As the dust settles from the big Apple announcement from Tuesday, the big question on the minds of brands, advertisers, developers and publishers is: how does this effect my business?
There is no doubt that Apple has set the precedent on many things during its Tuesday announcement: form factor, mobile payments, wearables and operating systems. Opera Mediaworks CEO Mahi de Silva has some thoughts on what Apple’s announcement means for marketers.
Mahi divided up his conclusions under the following buckets:
1. Form Factor: Screen Sizes and Camera
With Apple announcing larger screen sizes for its phones, there is an affirmation of the tablet market that we and other third-party firms have already predicted. While just 20 million of the 980 million smartphones shipped globally in 2013 were phablets, that number is predicted by Juniper Research to lift 600% to reach 120 million by 2018.
Apple’s newer devices, which will ship later this fall, will add to that number significantly. This will give brands and marketers bigger and better screens to deliver high-quality, full-screen images and videos. Studies have shown that high-resolution, HD-quality videos have much higher engagement and conversation rates. Opera Mediaworks acquisition of AdColony (that specializes in HD-quality video advertising) early this summer will help us stay ahead of this trend.
Another big upgrade to iPhones will be the much superior camera. Lately we have seen immense interest from advertisers to be able to incorporate the camera into their mobile ad campaigns, and a better camera will result in better campaigns. A faster processor and better graphics will also be very helpful – this means less friction in putting together more compelling campaigns that offer virtual-reality like experiences and become more successful.
2. Apple Pay
Apple has made a very strong move from payment for content and apps to, now, retail with the Apple Pay announcement. Apple with more than 500M iTunes accounts will make NFC payments a reality. This is a great step in being able to have end-to-end conversation with the consumer — from gathering data to targeting them with an ad, which finally ends in a trackable transaction. Mobile advertising will now be relevant in a huge part of the global economy – retail commerce (an area that desktop digital doesn’t serve).
3. Apple Watch
Although there is much debate about the potential success of the Apple Watch, we expect the many consumers will buy them. Apple will likely become the no. 1 player in digital watches — because of the cool factor and elegant integration with iPhones and HealthKit..
The Apple Watch with all the data gathering capabilities will be a catalyst in helping health and fitness app developers profile their users into granular categories like “running maniac”, “diet-conscious”, or “trail rider”. Given the sensitivity of this data, users will have to consent to sharing this data in an appropriate value exchange. This anonymized and aggregated data will enable marketers to pin-point their target audience — significantly boosting the relevancy of the advertising in the health and fitness category.
This does not necessarily mean that consumers will start seeing ads on the Apple Watch. Instead we expect that Health & Fitness applications will start to get more usage and within that context, marketers will find a rich audience to promote their products and services, most likely on a device that’s connected to the wearable.
Tuesday’s event shows how Apple is still capable of leading the innovation curve on smartphones and the wearables market.
Even if they are not the first to deliver the smartwatch – the capabilities of the Apple Watch are much better thought-out on how consumer can actually use them, as opposed to just a wearable device that promises a lot and does not deliver.
iOS 8 coupled with the iPhone 6, leads the innovation curve in capabilities, and many parts of the Android world will struggle to catch up. Apple has out-innovated other handset manufacturers with its operating system. Even though manufactures like Samsung and LG made the early bet on phablets – it’s more than just the size of the screen — it’s what you can do with your phone and how does it help your digital life — and that’s where Apple continues to push the envelope.