In a strategic move, with the launch of the iPhone 7, Apple plans on consolidating its position in the smartphone market while it forays deeply into the fitness market and grabs market share from existing players such as Fitbit. The Apple Watch Series 2 and the Apple Watch Nike+ is likely to create wide ripples in the fitness tracking market.
Apple’s unveiling of its next flagship, the iPhone 7, was a hugely anticipated event. What took everyone by complete surprise was the debut of Super Mario Bros, a 30 year old game franchise, on the smartphone.
Although Apple’s share’s barely reacted to this launch, Nintendo’s U.S.-listed shares surged by 29%, riding on the hopes that Super Mario would be another gaming hit akin to massively popular Pokemon Go.
The iPhone 7 has raised the stakes for Apple given the fact that in the last two quarters Apple has reported decline in iPhone sales. Many consumers and analysts are considering to wait until 2017 for Apple’s next big event.
“Just gonna wait on iPhone 8 cuz it’s the 10th anniversary of iPhone,” Tweeted @LewBruh near the end of the event. “Ya know they gonna do something big.”
However, Mike Binger, a senior portfolio manager at Gradient Investments LLC in Minneapolis, had a different take on the matter. He said the iPhone 7 showed him that Apple was in good shape to clock yet another new sales cycle.
“I think the iPhone 7, just from a replacement basis, will be a successful launch,” said Binger.
Apple has featured a 12MP camera on its latest flagship which will set you back by $649, the same price as its predecessor, the 6S. The larger ‘Plus” side edition will cost $769, since it will include two cameras with one having a telephoto lens.
As was widely expected the analog headphone jack was replaced but so as to make more of a splash it has included a compatible adapter. Apple’s new headphones plus into the same port as its charging cord.
The lack of a headphone jack “will probably annoy a certain amount of people” but they will get over it, said Binger.
At a later point, Apple plans on releasing new wireless headphones, Air Pods, which will have a price tag of $159.
Apple has described its act of dropping the regular headphone jack, as an act of courage, since it has decided to make a strategic shift towards a more wireless future with Air Pods.
It has utilised the increase in space by boosting the size of its internal speakers.
The iPhones 7s will start shipping from September 16 onwards to major markets.
Bob O’Donnell of TECHnalysis, a market research firm, was of the opinion that the Apple’s new glossy black finish is likely to be more popular than any of its tech features which it flaunted, which essentially reflects a slowdown in major tech innovations in smartphones.
“While the camera improvements for the iPhone 7 Plus are nice, they are incremental for most and the lack of headphone jacks could offset that for others,” said O’Donnell.
With Apple typically giving a major overhaul of its main product every other year, consumers expect it to make that change in 2017, in what is expected to be the iPhone 8.
Focus on wearables
“I predict Watch sales will improve dramatically. Most of the current Watch owners are early adopters and the next wave could be 10 times the size of that market,” said Tech analyst Patrick Moorhead.
Apple’s new Apple Watch Series 2, comes with a swim-proof casing. Shipments are scheduled to begin on September 16 in more than 25 countries.
It appears that Apple is increasingly focusing on the wearables segment: along with the iPhone 7 and the Apple Watch Series 2, it has also launched Apple Watch Nike+, a device which can help fitness enthusiasts to track their runs.
With Apple entering the activity-tracking segment, shares of Fitbit took a hit – they were down by 2%.
The entry of a high profile competitor in this segment could only benefit us consumers as there is likely to be increased competition.