Today’s Apple Event showed again why they are the grand masters of renovation, making it incredibly hard for competitors to keep up. The new products made a mockery of the case studies that portray Apple as a lifestyle brand relying on emotional “sizzle” for success. Apple is an engineering company at heart, creating amazing products that create desire through beautiful design, ease of use and high performance.
Here are three highlights from the launch event, that you can watch in full here.
Relentless renovation – new iMac
First up was the new iMac. The launch of the first translucent iMac back in 1998 changed computers forever, turning them from boring boxes into objects of desire. Seven generations of iMac followed, each one delivering better performance and even more attractive design.
It’s hard to believe that the iPad didn’t even exist two and a half years ago. Looking around the meeting I was in today, over half the room had one. Apple has now sold a total of 100 million units.
The 3rd version of the iPad was only introduced 6 months ago, and this model was already better than the competition. Today an even better iPad was introduced, with faster performance for the same price. Apple still has a leading 68% share of the tablet market, despite a plethora of cheaper competitors. But what is more impressive still is the even bigger 91% share of web browsing on tablets, reflecting iPad's superior in-use experience and much better selection of apps.
Apple has been behind the curve when it comes to smaller format tablets, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Amazion Kindle Fire. Not any more. The biggest news of today’s event was the iPad Mini. Here, like all great leader brands, Apple has “shifted weight” in response to competitive initiatives.
But Apple has done much more than just launch a me-too. iPad Mini delivers a superior in-use experience. First, as the screen goes closer to the edge it has 25% more screen than the same sized competitor. Second, Apple has a much better “eco system” of apps designed specially for iPad versus the Android tablets that rely on shrunken versions of smartphone apps. See below for an example of Trip Advisor on an Android tablet (left) versus the iPad Mini (right). Finally, the iPad Mini has a more solid, less platic-y feel to it.
In conclusion, Apple show how to gain and then retain brand leadership through relentless renovation. It looks like they could be set for a bumper Xmas quarter. Time to re-stock with Apple shares perhaps, which have fallen over 10% in recent weeks?