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Apple hardware updates have become boring, and the company knows it


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How long until new iPhones unveilings are nothing more than a press release and an update to the Apple Store website? Not long I’m betting, especially given how Apple rolled out the recent updates to the iMac, iMac Pro, iPad Air and iPad Mini, and the AirPods. All we got was a few press releases and an Apple Store website update (the iMac Pro update didn’t even warrant a press release).

Yup, Apple’s hardware has become boring, and Apple knows it.

But I’m not surprised. After all, the new iPads are much like the old ones. The same with the new iMacs and AirPods. They’re incremental updates to products, adding a bit more oomph, and a few new features, but on the whole, they’re the same thing.

Also: Apple AirPods (2019) review: A subtle, but meaningful upgrade 

So, while Apple still thinks that iMacs and iPads and AirPods are exciting, it also understands that the technological advancements are in of themselves boring. Apple also understands that for most buyers, what’s inside the product, or even when it was last updated, matters little.

So how long until a new iPhone is launched into the tech world not with a huge event, but with a press release? Good question.

Since a huge chunk of Apple’s profits come from the iPhone, and smartphones seem to have a pretty regular upgrade cycle measured in years (which is not the same for tablets, desktop computers, and earphones) I’m willing to bet that we’ll still be treated to big iPhone releases for the foreseeable future. But outside of the iPhone, Apple has sent out a very clear message that incremental hardware updates are boring, and that events packed with tech press are not required for these products to sell.

The company would rather reserve such events for the unveiling of streaming services and credit cards.

Is it a gamble?

I’m presuming that Apple has a good idea of how tech press events affect sales, so the fact that Apple didn’t hold an event to unveil the new iMacs, iPads, and AirPods suggests that such events don’t move the sales needle that much.

If that’s the case, then even buyers are bored by incremental updates.

The risk, however, is that people forget about certain products. For example, it’s been such a long time since the iPad Mini was updated that it may very well have fallen off some people’s radar. But on the other hand, I don’t think that the iPad Mini contributes that much to the company’s bottom line!

Also: Apple iPad Mini 2019 review: A beloved classic with internal improvements and Apple Pencil support 

Even for expensive high-end products such as the iMac Pro, it’s unlikely that Apple shifts that many of them as to make that much of an impact on the bottom line.

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