Apple’s Fall Event venue choice – the Flint Centre – had already startled the entire technology and business industry. The Flint Centre is the place where Steve Jobs had established the future of Apple as a consumer technology company when he had unveiled the Macintosh and the iMac in 1984 and 1998 respectively. The sheer significance of this venue signalled to the world that something big was coming from Apple’s R&D and Product departments. The recent acquisition of Beats and hiring of Marc Newson also pointed in the direction of some great product design and a music department revamp. Keeping everyone’s expectations in check, Apple unveiled its new iPhone series and also managed to surprise the entire world by announcing its entry in an all new market segment of smart watches with the curved-display bearing iWatch at its Fall Annual Event. But will these changes that Apple made to the hardware of the iPhone, iOS and OS X pay off this year? Will the iWatch be able to conquer the wearable market and redefine it? Did Apple do justice to its event location? Lets find out.
Apple unveiled the new Mac OS X Yosemite at its World Wide Developers Conference in June. They released a developers preview for this new operating system so that OS X App Developers could optimise their apps and update them to be more consistent when the new update drops this fall. I installed this beta on my Macbook and these are my thoughts after using Yosemite for over two weeks.
“Every bit as powerful as it looks.” Apple promotes Yosemite using this phrase on its website. OS X 10.10 Yosemite is to OS X what iOS 7 was to iOS. Yosemite brings a brand new user interface to Apple’s computing software. Gone are the days of 3D buttons and skeuomorphism as Apple has given OS X the minimalist treatment with Yosemite. Similar to iOS 7 in many ways, Yosemite not only enhances the visual quality of software but also has a few nifty tricks which enhance the productivity by a great extent. Some of these include the new spotlight search and the revamped notification centre. Many of the stock applications such as the Safari browser and the Mail app have been given a much-needed boost as well making them usable. A new font throughout the system completes this package by making it even more compelling and beautiful.
Apple recently acquired the Beats moniker for $3,000,000,000 (A lot of zeros). It also managed to rope in the head of the Nokia Lumia Imaging Department, Ari Partinen. Beats has been known for it’s high end headphones and speakers and more specifically the original boomsound speakers in the HTC One. Lumia Imaging on the other hand, was responsible for the superior optics and camera quality which is has now become an industry standard for all Nokia devices. People think this is more of a brand marketing that is taking place, but in reality Apple has really thought through it’s iQuisitions.
Let’s go over Beats first. Beats Electronics is an American company which makes audio related equipment such as earphones and headphones. However, recently it had launched it’s own music streaming service which went by the name ‘Beats Music’ . This was a move to counter the growing popularity of Spotify. HTC had a 25% share in Beats in 2013. That share percentage had translated into something which HTC phones are known for till date, the ‘BoomSound Speakers’. The fact that there was a Beats DSP Manager on board the phone made music fanatics go crazy. The speakers were one of the key factors in the selection of the HTC One as the Phone of the Year by so many magazines. Now with Apple not owning 25% but the complete 100% we can expect to see some superior audio quality tinkling down into the iPhone’s DNA. Anyone wanting a BoomSound iPhone? That would eliminate one of the biggest weakness of the iPhone and would make the speaker one of it’s biggest strengths.
Now other than the iPhone getting some Beats love, we can expect to see some makeovers to iTunes. Music was the field with which Apple reached into the mainstream market. The iPod had changed the music industry forever. Now with Apple having their own iTunes streaming service dubbed iTunes Radio as well as Beats Music we can expect to see a surge in revenue. Maybe this was the boost Apple was looking for it’s music division. The addition of the high end headphones brand will definitely push iTunes further and will enhance consumer growth for Apple as a company. They can also roll out offers with either Beats Music or iTune Radio to promote each other along with pushing the sales of headphones even further.
Why did Apple rope in Ari Partinen though? Well the iPhone 5s’s 8MP camera is becoming lacklustre in today’s ever growing camera optic war. Who was winning that war? The Nokia Lumia series. Who was the head of that department? Ari Partinen. Apple has always kept imaging in the limelight of it’s press releases whenever it announced a new iPhone. But now, that department needs some new personnel, some new ideas and some new optics. Who can provide that the best? The head of the best camera department. If Apple manages to fit a PureView camera with a mammoth resolution sensor along with a Zenon flash, camera enthusiasts will be all over the phone. It will drive sales even more and it would be difficult to get one without waiting for weeks. Apple hopes that Ari can help it achieve this and make the iPhone imaging experience one of the best if not the best.
Apple has started picking up some key players in the market to forward it’s own arsenal. With a lot more cash in hand, Apple can soon go out on a shopping spree. Only time will tell what’s Apple’s next target. So what do you guys think? Was the acquisition a good one or a bad one? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading and have a good day ahead.