4 Quick Takeaways From Today’s Apple Keynote

I just finished watching the Apple Keynote today and here are a few initial reactions:

  1. The iPhone SE is a brilliant move and proof that Tim Cook is a supply chain mastermind.
    I imagine Apple has a surplus of iPhone 5/5s casings, as well as innards from the iPhone 6 that would otherwise be written off or go unused for a long time. Putting them into a smaller device allows for higher profit margins, while still giving customers that want a smaller phone the (almost) latest technology. It’s also able to keep them competitive in the entry-level smartphone market.
  2. The new Apple Watch bands are really nice — the price cut is better.
    Apple still won’t tell you how many Apple Watches they’ve sold, but they will say it’s the best selling smart watch in the world (duh). I think dropping the price will have a bigger impact than some think on moving units, especially as they’re able to close the pricing divide between FitBit, their biggest competition.
  3. The iPad Pro 9.7" makes a lot of sense for the longterm vision.
    Apple wants to position the iPad Pro the same way the Microsoft Surface is positioned to Windows users, however it’s not a fair comparison. The iPad was always a tablet-first device. With over a million apps designed for iPad in the App Store, Apple needs to transition people into more of the pro-market. Surface has the complete opposite problem; most people using the Surface are likely professionals, using it as a laptop-first device. The software is almost always designed for the desktop experience first, then tweaked for touch, and aside from Office, the touch apps on Windows are pretty terrible. As Apple starts easing people into the more powerful “iPad Pro” experience with the 9.7" size, it will make it easier to convert them over to business users with the robust iOS ecosystem downstream.
  4. Liam was the sleeper hit of the announcement.
    It’s easy to gloss over the environmental portion of the keynote, however “Liam,” the robot that disassembles and reuses the pieces from returned hardware, is brilliant. It’s innovations like that that make it hard to bet against Apple. Their ingenuity is not only being felt on the conumser side, but also behind the scenes.
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