WWDC Keynote: iOS 14 Was The Star Of The Show
On June 22, Apple kicked off WWDC 2020 with an action-packed keynote address. One particular topic took over the headlines: the company’s shift from Intel to Apple silicon for Macs. I agree that this was big news (a “historic day”, in CEO Tim Cook’s words), even if very much anticipated by most Apple fans and analysts.
But from an investor’s perspective, developments in desktop and laptop (less than 10% of Apple’s total revenues last quarter) should be less of a hot subject. As I conveyed in my recent interview with The Street’s Jacob Sonenshine, improvements in device capabilities and connectivity across products would likely be more important themes.
That being the case, I believe that the real star of the show were the updates to the operating systems. I was particularly interested in the new iOS 14.
The two common themes in iOS
As a quick recap, below are some of the main new features of the iPhone’s new operating systems – check out minute-by-minute coverage of the event in my live blog post: helps to better organize iPhone apps and widgets, de-emphasizing less popular applications and bringing to the forefront more frequently used ones.
- App Library helps to better organize iPhone apps and widgets, de-emphasizing less popular applications and bringing to the forefront more frequently used ones.
- Picture-in-picture allows users to multitask across different apps without having to flip back and forth between them.
- Messages have been cleaned up. Users can now pin important conversations to the top of the list and collapse conversations.
- Digital car key will allow iPhone users to operate their vehicles remotely, turning the smartphone even more into the “remote control of life”.
- App Clips integrate the real world and the smartphone. Relevant apps can be automatically launched to facilitate, among other things, in-person transactions via Apple Pay.
Out of the five bullet points above, two key themes emerge. First, Apple continues to push for increased user engagement. The more uninterrupted attention is turned to the iPhone and the more seamless the user experience is, the better.
Second, connectivity is key. Gone are the days when the iPhone experience was limited to the device itself. The smartphone now interfaces better with other Apple devices, cars or point-of-sale stations at retailers. The AirPod’s automatic shift across Apple products is another example of device connectivity at play.
It is (still) all about the ecosystem
Once again, Apple has made it clear that it is all about the integration of hardware and software in a full-service package – i.e. the ecosystem. This is what I believe Apple will continue to be going forward: not simply the device maker of the 1990s and 2000s, but a communication and connectivity solutions provider for individual consumers.
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