertures, shutter speed, focal length are, and learn how to use it. But this is the lot of enthusiasts, of whom there are not so many today. And considering that most of the photos from the phone will never go beyond the archive or Instagram, the 'point-shoot' option turns out to be the most preferable.
All. And it is precisely this opportunity that gives iPhone without unnecessary complications.
If, with this simplicity, some unique and at the same time the same easy-to-use software chips are added to the camera's capabilities, which you can brag to your friends, even better. And when watching the last presentation, it became clear that the new software functions in the cameras Apple would attract potential buyers.
This is a night mode (somewhere we have already seen this before, isn't it?), And the simultaneous operation of all smartphone cameras with the ability to create unusual, 'cinematic' photos and videos, and a new super slow selfie mode, which is sure to become a new trend in Instagram immediately after the start of sales iPhone.
Most importantly, we can confidently predict a massive 'rethinking' of these modes by other manufacturers. Someone will do something similar, and someone will not bother and just copy. However, both will mean one thing – Apple is still a trendsetter and an object to follow.
As a result, no matter how much we hate it, no matter how much we want to think differently, Apple still manages to surprise their fans and give a product with a lure in the form of unusual functions. Most of them can hardly be called know-how, but the epithet 'cool' perfectly fits most of them, and today, apparently, this is the word that sells.
Perhaps the trouble is that most companies that develop both devices and software have geek roots in their DNA. That is, the management of companies largely relies on the opinion of their engineers and developers – people who are at the forefront of technological progress, which means that they think a little differently from what the bulk of people think. Because of this, even the coolest developments, being revolutionary, maximally technological and capable of changing the world in the future, are not entirely suitable for a mass product and most often run into confusion in the consumer and a dumb question in the eyes – why do I need all this?
Take Google's augmented reality technology that grew out of the Tango project. It was impressive in the presentations as it looked very cool. So much so that thoughts involuntarily arose in my head about the proximity of that very future from science fiction films, where the virtual world directly interacts with the real, being its integral part. And now time has passed, and nothing has changed.
The maximum that was enough for me was to play with augmented reality in the Google camera several times, and that's it. And this is for me, a person who is interested in all this, then what to say about the average user? But nothing. A quick survey of such users revealed that most not only have not seen, but have not even heard of anything like that, moreover, they are not even interested in it. Perhaps that is why Apple do not force development in this area, although there have been attempts. Isn't it time yet?
Or, for example, reversible charging. It would seem like a wonderful feature. But is she really needed now? At the moment, this is more of a wow effect than a really applicable function, since users have not so many devices on their hands that can actually be charged from a phone. Perhaps, as soon as the number of sold accessories supporting wireless charging exceeds a certain volume, it will appear in smartphones Apple, who knows. In any case, we can expect that they will try to convince us why it became cool today and precisely from Apple.
This is what a wonderful and even a bit luscious picture emerges – only Apple knows how.
But there is also a big fly in the ointment – that very technological lag, which is a time bomb for Apple, ready to explode at any moment and bury the company, because, in an amicable way, today the company has nothing, except for the previously earned image, which gradually began to collapse.
In this regard, the main risk is not that someone else will be able to copy the 'cool software chips', as this has always happened and will continue to happen, but that someone else will start making their own. Moreover, the 'chips' are not only as convenient and simple, but also work on the most advanced and progressive hardware, based on new, unique technologies that no one else has. Then it turns out that there is nothing to cover.
After all, if you do not invent technologies, do not invent, it will be done by someone else, and you will be left behind, no matter how cleverly you refine what others have done. After all, even the most loyal audience tends to quickly forget idols and choose new ones.
Of course, there are also online services, both old and recently announced, the importance of which is gradually increasing and in the future may come to the fore, standing on a par, or even higher than iron in terms of revenue. But this will only happen if online services shoot as expected in Apple – they can take market share away from trendsetters like Netflix.
But today online services are only a prospect, despite the aggressive marketing and high expectations of Tim Cook.
In addition, the company actively and even aggressively pulls the blanket over itself in the media space, trying to focus the audience on itself as much as possible, so that the audience receives first-hand information on the resources of the company itself, and not on the side. Even, for example, through blocking broadcasts for their seemingly main followers – bloggers who were very offended by the company for this very blocking. But often bloggers are the very audience loyal to the company, and you shouldn't throw it around.
If Apple loses its main asset – audience loyalty, the company's affairs will go to hell. It will not be a one-time collapse with panic, hair pulling out and top managers leaving the window. Most likely, it will be a slow and painful process, which Motorola and Nokia went through in due time.
However, such a scenario is likely, and perhaps it has already begun, since the competition is high and technology is still developing rapidly.
The question is how many opportunities to stumble the apple company will have and how many second chances there will be if inside Apple they do not finally decide to change marketers to engineers in order to become again not only a company that does convenient things, but also a company who does the best, and therefore a pioneer in technology.