Apple's iPhone 5 key, but iCloud more strategic

Apple's iPhone 5 key, but iCloud more strategic

Summary: Don't get confused by the shiny new iPhone; the iOS and iCloud launches and your data are far more important to Apple.

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Apple's plans to launch its latest iPhone will be closely watched for its specs, new features and ability to get consumers to line up for the device, but iCloud's rollout will be far more strategic.

If you were to rank Apple's launches in order they'd be iCloud, iOS 5 and then the iPhone 5.

In other words, don't get confused by the shiny objects. Apple's iCloud, which seems like old news since it had a coming out party at WWDC over the summer, is also likely to kick off. As iCloud's launch goes so does Apple's transition from a PC-centric vendor to one more equipped for the decades to come. If iCloud has iOutages and other issues it will be a black mark on Apple.

Wells Fargo analyst Jason Maynard said in a research note:

The most profound takeaway from the June WWDC event was Steve Jobs' statement that the PC/Mac has been demoted to a spoke in the iCloud hub. We believe there is a major battle going on among Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft for consumer Internet dominance. At the core, we think the battle is about the control of data. The convergence of software, hardware and Internet services is leading to an asymmetric fight among the gorillas. Our thesis is that the platform that creates the most value will store the most data. The platform that stores the most data will ultimately, in our view, be the winner(s).

On the iOS 5 front, the biggest questions will revolve around whether native Twitter integration and potentially closer Facebook ties can make Apple more social. It's worth noting that Twitter integration is key for Apple---a company that doesn't bother with the social broadcasting service.

In fact, Twitter may be a strategic play against Facebook, which may launch an app for the iPad, but is more likely to go HTML 5 and appeal to developers directly. Frankly, Facebook doesn't really need Apple to be a gatekeeper to its audience.

Bring up the rear to Apple's shindig on Tuesday may be the next iPhone. It's only natural to be wowed by better cameras and new features, but keep your eye on the ball. Apple's immediate future will be dictated by its cloud launch, software and aggregating your data in the land of tech giants.

Topics: Mobile OS, Apple, Browser, Cloud, iPhone, Mobility, Social Enterprise

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54 comments
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  • RE: Apple's iPhone 5 key, but iCloud more strategic

    iCloud is just a service to sell more hardware. Remember Apple is a hardware company, not a software company. The ones to worry about are software companies that want to control your hardware.
    Rick_Kl
    • RE: Apple's iPhone 5 key, but iCloud more strategic

      @Rick_Kl
      Agreed. Of the companies that were mentioned (Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and MS) only one is a hardware company and while iTunes on its own would be big, it is but a small part of Apple's overall profits.
      So Larry, are you (or Jason Maynard whom you've quoted) saying that all these companies want to morph into something else than what they are?
      MG537-23482538203179240121698430309828
    • Apple is a Systems company

      @Rick_Kl

      People get confused thinking Apple is a hardware company when, in fact, it is a systems company.

      When you buy an Apple product, you are buying into a system of integrated components that are designed to work well together. Take away either the hardware or the software and the system falls apart.
      Bruizer
      • RE: Apple's iPhone 5 key, but iCloud more strategic

        @Bruizer I think you are missing the point. When you walk into an Apple store, what do you see everywhere? Hardware, not just isles of software boxes, but actual hardware (iProducts, MacBooks, Mac Pros, iMacs, Mac minis, Airports, Apple TVs etc.) When you walk into a Microsoft partners retail store (Walmart, Best Buy, Kmart, etc.) you see a section for hardware and a larger section for software.
        Rick_Kl
      • RE: Apple's iPhone 5 key, but iCloud more strategic

        @Bruizer I would say they are an industrial design and marketing firm which focuses on complete solutions. They don't manufacture anything, so calling them a hardware company is definitely not accurate. They design integrated solutions and contract others to build them.

