Here’s what you need to know about Apple’s mega event — the iPhone line looks great, and that’s all that matters.
Apple is the iPhone company. It gets 53% of its revenue and ~70% of its profits from the iPhone. As long as Apple can keep iPhone sales chugging, it’s going to keep doing well.
Today, it put the iPhone line up on steroids.
Starting Sept. 19, Apple will sell four different iPhone models. All of them are really good phones at a relatively diverse number of price points.
Here is the complete line with pricing on a two-year contract. For the off-contract price, just add $US400. (What’s not pictured here is the iPhone 4S, which will likely be circulated in emerging markets like India for ~$300.)
Apple now has an iPhone for just about everyone. If you want a mid-range phone, buy the iPhone 5C. If you want a premium phone with a small screen, buy an iPhone 5S. Want a big screen phone? Get the iPhone 6. Want a phablet, and money is no object, get the iPhone 6 Plus.
For years, analysts have been pounding the table for Apple to introduce a “cheap” iPhone for the mass market. Apple has resisted, claiming it doesn’t want to make the most phones, just the best phones.
Apple isn’t making a “cheap” phone, but it has very slyly introduced a low-cost option with the 5C. And the 5C is still a really good phone.
Meanwhile, Apple has managed to differentiate its high-end iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models with big screens and exclusive features like Apple Pay, its new mobile payments system. The two iPhone 6 models also have a motion tracking chip and a finger print scanner that make them a cut above the 5C.
Also, Apple has managed to raise the price of the iPhone with the iPhone 6 Plus. This is going to boost Apple’s sales and margins. Or, at minimum, this price increase will offset any margin pressure if the 5C sells really well.
Apple Pay, Apple’s mobile payments system is another thing analysts have been saying Apple should do for years. It’s too early to say how well it’s going to work, but if Apple’s demo is close to real life, this is a genuine game changer. It’s going to revolutionise how people buy stuff.
Apple Pay may not generate much in terms of revenue initially. But it’s going to lead to more iPhone sales because it’s an iPhone-exclusive product. That’s all that matters; again, Apple is the iPhone company.
When it comes to satisfying the analysts, Apple didn’t stop at just the big iPhone and Apple Pay. It also introduced a new product category, the Apple Watch.
Frankly, the Apple Watch looks very much like a first-generation product. It seems a bit bulky and not as sleek and sexy as we would expect from Apple. The demo for the Apple Watch was a bit clumsy with Apple saying you could look at photos and maps on the watch. Why would you do that on the watch when you have a big new iPhone?
Where the watch looks genuinely useful was when Apple showed people working out with it. It had all sorts of data for tracking a workout.
We’re guessing the first version of the watch will sell well but won’t be a blockbuster. However, Apple very quickly refines its products making them thinner, and better — think about about the iPad Air today versus the original iPad. We expect the same is going to happen with the Apple Watch, and then it will be a big success.
In terms of Apple’s business, the iWatch isn’t going to make much of a dent, but that’s ok.
The only thing that matters is the iPhone, and it’s never looked better for Apple.