Apple can seem to do no wrong at the moment, with the company going from strength to strength in 2014. It seems almost unimaginable now that the year began with Samsung bullish about its prospects of overtaking Apple at the head of the consumer electronics podium. But as the year wore on, it became increasingly obvious that Apple had made all the right moves in the marketplace, and this has been confirmed with the company recently becoming the first to achieve a $700 billion market capitalization. Some analysts believe that this figure will top $1 trillion in due course.
The success of Apple can be attributed to the corporation continually meeting consumer need and releasing products which actually serve the purposes that customers want from them. While Samsung has been forced to admit that its range of mobile devices has become dated, and that the company has made strategic mistakes, Apple always seems to make the right moves.
ValueWalk's Raul Panganiban interviews William Burckart, The Investment Integration Project’s President and COO, and discuss his recent book that he co-authored, “21st Century Investing: Redirecting Financial Strategies to Drive System Change”. Q1 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The following is a computer generated transcript and may contain some errors.
Undoubtedly, branding has been a huge part of Apple’s relentless success. The Apple logo is one of the most instantly recognizable in the world, and Apple is so confident about how well recognized its brand is that the Apple Watch is already being branded with a logo rather than a word. Few other corporations can lay claim to this sort of cultural impact, and this has been achieved with a very studious and fastidious policy which has been perfectly implemented over a period of time. Many may scoff about the value and worth of branding, but Apple is not the only successful corporation which proves that it is a critical part of any commercial strategy.
With this in mind, Apple has a big decision to make with the next range of smartphones it produces. The sequel to the Apple iPhone 6 is due in the latter half of 2015, with a September release date akin to the iPhone 6 probably the most likely. Plans for the next Apple iPhone are of course still very much under wraps, as Apple likes to keep any information related to its product releases very much in-house until pretty much the last minute.
But one thing we do know with regard to this next-generation iPhone is that Apple faces a conundrum regarding the branding of the device, not to mention the ethos that this particular smartphone will possess. Will the next Apple iPhone be a significant revolution in the iPhone series, or will it be more of a minor upgrade from the successful iPhone 6? And will Apple choose to brand it as the iPhone 6s, or will a next-generation iPhone naturally fit the iPhone 7 monicker?
This question in mind will largely be answered by the type of device that Apple produces. It is notable that Microsoft has recently chosen to rebrand its forthcoming release of its flagship operating system as Windows 10, effectively skipping an entire generation. This is to indicate that this next version of Windows will be a significant departure from previous releases in the series, and intended to represent a rebooting of the Windows concept.
Such a radical decision from Microsoft was essentially deemed a necessity owing to the pretty much total disaster that was Windows 8. Apple, of course, finds itself in a vastly different position, with the iPhone 6 having been a monumental success for the company, and indeed virtually every product it has released in the recent past having been both critically and commercially well received. Certainly, even critics of Apple would struggle to deny the assertion that Apple has made no major product release which was as reviled as Windows 8, and the commercial success of the company is undeniable.
So from a commercial perspective, Apple would be entirely forgiven for producing a next-generation iPhone which simply presents a spec upgrade from the previous iPhone series. This would be deemed an entirely logical move for most consumer electronics manufacturers, and would probably be perfectly successful commercially for Apple. The iPhone 6 is generally considered to be at least as good as most smartphones on the market, and if the customers are always right, then there would seem to be little need for Apple to provide a radical departure from this when the iPhone 7 is released.
Steve Jobs’ ethos
However, Apple was built on an ethos and mentality which was instilled by its sadly deceased founder and CEO. Steve Jobs was a man who built the company with a certain vision, and that vision was to innovate and deliver products that no-one else on the market could imitate. Arguably Apple has moved away from this in recent years, as more mundane commercial considerations have begun to swallow this behemoth of a company.
But there have been murmurings from within Apple that the company wants to get back to its roots during 2015, and produce some technology products which really wow consumers and critics alike. So this would suggest that the Apple iPhone 7 could be a real revolution in smartphones, and be an attempt to greatly remodel the iPhone brand with an exciting new product.
If this is the case then iPhone 7 would seem to be a natural name for the device, which will either be released in September or October according to most estimations. And further backing up this idea is the notion that Apple will release a smaller iPhone possibly early in Q2, which could be called the iPhone 6s.