The Apple Presentation

You’re gonna get a new phone.

The last time there was a great leap forward was back in 2012, with the iPhone 5, with LTE.

This was before most people were surfing the web on their phones. Sure, via WiFi, but on the network? Speeds were slow. Also, not everybody had a smartphone at this time. But with LTE, web-surfing on the go was enabled, it was nearly seamless, the experience was rewarding, and that’s where you’ve been living until…


5G. It’s not as simple as it looks. Because there are multiple flavors. Depending upon which spectrum a carrier purchased. So, T-Mobile has nationwide 5G but it’s slow, a mere blip of a speed increase. Whereas Verizon has the high speed 5G you’ve been reading about, but it’s not everywhere, as a matter of fact until today it was almost nowhere. And still, now, it’s only in the metropolis. Even worse, not everywhere in the metropolis. Because for this flavor of 5G you need numerous small antennas, its range is short, and its ability to go through walls is…challenged.

Complicated, right?

But don’t expect the marketers to make it clear to you. America is the land of obfuscation, not only in politics. AT&T is famous for having their phones indicate a speed they do not provide. 4G before true 4G was available, and now 5G. It’s become a marketing term.

Then again, how much money have you got, how much money are you willing to spend?

Today Apple introduced it’s HomePod Mini. It’s vastly overpriced. Its capabilities supersede other offerings, but you’re paying for the privilege. It’s like Apple said you’ve got to pay to be a part of its ecosystem. That it’s only for the elite, or the wealthy.

That was not Steve Jobs’s philosophy.

Remember the iPod? When competitors started to make noise, Jobs kept lowering the price, so it made no sense to switch.

And, just like with smart speakers, Jobs often took existing technology and then blasted it into the stratosphere, not everything was invented at Apple, maybe just polished. But when Jobs did this, he leapt ahead of the competition and pushed the envelope of power and usability. And he also made it for everybody. iTunes was an acquired program that was free to users. FireWire enabled the iPod to transfer files faster than the competition. And, at first the iPod was high-priced, at $400, but it quickly dropped in price.

Apple is way late to the smart speaker race. Alexa is everywhere. And Google Home has a footprint too. Today you can get an Echo Dot for under twenty bucks. If you want the latest iteration, the 4th generation, you’ll pay $59.99. That’s a whopping forty dollars cheaper than the HomePod Mini. And the new HomePod Mini doesn’t even work with Spotify. Apple did not need a HomePod Mini, it need a HomePod Micro, at $29.99. But this is what happens when you focus on margins as opposed to market share. Smart speakers are an ecosystem. And yes, Siri is in all those iPhones and iPads, but conventional wisdom is it sucks, that the Amazon and Google products are superior, if for no other reason than they’re used more, which increases accuracy. Apple needed a great leap forward. Instead they introduced a Ferrari. Sleek and high performance. But not for the average joe.

But, the features of the HomePod Mini, its intercom, the handoff from your phone, those are very cool. That’s Apple’s future, locking you into its ecosystem, and now it’s not as simple as switching from a Mac to a PC, or vice versa, you’ve got a decades-long investment in a platform, switching is like going from English to Japanese, and you don’t want to do this.

But in phones?

Apple is killing it. Because it creates its own hardware.

Are you following the hubbub around Nikola? First and foremost, it was started by a scam artist, who convinced companies like GM to invest. An analyst blew the roof off the enterprise, Nikola may never recover. Nikola’s worst offense? It invented nothing, it was dependent upon suppliers, to provide in some cases stuff that was not yet invented.

Apple is in control of the entire process. As for suppliers, it’s such a big customer, usually the biggest, that suppliers kowtow to it.

But, it’s all about the chips.

