eXtensions - Sunday 15 September 2019
Cassandra - Weekend Review: Fallout from the Apple Event
By Graham K. Rogers
How anyone can know the figures, which these days are mainly online orders rather than lines of buyers in the streets, is beyond me, as only Apple would be privy to the numbers and they tend not to publicize them except in general terms and certainly not within hours of orders opening for the 30 or so first-tier countries.
Reporting late Saturday, Chance Miller (9to5 Mac) provided a run down of expected delivery dates which had begun to extend for iPhone 11 Pro models, to 14 October for most configurations, but not for the gold phones. These are usually popular in China for symbolic reasons. The iPhone Max was a little different depending on color and memory configuration with the 64GB version available immediately and the gold 512GB version also available. Most versions of the iPhone 11 are shown as immediately available.
Ultra Wide, Wide and Telephoto cameras on iPhone Pro - Image courtesy of Apple
A real bonus for many users (and me if the service comes here) is that the first year is to be included with any purchase of iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or other devices. I did wonder how Apple would cost that, but in the long game that Apple plays, the real benefit comes a year down the road when users continue (or forget to cancel) their subscriptions. I also see it as a way to encourage more users to buy the new devices, which is after all what Apple wants.
Although Apple must surely have thought it all out before floating the free trial (remember Apple Music was 3 months), Rod Hall at Goldman Sachs took a completely different view and put out a note claiming that profit margins for hardware would suffer as a result of the free trial (Michael Sheetz, CNBC). GS cut its price from $187 to $165 and the shares slid about 2%. Unusually, Apple responded and put out their own comments: "We do not expect the introduction of Apple TV+, including the accounting treatment for the service, to have a material impact on our financial results". There were several sharp and sarcastic comments online Friday and Saturday referencing Rod Hall: perhaps another case of someone really not understanding Apple and its long term approach.
There was an interesting footnote to this with a speculative Editorial on AppleInsider. The thesis was that perhaps sooner or later, there could be an all-inclusive subscription service from Apple that for (say) $100 a month, would give access to all services (music, TV, iCloud) and an iPhone each year. I have watched the growth of services since MobileMe when even back then it was clear that subscription would give Apple a guaranteed income each month/year and link the user to the hardware ecology. In the last couple of years with Apple Music and iCloud (Photos, iWork and other synchronization) this has grown significantly.
I started with the nominal 5GB account, then went up to 25GB (that changed to 20GB for some users later), then 200GB and now 2TB as my Photos library expanded, particularly with the large RAW images I use. My iCloud is 349 baht a month, Apple Music is 129 baht (lower rate in Thailand), and Netflix is 279 baht. If the iPhone 11 Pro is expected to be 35,000 (say 3,000 baht a month), a fee of around 4,000 - 5,000 (depending on the iPhone model) would be manageable for quite a few people here; and no cash outlay when a new iPhone arrives? I could buy into that.
I do not suppose it was a coincidence but it was widely reported at the end of the week that Bob Iger, head of Disney, stepped down from the board of Apple after several years. With the potential conflict, I expect there was some desire to ensure there was a gap between the companies and their services. This was compared by some to the less friendly split between Apple board member Eric Schmidt of Google who was rumored to have passed on information about the iPhone. When there was a green light for the iPad (released in 2010), Schmidt who was still on the Apple board at the time was kept out of the loop.
Apple Watch 5 - New face (left) and Titanium model - Images courtesy of Apple
The audience at the Apple Event were pleased to see the introduction of the Generation 7 iPad and of all the new devices available, this alone has appeared in the Apple Store for Thailand, starting at 10,900 baht (14,500 for WiFi + Cellular) for the 32GB version and 13,900 baht for the 128GB model. The iPad is shown as "currently unavailable" but if orders can be placed, this should be here in a week or so.
iPad ordering in Thailand
John Voorhees also links to an article by Jason Snell on 6 Colors that explains the huge potential for the new technology and the Apple U1 chip that is well worth reading. I expect there will be more information when iFixit produce their tear down, and more technical information in a few weeks time when AnandTech have dissected the new iPhones.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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