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Apple: New Product Categories Coming!

It’s been quiet at Apple lately. Too quiet. Four months into the year and not a single exciting bit of news just yet.

But not for long!

Or so Apple CEO Tim Cook promises. He has just hinted that new product categories are to be launched “beginning this fall” and throughout 2014.

Wow. Fall. That would be all the way til September. That means Apple fans have to wait nearly half a year before they see the iWatch or whatever.

Okay, let’s analyze the situation first.

This doesn’t mean that a new iPhone won’t be announced ’til September or so. Tim’s announcement is all about “new product categories.” So there’s still hope that the iPhone 5S or 6 (or New iPhone?) will be launched much sooner.

Second, why new product categories? Well, Apple has a pretty loyal fan base but, for the most part, they’ve been pretty much tapped out already. Anybody who is a potential Apple guy or gal is already holding an iPhone or an iPad. So the quickest way to grow sales (and Apple still desperately needs to grow in order to satisfy its stockholders) is to offer new products that current Apple fans can also buy. That’s easier than convincing a die-hard Samsung or Nokia user to switch to your current fare.

So what new product categories could Apple be possibly working on?

Here are some likely suspects:

  • The iWatch. Of course, of course. This is the most obvious next step for Apple. Wearable computing or “the digitized self” is all the rage right now. It’s a trend that is already being validated via FitBit and Nike Fuel bands. So Apple would feel that this is a safe bet to jump into.
  • The Apple Smart TV. Not just a monitor, but a full blown smart TV. Why? Because smart TVs are a growing sub-category right now (thank you Samsung and LG) and it fits snugly with the home electronics proposition of Apple: high quality display plus computer back-end equals novel entertainment experience.
  • Music Subscription. Apple’s original business model of selling songs for 99 cents or so is being eaten alive by Spotify. Apple isn’t going to take this sitting down. And if that means that the future of music is subscription rather than purchase, then so be it.
  • The iReceiver. Apple has already nearly perfected the visual display. So what about the aural? It’s only a matter of time, me thinks, before Apple tries to tackle the mid-upscale audio industry and goes head on against the likes of Marantz and Pioneer by coming up with a stereo receiver that looks Apple-y. And of course it will be a digital receiver rather than your usual AM/FM box.

And you? What products do you think will Apple be coming out with?

Art

Art

Art is a long-time editor for a number of technology publications. He is a Palanca-winning writer (he got lucky) whose day job is to try to be as serious as possible while being a management consultant and lecturer. His favorite noodles: chapchae.

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    • Messie|

      Definitely the iWatch. It’s obvious when they pulled the old wearable design of the nano that they are planning to capitalize on this market using a different product. I definitely can’t wait to have a watch officially from Apple that will be able to sync with my igadgets. =)


    • @Messie the biggest hat trick for the iWatch is to make it habit-forming. I’m staring at my Sony Ericcson Smart Watch right now and I’m shaking my head: I used it twice and then never again… even if it offered instant access to my phone’s messages and other stuff. It just wasn’t compelling enough.

      Maybe that’s what they’re perfecting right now: ways to make the iWatch compelling. Then again, if it looks good (which the Sony Ericsson did not), then maybe that’s all that’s needed.


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