Apple sells itself well. That strikes me every time they make announcements. Does any company get the same coverage for product announcement that they do? There’s lots of reasons to account for it, but their ability to get people’s attention is impressive in itself, regardless of what they announce.
Data Centers are sexy again. When Google or others build data centers, they are admired for various reasons, but most people never talk about them. Apple makes them interesting, just like it does with all of its technology. However, like alot of its hardware these days, I suspect it will “disappear”, or I should say, fade into the background.
Apple brings the same “easy” quality to the Cloud that it does to their other
devices. This is remarkable to me. In a sense, Apple will treat the
cloud like it treats the personal computer or the handheld mobile
device. This will set a high bar for others. That said, Apple has strong
competition with Amazon and Google, to name their current competion listed in their Keynote slides. The winners here will be the consumer.
Apple is displacing the Web. Not the Internet, but the Web. They are not the only one, of course: Facebook is doing this too. But their current strength is in Apps and the Cloud, and those are not the Web. I don’t mean to imply this is a bad thing. It remains to be seen what the effect of this is. But their technologies are disruptive to the Web and could displace it. This is not surprising: new technologies displace old technologies all the time; why should the Web be any different?
Who could have predicted Apple would become such a large employer of developers? Because of the App Store, $2.5 billion has been paid out to developers. Those are developers who would have likely have made $0 on their software. Not only that, but I think Apple has encouraged people who might not have bothered to develop software to make the effort. This is also impressive to me.
Apple’s competion is now Google and Walmart. Did you see it mention IBM or HP or Microsoft? All the companies mentioned in their slides were mostly non-IT. Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy: those are the companies that Apple is competing with now.
Apple stoops to conquer. Apple has done a good job of reducing the price of technologies and products in order to be successful. Once it was a given that there was an “Apple Tax” on their stuff. Now they have no problem with going head to head and even undercutting competition when they want to win. The latest version of that is the price of iCloud. Mobile Me was $99. iCloud? Free. They announced a number of other products as well, all with low costs. It will get harder and harder to beat Apple on price. They are stooping (in terms of price) to conquer (the markets they want).
Media makes Apple sexy, and Apple is great at associating themselves with media that lends sexiness to them. They feature the coolest music and other media and the association rubs off on them. That’s not to say they aren’t sexy, but they borrow as well.
Lots of focus on Lion. The Mac is still important, and not just because of sales. I suspect it will be as long as Steve Jobs is around. iOS is the growth OS, while Mac OS X is the stable OS. Even the version is stable, save for the big cat designation. (Compare that to the operating system drama over at Microsoft.) Alot of the features of the platforms seems to be converging according to my very limited viewpoint. Apple has done a great job with that.
Anyway, those are my idiosyncratic thoughts on Apple’s announcements. Needless to say, these are my opinions and have nothing to do with those of my employer.
For some great notes and photos of the event, see: WWDC 2011 liveblog: Steve Jobs talks iOS 5, OS X Lion, iCloud and more! — Engadget