Yesterday Apple delivered their annual WWDC developer keynote where they discussed a multitude of topics ranging from the MacBook Pro to iOS 6. What I found most impressive about the event was how Apple is setting the stage for much larger initiatives that could really change the industry for the better.
1. No Moving Parts
Pick your iPhone and put your ear to it. You’ll hear nothing. Same with your iPad. Run a magnet over it. Nothing happens. It is due to the fact both items do not have any moving parts. Well now Apple is starting to make the push for consumer computers to follow the same path. They’ve had the MacBook Air for awhile, but now with a fully featured laptop able to leverage this setup it leads to a much lighter and dramatically more powerful machine. By removing stuff like the hard drive and the DVD Drive Apple is able to squeeze in stuff like higher speed quad core processors and gobs of memory (up to 16gbs).
Over the coming year you’ll see Apple shift their entire mobile product line and hopefully the iMacs to this methodology of no moving parts (beyond fans) which means faster, more innovative machines.
2. It’s an App World that you can speak to
By getting more people to use App based experiences for sites like Yelp Apple keeps consumers happy with the best experience possible and keeps users out of the web browser where they could go to Google. Apple is rolling out partner banners that can pop in to users who visit sites from an iPhone. It lets users quickly see reviews for the app, a huge install button right there. You’ve probably run into god awful interstitial pages from publishers saying HEY DO YOU WANT TO USE THE APP or continue to the mobile site. This puts an end to that.
But they didn’t stop there because now Siri has integrated App like features directly into it. You can now say for example I want to eat at Sizzler, Siri will pull it up and you can make a reservation for 2 in about 3 clicks without ever opening a browser or an app. You just hold the home button.
Your parents and the less technically inclined…are going to love Siri if it works properly because it essentially eliminates the learning curve. They’ll speak to it, it will present them with some options and they touch the one they want. The sad part for Google is not one bit of it touches their search results.
3. We aren’t talking to each other anymore
The average phone call is down to 1.78 minutes and it is probably going to get worse. Apple knows this and is now reworking how the phone part of the iPhone works to allow users to quickly respond to phone calls with pre-canned messages.
When you think about how often you talk on your cell phone (unless you are a lawyer, VC, or sales) it is probably very little. With an average open rate of over 90% on text messages you can bet a better option to voicemail is SMS nearly 100% of the time.
With iMessages and now a less phone centric integration you could see Apple potentially putting phone carriers in a real bind when users start asking for data only plans, or phone plans that contain only 100 minutes a month of calls.
4. Mobile Wallet
My back hurts from sitting on my wallet. It’s full of 3 credit cards, 2 gift carts (Starbucks and Burger King), Costco, my punch card at Gyro King, Cash, Change, Receipts. I mean its ridiculous. The battle over the next few years is going to be who will consumers trust to digitize their wallet. Apple is one of the very few who has enough bullets in the gun to do this. You saw the first glimpse of it today.
It’s called Passbook and it holds everything from Starbucks cards to Airplane tickets. The best part is they update in realtime if you redeem dollars off of them or the gate is changed on your ticket. It’s like having the most advanced wallet in the world, plus an assistant, plus the app and you don’t even have to do anything to use it. It even uses GPS to alert you when you are near a Sbux to let you know you have money there.
What people forget about is Apple has over 400 million credit cards stored in iTunes and you can better believe they would love it if the next time you went into Safeway and they asked you how you are paying you said Credit Card and they simply scanned your phone. Your picture would pop up on the screen, you’d enter a 4 digit code and be on your way. You’d probably get a receipt emailed to you instantly with everything you bought. Apple will do this completely for free so you stay loyal to their platform and will cut Google off at the knees. Google wants to hit this space badly…sorry boys Apple is going to take 100 million iPhones this Fall to tackle the problem.