The legacy lives on after Steve Jobs. That’s my conclusion after the launch of the new iphone 6 event. It was very clear that the world was going to be a much better place by virtue of these (4) products most especially Apple Pay and Apple Watch- long expected products but definitely more than worth the long wait.
I had a long deep sleep but I woke up early (3am) with an urge to write, so,here are a few lessons I have learned from Apples product launch event.
Lesson 1: Pictures and Video are worth a thousand words.
Tim Cook and his team took us through a very pleasing product presentation without a boring moment. They relied heavily on images and Video that stimulated the mind and kept us (millions) their audience glued to our seats and screens. Text was used very sparingly and where used, it was also dominated by an accompanying image.
Lesson 2: A product enhancement is a Very Big Deal.
You can count the number of products Apple has on your fingertips but every year they wow the whole world by enhancing an existing product without necessarily creating something new. IPhone 6 is a case in point. It was made a little bigger, comes in two sizes and has an integrated health app and NFC, voila! All these features already exist on the Samsung but again it’s about the brand in question and the clear effort it has put into quality and user experience before releasing any enhancement.
Lesson 3: Devote time and attention to user experience
Let me refer to the Apple Watch specifically. I still have the square iPod Nano that I use mostly as wristwatch and pedometer. However, it’s just essentially an iPod that was shrunk to size your wrist, but I also knew that one day apple will come up with a wearable device that would blow my mind. While competition tried to better the ipod nano by shrinking smartphones with limited functionality to the size of wrist, thus making the touch screens quite ineffective, apple creatively utilised the same form factor we are all used to and even creatively utilised the adjustment dial or crown as a digital navigation tool for the apple watch. I did an imaginary double back flip in orgasmic ecstasy! This one definitely had the hand of Steve Jobs in it, come on, it even features sensors on the back that detects and thereby reads your pulse rate and has the ability to transmit to any app or Apple Watch. Imagine your doctor taking your pulse reading 1000 miles away. It comes in 3 variants to match the user’s lifestyle. Honestly this is the first product ever that I cannot imagine anyone not wanting to have.
Lesson 4: Masters of Secrecy, Suspense and Surprise
Apple has mastered the art of product secrecy and suspense, their product never leak before time and you never know what they are going to come up with until launch date. For years we heard and saw speculative iwatches- mostly curved bracelets resembling the Nike Fuel Plus. No one even came near guessing that it would be called Apple Watch and that they would try as much to retain the form factor of a normal wristwatch and digitize the crown in such an ingenious manner.
Lesson 5: Owning the Customer puts you in control
There is a saying in Yoruba; “Olobe lo loko” literally it means that the owner of the soup also owns (keeps) the husband. We see a classic case here where apple is set to dominate the payment space very powerfully by owning the “soup”. In this case apples soup is its 800 million iTunes customers who have registered and trusted Apple to store its card details. Apple was seemingly late to launch NFC behind Blackberry, Nokia and Samsung, but they had the joker with NFC launched with iPhone 6 and iOS 8 thus turning every single iTunes user with an iPhone into automatically owning an electronic wallet. The potential of 800 million people being able to pay using their iPhones is a huge game changer that will send PayPal and many wallet providers back to the drawing board. Again the simplicity of payment at the merchant location and even online is the icing on the cake- one touch!
It is quite instructive to imagine how the launch event has created such a buzz that would probably last till next year when rumors of what Apple will be launching next will start again. Such is the global effect Apple has on its customers, critics and competitors. Can you imagine, Apple launched a product (Apple Watch) that will not be available till at least 5 months’ time and we are all ecstatic and eagerly waiting to spend our hard earned cash, while automatically shutting out all purchase of any similar device till the product is available ( at least I have suspended my purchase of the 2nd generation Nile fuel band, the Fit bit band is out of the question and my Pebble watch now seems out of place).
This is the power of product design.
Author: Deji Oguntonade