This WWDC 2019 on Apple’s other strengths: Mac Pro, Pro Display XDR, Swift UI. But these announcements hide what’s coming. In dotted lines, this WWDC 2019 draws the outlines of a “post-iPhone” era.
The iPod company, the iPhone company, the Services company
Have you noticed that? The iPhone, which still represents 60% of Apple’s revenue, did not spend much more than a quarter of an hour on the McEnery Convention Center stage. While the smartphone market seems definitively saturated, and it is taking its gradual landing harder than its competitors, Apple wanted to show that it was not just the iPhone company.
We must admit: iPadOS 13 is nothing more or less than iOS 13. But this name sends a clear message. The iPad is a device in its own right, whose destiny is not entirely linked to that of the iPhone, the iPad is a vector of growth, even when the iPhone’s is stuck, the iPad is a pillar of the Cupertinian building and not just a doorstop. The iPad should represent 10% of Apple’s business this year, as much or slightly more than the Mac.
The Mac Pro is a professional workstation, offering the services of a professional workstation, at the price of a professional workstation. Apple had set the stage: from the 21.5″ iMac to the iMac Pro and Mac mini, it offers a range that meets the needs of consumers and prosumers alike. Unless you are one of those “enlightened amateurs” who were the heart of Apple’s customer base, and you are looking for a modular tower, in which case you can go elsewhere.
Apple has made a decision: they prefers to lose a few historical customers, and cash a few tweets and furious blog posts, rather than compromise the Mac Pro. But it also prefers to chain amazingly tremendous and impressive, with a touch of arrogance in the voice, rather than explain it clearly. That’s how it took the developers cold, and caused reactions, by presenting a $999 screen stand. If only it had taken thirty seconds, in its two and a half hour keynote, to show to the future clientele of the Pro Display XDR!
More personal and proactive technologies
This WWDC allows us to see this future of computing “at the intersection of biology and technology.” Steve Jobs had sketched this turn a few months before he died, Tim Cook built it, and Apple is taking it at full speed. Oh, other giants in Silicon Valley did present connected watches or wireless headsets. But Apple offers a coherent vision, anchored not only in material innovation but more fundamentally in a bond of trust.
But in the long term, this strategy pays off, because it combines good ethics and good business (which is why the whole of Silicon Valley has suddenly converted to confidentiality). With “Sign in with Apple,” the Cupertino firm takes this logic to its climax. Not content to mow the grass under the feet of Google and Facebook, it takes a central place in your digital life, becoming an identity provider. But a blurred identity, decoupled from the data, purely utilitarian. Confidentiality is a service like any other.