Apple iPhone 13 launch: What the experts say

Apple, News


We ask the experts what they thought about last night’s Apple California streaming event, which included announcements on the new iPhone 13, iPad Mini and Apple Watch Series 7…

On the iPhone 13

Ben Wood, Chief Analyst, CCS Insight:

“These updates follow Apple’s tried and tested formula of delivering new products with metronomic consistency. The company is offering enough new features to fuel consumer demand, with the vast majority of purchases being upgrades by existing Apple customers.

“Apple has a proven and profitable approach that it appears capable of sustaining for a long time. Only a major industry disruption, such as a dramatic shift to flexible devices, which is far from certain at present, would force it to radically deviate from this strategy.

“Much to the dismay of its rivals, there is little reason to indicate Apple is not on course to continue its incredible momentum into 2022.

“The new iPhones see Apple returning to the staples of battery life, screen technology, performance and camera capabilities, all of which are all attractive to existing customers looking to upgrade.”

Paolo Pescatore, PP Foresight:

“There were big boots to fill with the success of the iPhone 12. The iPhone remains a core lucrative product for Apple as it represents a gateway to other devices and more importantly services.

“While many will see some upgrades as incremental, there are millions of users who have yet to upgrade to 5G. Therefore, this so-called ‘supercycle’ moment is still relevant.

“This new iPhone will be a key smartphone for telcos that helps drives much needed volumes and revenue due to 5G The biggest challenge will be maintaining a premium for what some users will see as incremental upgrades. While the individual improvements may not seem as much, collectively they will be significant leading to the best iPhone experience for users.

“Apple has done a superb job of differentiating between the new iPhone 13 range. The new features among the Pro devices clearly justify a premium. Apple has to strike a fine balance of convincing customers that the new iPhone is the best thing out there.”

“This is something Apple has become accustomed to and always finds a way to drive upgrades or sway users from rival platforms and smartphones.”

Anisha Bhatia, Senior Technology Analyst at GlobalData:

“Apple’s new iPhone 13 will be a boost for 5G adoption. Unlike Android, iOS users lack a strong selection of 5G devices. The iPhone 13 family is a welcome addition for consumers looking to upgrade. Rival Samsung has a robust selection of 5G phones across price tiers and is top of mind of operators that are aggressively pushing 5G services – especially in the US.

“At $799, the price for the base iPhone 13 model is the same as the older iPhone 12 but adds double the storage memory.

“The phones include a faster A15 bionic chip, improved durability with a ceramic shield display, bigger battery, and camera and video upgrades – including the addition of ProMotion refresh on the Pro models, which should encourage upgrades.

“Apple devoted a chunk of time during each product announcement to talk about the sustainability of that device. Apple has pledged to be 100% carbon neutral for its supply chain and products by 2030. Apple’s iPhones are its biggest revenue generators, accounting for 40% to 50% of the company’s overall returns, and Apple has a substantial installed base waiting to upgrade. With massive promotions, the iPhone 13 will continue the 5G supercycle that started with the iPhone 12.”

On the iPad Mini

Ben Wood, Chief Analyst, CCS Insight:

“It is interesting to see the return of the iPad Mini, which has not been updated since March 2019. The move has probably been triggered by the renaissance of tablets as people blew the dust off old devices in the rush to get connected at home during the pandemic.

“The new iPad Mini is a major upgrade and arguably more akin to Apple’s iPad Pro category given its design, support for the A15 Bionic chip and a USB-C connector. However, it will undoubtedly provoke debate about why many other models have not abandoned the proprietary Lightning adaptor in favour of the more ubiquitous USB-C to be found on some iPads and Macs.

“The iPad Mini represents a significant opportunity for the iPad brand to extend deeper into the numerous industry sectors that Apple is already supporting, such as aviation, healthcare and retail.”

Paolo Pescatore, PP Foresight:

“The redesigned new iPad Mini with support for 5G opens up new opportunities for Apple. Interesting timing given the growing focus on foldable devices by rivals.”

On the Apple Watch Series 7

Leo Gebbie, Principal Analyst, CCS Insight:

“At first glance, the latest Apple Watch is another iterative update, but the larger screen allowing bigger virtual buttons and up to 50% more text on screen should certainly improve usability.

“I’d expected to see a bump in battery life on the Apple Watch, as owners continue to clamour for smartwatches to last longer, but Apple has decided not to deviate from its 18-hour battery life. The faster charging will be welcomed, but for those wanting to track their sleep it would be far easier to offer a battery that lasts a couple of days.

“Despite these concerns, the Apple Watch continues to sell in record numbers and dominates the smartwatch market by a distance. Clearly, users are happy enough with the daily charging routine, and I expect that other improvements to the Watch will be very well received.

“New features such as dedicated activity tracking and fall detection for cyclists add to the Apple Watch’s capabilities in the fitness space. They’ll be a welcome update for new and existing owners. The enhancements further the Watch’s credentials as the best all-round smartwatch.

“Rolling out Fitness+ to a further 15 markets underlines Apple’s desire to grab a huge slice of the remote fitness market. New guided meditation classes and workouts will be welcomed, but the stand-out feature is undoubtedly Group Workouts, which adds an interesting competitive element to exercising at home, and a further lock-in to Apple’s ecosystem.”

Paolo Pescatore, PP Foresight:

“No major new health features for the new Apple watch might seem disappointing. It is apparent that Apple is focused on driving sales volume across its iPhone base. This coupled with a continued focus on Fitness+ will help drive engagement and new revenue.”

“With incremental improvements for the Watch, Apple is adopting a similar proven successful model akin to new iPhone upgrades.”

Chris Price
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