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WORLDWIDE WEDNESDAY – WHERE’S THE MAGIC, APPLE?

10 Sep WORLDWIDE WEDNESDAY – WHERE’S THE MAGIC, APPLE?

Like the rest of the tech world, we’ve watched and dissected Apple’s latest product announcement. While there were some cool features announced today, continuity being one of them, we’re not going to bore you with another feature-by-feature breakdown of the iPhone 6, the Apple Watch and iOS8, there are 100′s of hand’s on reviews from people who actually attended the event, instead I want to explore why I’m continually underwhelmed by Apple’s announcement.

Personally, I haven’t been excited by an Apple announcement since the iPad. Instead of “game changing” products, the last few years have produced nothing more than software and hardware that perfects (or at least attempt to) something that already exists. This might be ok for some organizations but when you’re the worlds most valuable company and have previously created and/or transformed entire industries peoples expectations tend to set somewhere in the stratosphere. Yes, we understand that not every product can change the world but the last few product announcements have been like waking up on Christmas morning and finding nothing but gift vouchers under the tree, sure some of them might be ok and provide some use, but they’re predictable and unimaginative. Why does this keep happening?

1. Apple’s new products still make mountains of cash. People are emotionally invested in the brand and this emotion clouds rational thinking. It drives people to line up for days just to be the first to get their hands products that is slightly different from the one they already have. Apple knows this, and uses it to their advantage. They are after all a company and first and foremost in the business of making money.

2. Getting caught up in your own hype. It was a statement by Jony Ives, Apples Design Chief, earlier this week that got me thinking about this. “Bragging about how cool he thought the iWatch was shaping up to be, gleefully said Switzerland is in trouble — though he chose a much bolder term for “trouble” to express how he thought the watchmaking nation might be in a tough predicament when Apple’s watch comes out.” It may have been a throw away statement designed to create buzz, but as the designer behind some of this centuries most iconic pieces it’s easy to believe his statement was a little more ego driven, especially for anybody who has the most basic understanding of the Swiss watch industry.

3. Their PR juggernaut might be slipping from their control. Over the years Apple has built an amazing PR and marketing machine. Its so impressive Apple doesn’t even need to advertise, the media does all the work. As a marketer and Apple fan I can only sit back and marvel at the beauty of this. But is the PR juggernaut out of their control? Is Apple’s PR machine starting to work against them? The latest event has been covered for months and in the weeks leading up to it there was daily coverage in the worlds biggest news and tech publications. When you know 90% of what is being announced all that’s left to do is scrutinise and complain about what wasn’t announced instead of focusing on what was. Even worse than that, when the element of surprise is removed so too is the magic.

It seems I’m constantly underwhelmed because Apple is resting on their laurels and playing it safe. With the exception some of Samsung phones, Google’s OS and the Moto360 the competition isn’t really doing much to challenge Apple and give them a reason to take risks. Wearables is the first time they’ve had to play catch up in a long time, but let’s be honest nobody has really brought out anything exceptional in this space.I’m excited by the potential of the wearables market, i like the idea of a bump payment system using Apple Pay, it would mean you’d never have to get your wallet out again. I’m not ready to pass judgement on the Apple Watch, not until i’ve had a chance to play with it, but at this stage, from a design and feature standpoint I feel like i’ve just unwrapped an iTunes voucher on Christmas morning.

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Worldwide Wednesday brings you the latest tech news from the USA and Europe. From exciting startups and product releases, to the must attend events. Aware want to make sure you know what’s happening on the other side of the world.