        (IMHO, they are one of the best industrial design firms in the world, and I'm not a fanboy, because I actually prefer using Windows.)
        BillDem
      • RE: Apple's iPhone 5 key, but iCloud more strategic

        @Bruizer You hit the nail on the head... Apple is about systems, eco-systems; around people, devices and content.
        glopez123
      • RE: Apple's iPhone 5 key, but iCloud more strategic

        @Rick_Kl

        When you walk into an Apple store you see boxes with Samsung screens and DIMMs, Maxtor, Samsung, or, if you're lucky, WD hard drives, oh and Intel CPUs. Intel doesn't need to invent an ultrabook space to compete with the Macbook Air! They're already the exclusive vendor for the chips in the Macbook Air. These are exactly the same components as in every other PC. Apple differentiates purely upon OS X and pretty designs. They are either a software company or an industrial design company. They are NOT a "hardware" company.
        tkejlboom
      • @Rick_kl

        It is simplistic to think that just because all you see is hardware, Apple is nothing but a hardware company. Apple exists as a company that spend enormous resources on software, network and systems infrastructure. If you buy an iPod but don't install iTunes, it functions are seriously limited. Why? Because you removed a key part of the system.

        It is this naive view of Apple being a "hardware" company that has made competing against them so amazingly difficult. HTC offers hardware. Samsung offers hardware. MS offers software (yes the Xbox is a system). Apple offers the entire system. It tightly integrated fusion of hardware and software with custom protocols if needed.

        If you really think Apple is another Dell and is little more than a hardware company, you can't begin to understand why Apple has seen the success they have had.
        Bruizer
      • @BillDem: you just defined a systems company.

        @Bruizer

        In engineering, what you defined is a systems company.

        Also remember, most large companies subcontract out the vast majority of manufacturing and Apple is not unique in that.
        Bruizer
      • RE: Apple's iPhone 5 key, but iCloud more strategic

        @Bruizer If that's true, it follows my assertion that what Apple really is is a marketing company, who uses the perception of it's systems as a "higher end" prospect to charge higher prices.

        Otherwise, if Apple were the company you state, it wouldn't charge premiums for it's hardware, it would behave more like other systems and service providers - such as cell phone carriers.

        Those businesses don't charge premiums for their devices [meaning: additional profit just for the name], instead they subsidize them so the consumer pays less - a gateway so that they can start using the proprietary ecosystem.

        Apple doesn't work that way...
        They gouge you coming AND going.
        And, in the end, their solutions aren't superior - in fact, have many more obstacles and limitations if you aren't inclined (or able) to let Apple dicatate [what is often 'the one way'] how your (ponder) environment can be configured.

        That 'one way only' approach may simplify things for home and casual users, but isn't superior, and isn't something to pay more for. But Apple has found themselves a niche market in non-technical folk who don't want to screw around with settings and just want things to work - they don't care if it's Apple's-way-or-the-highway. They'll pay more for the "thank god I didn't have to configure" factor, and in a true ignorance-is-bliss sentiment, Apple has leveraged their marketing to work in conjunction with those people's ease-of-use satisfaction to turn into word-of-mouth advertising and the perception that "Apple is superior"...
        ...and therefore worth paying more for.

        It's truly propaganda. No other industry follows this model.
        It's also truly brilliant - and the truth in the above materializes when Apple is one of the most profitable (read: more of YOUR money) company in the US.
        Something to think deeply about before feeling aligned "with" them...
        geolemon
      • RE: Apple's iPhone 5 key, but iCloud more strategic

        @geolemon "It's truly propaganda. No other industry follows this model."

        Oh really? Have you bought an automobile in the last few decades?
        lostark98
      • @geolemon

        Your post shows a remarkable lack of understanding what systems design and engineering is.

        <i>Those businesses don't charge premiums for their devices [meaning: additional profit just for the name], instead they subsidize them so the consumer pays less - a gateway so that they can start using the proprietary ecosystem.</i>

        That only works for systems that have a reoccurring cost associated with their use. To think there is a single revenu model for all systems houses is simple minded. This naive view and shallow thinking is repeated throughout your post.
        Bruizer
      • RE: Apple's iPhone 5 key, but iCloud more strategic

        @geolemon


        "Those businesses don't charge premiums for their devices [meaning: additional profit just for the name], instead they subsidize them so the consumer pays less - a gateway so that they can start using the proprietary ecosystem.
        "

        Apparently you've never heard of Cadillac, Mercedez-Benz, Audi, BMW, Jaguar, etc.

