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2017~ Apple bets that you’ll adopt these 3 tech habits

2017-06-06 14:21 [NEWS] Source:Netword
Guide:Apple Inc. did not invent the smartphone, the personal computer, nor the tablet, but it did help cement mass consumer adoption of that hardware and mad

Apple Inc. did not invent the smartphone, the personal computer, nor the tablet, but it did help cement mass consumer adoption of that hardware and made billions of dollars because of it.

With Monday’s announcements at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple is hoping to take a host of other niche technologies to mainstream acceptance. For these efforts to actually have an effect on Apple’s balance sheet, they may have to prove wildly popular.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook and fellow top Apple executives discussed a range of New and refreshed offerings from Apple in the WWDC keynote address, but three announcements focused specifically on promising areas of tech that have yet to become mainstream: Augmented and virtual reality, smart speakers and peer-to-peer payments. Each of those segments has a consumer following and companies that cater to them, but Apple is now threatening to treat them as it did BlackBerry with the iPhone.

These efforts could be essential for Apple AAPL, -0.98%   to overcome a flattening of revenue and declines in iPhone unit sales to post sales growth again. It will be tough for any one of the New ambitions to show up against the weight of billions in smartphone sales, but combined they could mean enough to the company’s software and services sector to move the needle.

HomePod — the second New device introduced under Cook, after the Apple Watch — will challenge Inc.’s AMZN, +0.46%   Echo and Alphabet Inc.’s GOOG, +0.83% GOOGL, +0.78%   Google Home with a form factor that has found some acceptance in the home. Gartner predicted last year that such speakers would become a $2 billion business by 2020, while eMarketer predicts 35.6 million Americans will interact with such a device this year.

Read: Apple unveils smart speaker with focus on music as it battles Google, Amazon

Also see: Apple’s HomePod will have to be this smart to compete with Alexa and Echo

Apple could speed up that adoption, and find more than the $350 in revenue each HomePod will deliver. Much as the iPhone and iPad’s adoption led to a large chunk of app fees from mobile developers, Apple hopes that growing adoption of smart home devices and appliances will connect with the HomePod and bring similar chunks of one-time purchases and subscription fees.

HomePod is also marketed to challenge Sonos and other speaker systems that are focused on music delivery. That functionality could help support the growing Apple Music streaming offering that Apple said Monday has already attracted 27 million paying subscribers.

“We think the product takes on music speakers as much as it does Echo/Work like products,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani wrote in a note Monday afternoon.

Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research agreed, and said the HomePod’s price “is actually really competitive” when compared to high-end audio devices. “I would bet that Apple will sell a lot of these at Christmas and into next year,” he wrote in a note Monday.

Cook has said several times that Apple believes more in augmented reality than virtual reality, which could be headed for an expensive niche category. Apple offered its own expensive, niche solution for VR, the $5,000 iMac Pro that sports Advanced Micro Devices Corp. AMD, +3.12%   and Intel Corp. INTC, +0.06%   technology that will drive third-party virtual-reality headsets.

For augmented reality, Apple is pushing for acceptance in its devices and hoping developers find New hits like Pokemon Go, which got time on stage at the WWDC keynote as Apple introduced a New software kit for AR. IDC predicted that spending on AR software could surpass VR software as soon as next year, although much of that spending is expected to be focused on enterprise usage.

Read: Apple accepts reality, but can it take AR and VR to mainstream?

Apple is taking a different approach to augmented and virtual worlds, Dawson added.

“In VR, Apple is mostly enabling third-party editing and creation of VR content for consumption on other platforms and to an extent on the Mac, whereas with AR Apple is focused on developers creating apps for the iPhone and iPad,” Dawson wrote. “So it’s embracing AR as an immediate first-party opportunity while keeping VR at arm’s length when it comes to mobile platforms, in contrast to Samsung and other smartphone vendors.”

In peer-to-peer payments, PayPal Holdings Inc.’s PYPL, +0.52%   Venmo has helped prove that smartphone users will send each other small amounts of money. Apple will try to implement similar technology in its messaging app, similar to Facebook Inc.’s FB, +0.01%   hopes for Facebook Messenger and potentially WhatsApp.

See also: Can Apple convince customers to pay each other on their iPhones?


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