The WWCD has sent the expected ripples through the Apple fanboy community. Now that the dust has settled, there may be reason for the rest of us to pay more attention to the latest updates in Apple’s world.
Essentially since the launch of the iPad, Apple has been accelerating its development in both hardware and software, driving the convergent device uptake by its market. And with rumours floating around abou the phasing out of the iPod in favour of the iPhone, the last of the Apple non-covergent devices in the stable seem to heading for extinction.
So what does all this mean? Well, at first glance not much: a range of user-friendly exponentially cool advancements, the kind of stuff we’ve come to expect from Apple. From a different angle: Apple is trying to kill Facebook.
Here’s a scenario: with your iDevice, you won’t need an app for Facebook, because your app will be your presence on the network. This network will in all likelihood be content-run via the iCloud as a series of connected apps, so whenever you snap a pic, record a movie, update a status, whatever, it’s instantly delivered to your friends (because they’ll have your app or at least be connected to the cloud). Of course, apps can catch as well as throw info, so your app will talk to your friends’ apps, getting data and making sure you’re up to date. Throw in iMessage that allows you to message anyone in your network with any iDevice (can your hear the screams over at RIM Blackberry?) and your end result is an Apple powered social media network that’s accessible only through your Apple device.
On another note, Apple promises brands that the people who see their iAds will at least be able to afford it. It’s not just targeted advertising. It’s targeted advertising within a targeted market. And where Facebook serves up tiny classified-style ads, Apple offers fully interactive branded experiences. Of course, you know that the same scenario that applies to your network applies to branded apps: the content you want delivered when you want it.
The biggest advantage to Apple though is that they make hardware and their platform runs only on their hardware. So you need to pay to play. Now a lot of folks may call that a barrier to entry but Apple is firmly in the zeitgeist, with an amazing amount of credit in the global hearts and minds bank. Also, their stuff just works – and their TVC propaganda campaign didn’t hurt at all.
From where I’m sitting, it looks like Apple is lining up its forces for an attack on Facebook’s territory. What will be interesting is how the (world’s only?) social network reacts to this challenge. That’s not to say Facebook is sitting still, with announcements about making Spotify and movie rental services available via the platform being made with huge fanfare. Yeah, it’s not going to happen overnight but if I’m right, this is the first open act of aggression in what has thus far pretty much been a cold war for your attention and your wallet. Who are you going to side with?
Let the games begin.