Much of the news on Apple on Tuesday focused on its latest products and services. The Apple Watch and iPad line-up both got upgrades while Apple One and Apple Fitness+ helped Apple round out its service offers. Instead of going into further detail on these, I want to talk about three things that Apple is saying between the lines.
1. No news about iPhones (almost)
- While there was not a high chance that Apple would talk about iPhones in this event, leaving out any mention of the latest iPhone 12 series that is expected to debut in a few months is telling in its own right. This is another confirmation that there are delays and no definitive answer yet on new iPhone launch dates, or even models that will first be available. The new iPhones are rumored to have OLED screens and 5G connectivity.
- However, the six-core A14 Bionic processor that was debuted in the new iPad Air is Apple’s first 5nm (actually, it is TSMC’s) that promises 40% CPU improvement and a 30% boost in graphics. This A14 chip will likely also be featured in the new iPhone 12 line-up.
2. Apple One is a bigger deal than it looks
Apple One is a subscription service that bundles specific Apple services such as Apple TV+, Apple News+, Apple Arcade, Apple Music, Apple Fitness+ and iCloud.
The family pricing option of $19.95 per month is a compelling offer for many families that use Apple products, especially since it can cater to different needs for each family member. This puts pressure on streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and Pandora, and even non-PC mobile gaming subscription services. Bundling services for Apple helps create more stickiness for its services and keeps the company on track to smash through its $14-billion quarterly service revenue ambitions.
Apple did not make this the headliner for the event, but it surely will become the foundation for its push in services going forward. Apple could customize Apple One with more options and expand it in future.
3. Apple retains ambitions for healthcare and wellness sector
- Apple’s new Series 6 Watch comes packed with a blood oxygenation monitor on top of the already great ECG monitor and altimeter. With the launch of WatchOS7, existing sensors can also measure a lower range of VO2 Max values.
- While other companies such as Garmin and FitBit have already included these features in their smartwatches, Apple’s strength lies in its ecosystem and cross-device integration and functionality.
- Apple also announced three studies that will utilize the new blood oxygen measurements to detect conditions such as asthma, heart failure, and even flu and COVID-19 (although blood oxygen monitoring might be a bit late to detect COVID-19 symptoms — temperature is a better indicator for that).
- Apple Fitness+ was even showcased as a service you can bring into the gym to be your personal fitness trainer. Skip the yoga classes and cross-fit sessions and instead use the app to choose a workout that you feel like doing.
- Overall, Apple is slowly but surely becoming a contender in the health and fitness space, using its plethora of offerings and services to create a more cohesive user experience that other companies will have trouble matching.
Everyone is anticipating Apple’s next announcements, especially since they will pertain to the iPhone 12 series that will debut in Q4 2020. However, even Tuesday’s announcements showcased Apple’s big ambitions in terms of innovation, services and health. They are the building blocks for Apple’s overall strategy and must be seen in this wider context.