Apple’s WWDC on September 15, 2020
We all are accustomed to the fact that every year somewhere in the middle of September, Apple holds its main conference of technical innovations – WWDC. And this year, no matter what, is not an exception, although due to the coronavirus pandemic, the conference will be held online. For now, there is no reliable information on the full content of this event, but according to data from insiders, the most popular product of the company, the new iPhone, may not be presented at all. This is bad news for smartphone fans, but for Apple itself, this is not a disaster, as now it is not just a phone manufacturer, but rather a service provider; besides, all the main breakthroughs that management is now betting on are not related to the iPhone itself.
What can we expect?
Due to the unpredictability of the situation with the pandemic, the WWDC conference was generally questionable this year, given the lost supply chains with China. But nevertheless, the release date was determined – September 15. As for its content, it is as follows:
- iOS 14. A new version of the operating system. It will get several new features – the car unlocking function, group chats in iMessage, and updated Siri.
- iPad Air. According to the rumors, it will be similar to the iPad Pro and will have Touch ID on the power button.
- Apple Watch Series 6. A new version of smartwatches should have higher performance, Internet speed, and also learn how to monitor the level of oxygen in the blood.
- iPhone 12? In case they are going to present the next-generation iPhone, there will be four devices in three sizes. 5G is the main thing everyone is waiting for. Besides, new devices are likely to have lidars, sensors that are used for augmented reality services.
- AirPods Studio. These are the first Apple’s wireless, full-size headphones. They will join the line of the world’s most popular wearables, which accounted for nearly half of all global headphone sales last year.
- Apple One. This is a single subscription to the company’s services: Apple TV+, Music, News+, Arcade, and others. Bloomberg wrote in August that it could be presented in October. According to the company’s strategy in recent years, this is one of the most important releases of this fall.
At first glance, it seems that WWDC without a new iPhone is a failure. But this is not true. In fact, this fits into the concept of the company’s development in recent years. Already from last year’s presentation, we can say that the company focus has clearly shifted from devices to services. Last year’s fall release did not start with iPhones or watches, but with new gaming services and streaming.
We can easily explain this fact – Apple’s iPhone revenue falls year by year, and the company compensates for the lack of these funds with services, promoting them aggressively. And it gives the result. Over the past five years, the share of iPhone sales in Apple’s revenue fell from 63.2% to 44.2% (Q3 2015 compared to Q3 2020, according to the company reports). The share of services for the same period increased up to 22%. In this situation, Apple cannot depend on sales of physical devices, as the COVID-19 pandemic and the US-China trade war would damage its revenue.
Thus, the first months of the pandemic turned out to be quite successful for Apple’s business, and the third quarter was even a record one. The company’s revenue grew by 11% year-on-year to $59.7 billion, of which 60% came from international sales.
Changing business strategies
This is Tim Cook behind this change. After the death of Steve Jobs, everyone feared that the era of Apple was over. But pessimistic predictions did not come true as this talented engineer managed to turn Jobs’s company into the world’s largest corporation. For this period, Apple’s revenue and profit have doubled, and capitalization has increased up to $1.9 trillion, an incredible result!
Jobs was associated with the innovativeness of Apple products that revolutionized the entire global IT industry. With Cook, Apple re-invented the smart home, TV and made some interesting products for the automotive industry, but it was not ahead of time with its products. However, the company has grown into a corporate colossus with an ever-expanding range of products and services.
The management approaches of Cook and Jobs are fundamentally different: not a single new product could be discussed without Jobs, and Cook is more concerned with finances. This fact fully meets the expectations of investors: Jobs reinvested all the profits in new products, and Cook allowed them to earn by repurchasing their shares by the company. But even with this approach, Apple manages to turn entire industries: according to Counterpoint Research, Apple Watch sales in pieces now surpass the entire Swiss watch industry. Despite everything, Apple is still an innovative company.
Well, now all we can do is to wait for September 15. We will definitely see a lot of new and interesting things!