Americans like things. In a world where so much has become a service, where you own so little, what you want is pulled on demand, there are very few items that you still own, that burnish your image, that make you feel good. And one of these is a smartphone. And there’s always some top-line Samsung Galaxy, but the truth is the iPhone is the king of image. It’s Louis Vuitton and BMW wrapped into one. You want one. This is another advantage Apple has…selling hardware. Most of the tech companies are purely software, or mostly. Many depend upon advertising, which invades your privacy, Apple can afford to reject that.

So, by designing its own chips, Apple can tweak them for their devices, for power consumption and so much more, no other manufacturer can compete, not a single one!

Oh, it’s not always invented first on the Apple platform, as referenced above. But it’s integrated seamlessly, and there’s no excess baggage, the crapware that comes on all the Android devices.

Android. This war has been fought. You’re on one team or the other. The one true advantage of Android is that it’s more flexible, if you’re skilled you can adjust it to the nth degree. But very few are that skilled.

And the iPhone is more powerful. It will continue to be more powerful. Just like Tesla…which is winning because its battery performance is superior to its competitors, who despite investment are nowhere close in range.

So, you’re gonna want a 5G phone. The hype, the pressure will get to you if nothing else.

And which one are you gonna buy?

The iPhone is not a throwaway, it does more than get the job done. But if you’re willing to lay down, the only limit will be your imagination, not the power. Shooting movies in 4G, employing RAW photography, you’re probably not gonna do either. But one thing is for sure, iPhone photography is state of the art.

And everything just works.

And it’s faster than the competition.

Once again, specs can be manipulated, but the truth is an integrated product will always be superior to one built from off the shelf components, especially when you control the chip, the brain, the engine itself.

As for which phone you need…

If you’re not buying a 12, you’re just cheap. Sure, you can buy a less expensive model, but you’re just hobbling your capabilities. You want to future-proof your purchase. And the truth is your smartphone is your most used device, more than your car, your computer, your flat screen…yes, it might be small, but this is not where you should cut financial corners.

Do you need a Pro?

Why not go all the way?

As for the Pro Max…what you’re getting are photography improvements. If those are important to you, buy one. But, you’ll also want to buy one if you want the size. And the truth is, like with flat screen TVs, you want the largest you can afford. Believe me. The more screen you’ve got the more you can see, the more you’ll use the device.

And despite all the criticism of addiction by the older generation, the truth is the smartphone is a tool we all depend upon. We’re only going to be more connected in the future, not less.

So, if you’re an investor, the future of iPhone sales looks very bright. Everybody’s gonna get a 5G phone. Maybe they can’t afford one today, during the Covid era, but they’ll want one soon, and they’ll prioritize this purchase. The upgrade cycle is about to begin.

As for the penumbra?

Only Apple can spin giving you less as a benefit. That’s right, by not including a charger and earbuds there will be less environmental impact. Hell, if we don’t buy one at all there will be no environmental impact!

But one thing you’ve got to know, despite the oldsters in D.C., everybody who runs a company today knows that youngsters prioritize the environment and human equality, if you’re not focusing on these topics you’ll lose the minds of consumers coming of age, and you don’t want to do that.

As for the presentation?

Once again, it was a rainbow of personalities. Do you really need the most powerful execs to read off a teleprompter? It seems overdone, but someone has to lead the way, and Apple is doing so.

As for the production itself…

Building an entire home? That’s what car companies, traditional Fortune 500 companies do. What did they do with the home set after, burn it? Yes, it seemed like a waste.

But one thing’s for sure, we’re never going back to the Steve Jobs presentations of yore, all on one stage.

Covid is changing our world in unexpected ways. It turns out Apple can do much more with a canned presentation than a traditional live one. They will not go back to the live ones unless they throw it to different locations therein.

The truth is Apple is the world’s wealthiest company. But it always presented itself as the other, the outsider, the cool, the hip. Today’s presentation undercut that, but unlike the one last month, it was brief, it contained the relevant information and if you actually watched it you were wowed.

Get ready to spend. 5G is here. And you’re best off buying an iPhone.

Case closed.

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