        But if you want something more on-topic, remember when the cheaper PCs were called "IBM clones"? IBM was viewed as a "premier" brand. Or, for something more current, when HP bought Compaq they kept the brand name as the "cheaper" product, with their HP-branded items as the "top-line" product (i.e. customers wanting "higher" quality would pay more for the HP name).
        spdragoo@...
  • RE: Apple's iPhone 5 key, but iCloud more strategic

    My contract is up and I am deciding between drinking Apple koolaid or Motorola Atrix. All the Apple stuff sound great until I start thinking about how restrictive iTunes is to use. Ug.
    michaelwesolowski
    • RE: Apple's iPhone 5 key, but iCloud more strategic

      @michaelwesolowski You should look at the Windows phones, oh wait they are just as restrictive. Nevermind, you might be better off just buying a Droid Bionic. ;)
      Rick_Kl
    • RE: Apple's iPhone 5 key, but iCloud more strategic

      @michaelwesolowski You can own an iPhone without drinking the RDF KoolAid. I own an iPhone, iPad, and even a Mac, but I seem to be immune to the fanaticism. I still prefer all of my Windows PCs and I cringe every time I hear the RDF faithful spouting that Apple is superior to everything. I have more problems with my Apple products than any of my Windows PCs, so I know the truth. The apps sometimes crash. There are kernel panics. The iOS devices require a hardware reset every so often. None of the problems make them unusable, but they do show that they are far from perfect.

      On the other hand, the iOS devices are far more intuitive to start using than any of the Android devices that I've tried. There is no unintuitive "swipe in from one of the frame edges" to make something happen. You see everything and just touch what you want. It's zero learning curve versus small learning curve.

      Also, the application and accessory selection is far beyond anything else out there. Go to Brookstone (or any retailer) and look at how many accessories they sell for Android devices versus Apple devices. That's the real appeal of iOS devices. The ecosystem blows everything else away. They're not perfect, but you can do an awful lot with them.
      BillDem
      • RE: Apple's iPhone 5 key, but iCloud more strategic

        @BillDem [I have more problems with my Apple products than any of my Windows PCs, so I know the truth. The apps sometimes crash. There are kernel panics. The iOS devices require a hardware reset every so often. None of the problems make them unusable, but they do show that they are far from perfect.]

        I have the same issues with Windows more often than OS X. So your circumstances are different than mine. Yes, Windows 7 is an improvement over Vista, but it is not perfect. Through my limited exposure to the Windows mobile OS, I think i???ll pass on it. I do not like the metro interface, as it is not any easier to use than the competition, and these phones require a hardware restart every so often. Different people have different experiences. While I do use OS X at home, I use various versions of Windows at work. What bothers me are the endless people that feel it is okay to bash Apple, while giving Microsoft a pass for their transgressions.
        Rick_Kl
      • BillDem: Excellent post

        @BillDem
        " I cringe every time I hear the RDF faithful spouting that Apple is superior to everything"

        +1. Rick_Kl is a case in point.
        toddybottom
      • RE: Apple's iPhone 5 key, but iCloud more strategic

        @BillDem I agree a manage a school that bought 1000+ apple computers 3 years ago and they are a pain. Not to mention apple stops updating software to make you buy newer version of OS X. Since then we are slowly replacing with managed windows 7 machines. Life has been easier for our users and me.
        cernajose@...
      • RE: Apple's iPhone 5 key, but iCloud more strategic

        @BillDem [i]I have more problems with my Apple products than any of my Windows PCs, so I know the truth.[/i]
        I agree with most of your post but the above line doesn't fly. If you had said you know the truth about your experience great but claiming you know the truth simply based on your experience is far from accurate. I am not disputing your claim about your experience but my experience is that I have more issues with each of numerous Windows machines I own than all the Apple products I own combined. Does that make your experience wrong, of course not but just shows that your truth is just that, yours and not everyone else's.
        non-biased