Apple: Prepared, and Lucky
Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote that “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
Apple has stepped into a one-two punch of luck this week. It is prepared to take advantage with the solid iPhone 7.
First punch: Samsung’s fumbly recall of their Galaxy Note 7 Phone. The Note 7 had received excellent reviews and was available a month before iPhone 7. In addition, Samsung released the beautiful Galaxy S7 Edge phone in Spring 2016.
This recall has neutralized Samsung’s competitive power in carrier showrooms and left a void open for carriers to fill with iPhone 7. Think of the sales staff on the floor — which is the easier and safer phone to sell?
Second punch: Mobile carriers are delivering the second punch in the form of incentives and subsidies to encourage consumers to upgrade to the latest phones. As usual, the packages vary by carrier and eligibility depends on your situation. Carrier payments to Apple could become significant as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and others push consumers to upgrade more frequently.
Tim Cook has performed very well in extending the iPhone’s success in the five years since he took over as CEO. (Can you believe it’s been five years?)
While Apple has not yet delivered a new paradigm shifting product under Cook, it has evolved the iPhone and the iTunes ecosystem while doubling phone sales. For more on Cook’s first five years, listen to Walt Mossberg opine on this and more in his Sept. 1st “ctrl walt delete” podcast from Vox.
The iPhone 7 event didn’t blow away anyone’s expectations. It was followed by positive, solid praise, but not the enthusiasm of past releases (although there were lines at Apple Stores last night heading into today).
Apple Made notable improvements within the phone: more memory, longer lasting battery, water resistance, better camera. But, no meaningful design changes except removing the headphone jack! which irritated a lot of people and was communicated through Apple’s ridiculous “courage” rhetoric.
For most people who care, the product could be described as “solid.”
However, between Samsung’s stumbles and carrier aggressiveness, the iPhone 7 should exceed sales expectations. This will provide momentum as the real anticipation builds ahead in the tenth anniversary iPhone slated for one year from now.