Apple September 2023 Event

Apple September 2023 Event

The Six Five Team discusses Apple September 2023 Event.

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Patrick Moorhead: Apple September 2023 event. I think I saw you on CNBC chatting it up while you were in San Francisco giving your expert commentary on Apple.

Daniel Newman: Expert commentary. Pat loves that. I’ve been-

Patrick Moorhead: Hey, you’ve been an Apple user since it started.

Daniel Newman: I still use Apple every once in a while when I have to, when there’s nothing else available. My kids won’t respond to my text if I use a Samsung.

Patrick Moorhead: I know, it’s sad.

Daniel Newman: It is sad.

Patrick Moorhead: That’s why I have two phones.

Daniel Newman: Now, here’s the story. This was another sleepy, iterative set of announcements that came from Apple. I think the problem is pretty much since iPhone 4, everything’s been pretty iterative. Now, there’s some things that get people out of their chairs. The last announcement was the Vision Pro. This is the future of XR and that’s cool. This one, it was the idea that I could tap, tap my fingers and answer a phone call. Now, if you look at that from a visionary standpoint, the idea that gesturing and connected devices and wired and wearables are going to start to interact in your world, you could start to see how this in your Vision Pro starts to live in a matter of convergence, ubiquity. That could be very, very exciting. From a standpoint of one gram lighter, from a standpoint of maybe one more hour of battery life, from a standpoint of a notch versus an island, I still think we’re still talking small improvements on a period over period that oftentimes don’t even match to what Android is doing right now running on the premium tier Snapdragon platform, which what am I talking about?

Well, everybody was juicing about a 5x optical zoom. Pretty sure that’s about half as good as you can get on a premium Samsung device right now. But are you going to run to the store and pay 1300 bucks for that? Well, of course you are. As I will comment on how I finished the Arm story, if you can get people to do it, that’s great. We have this conflicting existence Pat, where as analysts, it’s our job to critique, criticize, advise, provide our comments, and having a technology that’s half as good as the competitor should typically not rate super well, nor should it create enthusiasm and excitement. But having said that, when you’re Apple, that’s all you need to do. Then the real question, I’ll pass this back to you, Pat, because even the watch stuff, all that stuff pretty much bores me, but you’re a watch guy, so you can maybe talk more about that.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah.

Daniel Newman: I’ve got a watch, too. I like mine better. But here’s the real thing. Are people going to jump out of their chairs to buy? My take on that is Apple always has people, no matter what it puts out, that are absolutely willing to get to the front of line to buy anything. That, by the way, is the absolute personification of a great brand. It’s not because it’s the best technology though. That’s where we are fighting our own demons when we try to talk about this stuff. I also do believe that the increased pricing, yet again, for what is very small and marginal improvements generation to generation, has to be at some point in an economy that’s still on stilts, we still have super high interest rates. That means people putting on these credit cards are going to get whacked.

We still have inflation through the yin yang and people’s credit and savings are depleting. Is it the moment for Apple to raise prices and will people run to the front of the line? Here’s my analysis. Yes, no matter what happens, they will go further into debt to have the newest device. Good for you, Apple.

Patrick Moorhead: Being old has a few benefits, not a lot, but one of them is perspective. Apple reminds me in 2023 IBM was in the early nineties, which was they didn’t have the best technology. They were milking the fruits of the labor and the bets they made in the 1960s with the mainframe. As we saw with Toshiba, like we saw with Sony, like we saw with RCA, and I think we’ve seen a lot of companies, ultimately there is an end to dominance based on lock-ins and prior innovations. The reason, in my opinion, and by the way, Apple used to invite me to their events for five or six years, they don’t anymore. I don’t think they appreciated my truth bombs, which I just never got my invites back there. But I do have a sense of clarity not going to their events.

I do use their products, but because it’s a lock-in, my family will not respond to anything but iMessage. Apple got a lock-in Western Europe and North America. Outside of those regions, people use more apps like WhatsApp. In China, they use messaging apps. That lock-in, there’s two sets of lock-ins that happen. This has been Apple’s success. The first lock-in was music. I got to give Apple credit, when they broke apart the bundles and the CDs and went with Apple Music. That was a key driver. People were very concerned, “Hey, wait a second, if I move off Apple, how do I get..” Or my iPod at the time, “How do I get access to my music?” At that point, it wasn’t portable. You couldn’t take that music over to Android and then came iMessage.

Apple does a lot of things right, but aside from semiconductors right now, it’s really not that big of an innovator in my opinion. They’re locked in, they’re working furiously to figure out that next best thing. These small little incremental improvements, I’ll be honest, I couldn’t tell the difference between iPhone 14 and iPhone 15. Huge yawner to me. Even when they lean in on this 5x camera, they still fail. Samsung’s had this 10x for years. One thing I do find very interesting in silicon, again, I give them credit for that is 35 tops of AI performance just on the NPU. That is staggering. You have to wonder, there’s actually no software or services that actually take advantage of that. But I think Intel is at least setting the stage right now where they can layer in generative AI capabilities and just blow people away.

Daniel Newman: It’s the… What is it, Pat? It’s the 8K TV of phones?

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah.

Daniel Newman: No content for it, but they’ve got it.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, they came out with what they call a spatial camera, which is really just to capture content for their $3,000 developer headset, the Vision Pro. Anyways, I do think based on their lock-in of the App Store, based on their lock-in of iMessage and the legacy lock-in of Music and not taking too many risks out there, I think they’re going to sell a ton. My final comment, I don’t know if you’ve seen all the hate coming down on Apple CEO, Tim Cook, on the video they did about the environment. It’s pretty funny. You should check it out.

Here’s what gets me going. I do applaud Apple in making our phones greener, but give me an effing break. Okay? Make your handsets last 10 years. That is how we are going to save the environment. I do give Apple credit on how many years they extend their software, but there was a class action lawsuit where Apple actually copped to the, “We add capabilities that slow down your phone.” How environmentally conscious is that? If they truly cared as much as I think they’re trying to pretend that they do, I think that they would have a lot more down cycling programs to send phones to emerging regions. But that’s pretty weak. Samsung actually has some pretty good down cycling, emerging regions types of stuff. With that, congratulations everybody at Apple for a big announcement.

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


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