With the backdrop of what has been a tough year across the semiconductor and electronics industry, Apple today announced new product offerings, software enhancements and upgrades, as well as the leaving open the possibility of more to come later in the Fall season.
Significant to hardware for today's consumer and business electronics is the software that runs the sleek new smart devices today, whether desktops, laptops, or handheld mobile devices. Today's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) hosted by Apple certainly offered much in the way of software updates, with the new iOS 7 to be released during this month for those who have the more recent iPhone models. It will also come standard on the latest new devices, of course, which will be released September 20th. Without keeping an eye to top of the line software, OEMs devices cannot succeed – Apple is keenly aware of this and has positioned the upgrades to its iOS7 release with this in mind for the suite of devices that it offers.
When it comes to the new smartphones, yes, plural!, there is an important departure by Apple from the past five years. Namely, for the first time since 2007, Apple is releasing two versions of their new iPhone, one a higher-end model, iPhone 5S, and one a price-conscious yet comparably advanced smartphone, iPhone 5C.
On the component front, the iPhone 5S will host Apple's latest 64-bit A7 System on Chip (SoC) processor, which is touted as the OEMs most advanced to date, doubling performance over the previous generation. There are also new sensors, Apple's M7 motion co-processor, housed in this device which are geared toward the increased feature demand for health and fitness tracking by consumers. Additionally, the 5S will have an upgraded camera with an improved 8 megapixel capability and a burst mode that can take 10 pictures in quick succession.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 5C will host Apple's A6 SoC processor that improves battery life (roughly 10 hours) while speeding your ability to engage with the device and applications. The 5C also has an 8MP iSight camera and the now Apple standard 4-inch Retina display. Apple boasts that the 5C has ultrafast LTE wireless that can support a wide array of global networks.
Why the return to a dual-model release? If we look back at the trends and forecasts early in 2013, such as from the leading trade shows CES, Mobile World Congress (MWC), and COMPUTEX Taipei, is that product diversification is essential. Reaching both the higher-priced market as well as the more cost-conscious market are at the fore of smart device market strategies in order to realize new gains from first-time, lower-priced device customers while continuing to provide cutting edge designs and features to the existing high-priced device owners so that they refresh their hardware. Apple looks to have succeeded in this market position with the design appeals targeting these two diverse purchasing groups that are globally positioned rather than regionally.
There are always the questions as to when the Apple HDTV, iWatch, upgrades to the iPad line, and other long-awaited products will appear. They didn't show up on stage today, but there is much going about the industry news that perhaps some will be presented in October. We'll have to wait and see.
Today's announcements offered up a positive dual-device iPhone market strategy that aligns with where the industry has been pointing since beginning of the year. Consumer and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) demand is ripe for the two-tiered pricing model presented and the strategy should prove to have legs. Meanwhile, October is around the corner and the next set of Apple releases hold additional promise to help support healthy competition in the semiconductor and electronics industry.