Apple Aftermath – The Jolt! from ckwrites 09.17.2014

Thanks to all of you who took time to let me know that they enjoyed It’s Tim Cook’s Turn.


Gear Patrol Buckle


The aftermath of the Apple event has turned into a fascinating study in the art of news-jacking… and that’s the way we are going to look at it today.

Ken Segall, a former CD at both Apple and NeXT was out early with his post The iPhone/Watch event: errant observations. He had a number of decidedly snarky “insider” comments, all good for a smile.

I was surprised by the “plus” word, being a term one normally finds in a certain section of the JCPenney catalog.

I empathize with the Apple writers’ challenge, but I still had to chuckle when Tim so boldly proclaimed “These are the best iPhones we’ve ever made!” Sure hope so. If Apple ever introduced an iPhone that isn’t better than the previous model, I will turn in my Apple Enthusiast badge. That’s a threat.

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, the entire world had been referring to it as the “iPhone” for months. The name was expected and appropriate. This time, despite the fact that the world had been buzzing about the iWatch, what we got was the Apple Watch. Shocker!

Not knowing what the bogey was, the numbers appear to be stunning: 4 million units ordered in the first 24 hours. This article has an analysis by Piper Jaffray who projects that the 6 series will top 6.5 million in three days – compare that to the 74 days that it took to sell 1 million units of the first iPhone.

Speaking of a bogey, I would just like to say that it is stunning that I got simultaneous emails Monday morning with the exact same product shot from Apple, Verizon (my carrier) and Best Buy (where I bought my last one) all encouraging me to pre-order.

One of my favorite posts was from the ever elegant, erudite Graham Robertson who wondered Is it time we admit that the Apple BRAND is better than the Apple PRODUCT?

It’s time for us to realize that Apple has shifted from a product driven brand to an idea driven brand.  The real reason people buy Apple is the BIG IDEA that “We make technology so SIMPLE, everyone can be part of the future”. With Apple, it has become less about how we think about the product and more how we feel about the brand. While Samsung has a better product than they do a brand, Apple now has a better brand than they do a product.

One of the softly blurred details of the Apple Watch launch is that the watch requires a late-model iPhone as a companion. Some people reacted poorly to this, feeling that Apple was ignoring a larger market.

Cooler, more practical minds stated the obvious – there’s a limit to how much you can pack in to something that still looks and feels like a watch.

Fast Company asked What Top Designers Think Of Apple’s New Smartwatch. The answer probably won’t surprise you…

Whether or not the Apple Watch is a game changer will ultimately be decided through its interaction with the software ecosystem. But as far as just the physical design is concerned, I’m not convinced it’s a clear winner. It’s possibly not even the leader.

Boy toy pub Gear Patrol took the bull by the horns and shouted it out:


For $350 the 21st century man is being offered what Apple claims is part of the future — but really, the watch is a watered-down version of past creations from that wellspring of moral beauty and righteous innovation, Hollywood. There are only two problems left in the life of a modern man (besides removing U2′s “Songs of Shit Innocence” from his iPhone 6): securing a mate and besting his neighbor. Hollywood already solved them with better wearables.

5 Ways The Apple Watch Changes Marketing is a really smart piece that recognizes that the Apple Watch is nothing more than a second screen for the iPhone – one with its own unique characteristics. Here are 3 of the 5:

1/ Apps – Marketers will need to figure out how to not only market their iPhone and Android apps, but how to get users to download their smartwatch apps as well.

2/ Payments – Retailers that have not yet upgraded their payment systems to accept NFC payments will want to get ready for a surge of young customers eager ditch their credit cards in favor of arm-waving checkouts.

3/ Social Media – It’s no secret that Apple’s target consumers for the Apple Watch are also the biggest consumers of social media content on the planet.

Savvy marketers can take advantage of this future trend by creating content tailored specifically for small screens. That means short, simple communications like status updates and pictures which are much easier to engage with than videos, articles and links to websites.

The idea of creating specifically for the small screen (i.e. dumbing it down to the lowest number of characters yet considered) suggests that Wearables could make the “glance” a new subatomic unit of news.

We are about to enter the era of “glance journalism.”

“Glance” is the name of the feature of the Apple Watch that let Watch-wearers skim through a series of not-quite-notifications. Maybe they are notifications, but only as a subset of a new class of ultra-brief news.

There are concerns of another kind as Bloomberg reported in Apple Watch Privacy Questioned by Connecticut AG JepsenConnecticut Attorney General George Jepsen wants to know how personal and health information collected by the Watch will be protected.He also said that he wanted to know if Apple will review privacy policies for apps, and if it intends to enforce policies requiring it to reject apps that offer diagnoses or treatment advice without regulatory approval.

When new technologies emerge in consumer markets they inevitably lead to new questions, including questions about privacy, Asking those questions and engaging in a proactive dialogue about privacy concerns before a product comes to market is an effective and mutually beneficial way to ensure that consumer privacy is protected.

Another area of concern is of course the security of electronic payments. In case you’re wondering, a lot of people like Apple’s chances in the payment business noting the combination of size, engineering, technology (learn the word NFC) and brand awareness. And perhaps more importantly, some think that they are in the right place at the right time. None of this seems to be enough to move the stock but that’s the problem with megacaps.

Still CNBC just reported US Banks race to gain Apple Pay card advantage.

US banks are in a marketing race to persuade users to choose their cards as the default option under Apple Pay. Marketing staff from the banks are due to meet at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino on Tuesday, according to people familiar with the matter, to receive strict guidelines on how they can advertise Apple Pay to customers. (ED NOTE More proof that no one is safe from the Apple brand police.)

Meanwhile PayPal launched a pre-emptive strike with an ad suggesting that Money should be safer than selfies, a none too veiled jab at the recent iCloud hack that revealed a lot of nude celebs.

As I noted last week, this is a crowded space with literally most of the consumer dollars in the world on the line, so it’s unreasonable to expect that Apple – or any other single entity – can dominate. Still a little bit of a whole lot (said to be 15 cents per 100 dollars) adds up to a tidy sum.

And finally, U2. It seems that lots of people who work at Apple have spent the past week answering the question “what is this U2 stuff doing on my phone”…?

And wait for it… “U who?”

Want more? Read the CBS News story Apple’s $100 million U2 debacle.

Perhaps, as one writer in Wired put it, the U2 backlash was an expression of a “completely indefensible expansion by Apple beyond its operational purview” that was “worse than spam.”

Or it could be that many Apple users have begun to see what central control of an ecosystem actually means, when you’d be better off depending on the kindness of strangers rather than people you thought were friends.

Apple finally got the message and created a website to allow customers to remove Songs of Innocence from their devices.

Perception is the damnedest thing. I see the U2 ads on TV and wonder how many deadbeats are signing up on iTunes to get something for nothing. Meanwhile the aforementioned Wired article is flat-out scathing (and I mean down right blistering) about the intrusion.

Not bad for a product launch – it’s clear that event marketing is more effective then ever.

And it’s good to know that the Law of Unintended Consequences remains as tricky to negotiate as ever.

Oh gosh – my bad – I forgot to ask, what do you think?!