MASTERCLASSING

What we learned from Apple's launch event

Mobile Marketing

Adam Fingerman, co-founder and chief experience officer at ArcTouch, looks at the key takeaways from Apple’s launch event earlier this week. 

Apple has invested heavily in developing exclusive content to support its new Apple Arcade and Apple TV+ subscription platforms. And the company surprised many when it announced that each service would be available for $4.99 (£4) a month. While these lower than expected prices might not yield the same initial profitability as a slightly higher price (many expected $9.99), it shows that Apple’s committed to making its entire ecosystem of hardware, software and services that much more valuable over the long haul. Put in other terms, Apple has probably run different scenarios on its customer lifetime value (CLTV), and company execs almost certainly believe that getting more users into these services will increase the value of those customers over time. For users, the new services promise to make Apple’s ecosystem stickier than ever.

Apple seeks exclusivity for Apple Arcade
We think Apple Arcade has the potential to raise Apple’s standing in the living room, especially among the increasing numbers of cord-cutters and casual gamers. But don’t expect all game developers to jump in immediately. Execs from Konami, Capcom, and Annapurna Interactive all ended their demos during Tuesday’s event with the same five words: “Available only on Apple Arcade.” In other words, Apple only appears to be interested in exclusive content developed for its subscription service. For most game developers, creating games that can be published across multiple platforms are more profitable because of bigger audiences. And it will be a while until Apple Arcade has a big-enough audience to make it attractive for developers to jump on board exclusively.

More lenses and smarter photos
Numbers always matter for marketers, and now that iPhone 11 Pro is boasting three rear cameras and Nokia has announced a phone with a whopping five cameras, expect more phone manufacturers to keep upping the camera lens ante.

From an average user perspective, however, the software and processing that takes place behind the scenes are vastly more important than the camera hardware. Apple’s always been great in both areas, and new features – such as being able to simultaneously capture video from multiple lenses, and Apple’s machine learning system that helps align the series of images before and after the photo button is tapped – look impressive.

Watch out Fitbit and Jawbone
Apple unveiled the Series 5 Apple Watch, loaded with new features that incrementally improve upon its predecessor, priced starting at $399. But what caught our attention was that Apple announced a price drop of its Series 3 Watch to $199. That price point puts Apple in the same category as smartwatches from Fitbit and Jawbone. With Apple’s reach and marketing resources, it might be hard for those two companies to continue to compete.

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