An Apple Event Without New Hardware?

You don’t have to go far to find someone talking about Apple’s latest announcements. There are a lot of opinions out there about what this announcement means and how Apple is attempting to transform itself into a media company. Those are knee-jerk reactions. It’s unlikely they’re trying to become a media business, but much more likely Apple would like to become more of a services business.

At the individual device level, computing power is about as fast as we need it to be for most everyday consumer and business tasks. The form-factor of devices is unlikely to change much in the foreseeable future. Things will get thinner and lighter (and there’s that whole folding phone thing), but overall screen/display sizes probably won’t change much, and keyboards can’t get much smaller because, well, human hands aren’t shrinking anytime soon.

So that leaves a few options for growth. Voice and services. Apple is doing both. There is still a lot of open territory in voice interfaces like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. Apple is late and lagging, but they’ll probably catch up soon. Maybe we’ll see something at WWDC in June.

This event was about services.

“From everything we’ve shared with you, you can see how important these services are for us and for all the ways they extend the experiences of our customers even further. They entertain, inspire, inform, and enrich our lives. Because at Apple, the customer is, and always will be, at the center of everything that we do.”
– Tim Cook // CEO, Apple

Everything Apple announced is neat, but nothing groundbreaking, at least on the surface. It will be interesting to see if they start to offer bundling of services under one monthly or annual price, like Amazon Prime.

Paying separate monthly fees for Apple TV, Apple Music, Apple News, iCloud, and whatever they release next is like death by paper cut. Apple would be smart to roll all of this into one monthly or annual subscription. Roll Apple Care into it and you add even more value. People don’t like being nickel-and-dimed to death, and bundling is a proven way to get people to pay for more services, and pay more for those services. 

Then add the Apple Card to the mix and things get real interesting. Apple could discount the entire TV, Music, News, and Arcade package if you pay with the card, and make all of it free if you charge a certain amount on the card annually. If they really wanted to be innovative and help people (as Mr. Cook claims), they’d make the card interest free with no fees.

Talk about building loyalty. C’mon, Apple. Think Differently.