As with any major Apple event, today’s iPhone 5C/5S announcement was without much surprise for those who follow the rumor mills. For instance:
- iWork apps (Keynote, Pages, Numbers, iMovie, iPhoto) will be free for iOS
- The 5C. The “C” stands for color and not cheap, unless you’re willing to pay $500+ for the unlocked version.
- iPhone 5S, as in sensor
- Fingerprint scanner
But with every Apple announcement, companies often ask themselves, will Apple eat my company today? So, without further ado, let’s run down the list of the biggest losers from today’s event.
Back in June during WWDC, Apple announced iTunes Radio, a free online radio service similar to Pandora. Today, we now have an official release date: September 18th. Yup, that’s also the same day when iOS 7 is expected to ship.
For years, the undisputed king of office productivity software was Microsoft Office. Then, Google introduced Google Docs which later became known as Drive. It was free, web-based, and increasingly, more people started using it instead. As Microsoft has tended to do in the last decade, it was too slow to react to the changing tides and hastily introduced its own variation called Office 365. Have you heard about it?
Now, Apple is poised to stick it to Redmond by making all iWork apps free on iOS. With each of these apps previously ranging from $5 to $10, users will be effectively saving $25-50. Your move, Microsoft.
The iPhone 5
When the iPhone 5 was unveiled last year, Apple began offering three tiers of iPhones: the 4, 4s, and the 5. This would allow people who wouldn’t have been able to afford an iPhone to buy the oldest generation at a major discounted price.
Leading up to the event, one might’ve assumed that Apple would follow along that same pattern and make the 4S the new entry level iPhone. Nope, wrong. With the company set to unveil two newly designed iPhones, Apple decided to replace last year’s model altogether. Thus, if you want to get an iPhone, your three choices are the 5S, the 5C, and the 4S.
The recent popularity of fitness tracking devices like the Fitbit and Jawbone has generated a plethora of new devices, apps, and companies looking to outfit consumers with the ability to monitor their health and exercise.
Today, Apple announced a new internal hardware chip called the M7, which they describe as a motion coprocessor that can continuously measure your motion data. Alongside the existing accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass as well as the newly upgraded 64-bit A7 processor, the M7 could cause some major headaches for smaller companies looking to make a dent in the crowded fitness and health monitoring space.
Camera+, Camera Awesome for iOS
I can’t speak with enough authority about some of the major improvements in the 5S camera. Things like “ƒ/2.2 aperture”, “Five-element lens” and “True-tone flash” sounds like Latin to me. Instead, I’d recommend reading this article by David Pogue.
Smartphone accessory companies
When the iPad (2?) was launched, Apple unveiled its first ever case for its mobile devices. On Tuesday, Apple announced that it would be offering cases for its new iPhones as well. Although it didn’t receive a mention during the event, we later learned that they would also be selling docks as well.
Who knows how many iPad cases Apple have sold to date but with the company now making cases and docks for the iPhone, that will surely be another big bite out of accessory makers’ bottom line.
Many smartphone owners from what I’ve observed don’t even bother to create a passcode for their rather expensive devices. Who can blame them? Passwords are cumbersome to remember, take forever to enter, and steals precious time from accessing our favorite services.
But will Apple’s new fingerprint scanner, dubbed Touch ID, be a major selling point for potential iPhone buyers? There are, no doubt, concerns regarding how effective it can read fingerprints. Will it wear down over time like most scanners? How fast can it actually read my fingerprint? Is it secure?
If there’s one thing to get excited though about Touch ID is that you can use it to make purchases on iTunes. That’s right, no more entering (and remembering) your iTunes password every time you decide to buy a new song, movie, or app. Apple even hinted that down the line that the technology can be used for authentication purposes beyond the iTunes Store. Will Touch ID for iTunes be as big for Apple as 1-Click was for Amazon? Time will tell.
Now we can actually use reasonably secure Apple ID passwords.
— Marco Arment (@marcoarment) September 10, 2013
A highly sought device by thieves everywhere now comes in a very conspicuous gold color? Better hold on tight to that phone. And your fingers.