The GoPro-ification of the iPhone – TechCrunch



Hello friends and welcome back Weekly review!

Last week we talked about sunglasses from a company that a lot of people don’t like very much. This week we are talking about Apple and the company 1,600 times smaller than it that faces similar product issues.

If you are reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get it in your inbox from the newsletter page, and follow my tweets @lucasmtny

(Photo by Brooks Kraft / Apple Inc.)

the big thing

When you get deep enough into the tech industry, it’s harder to look at things through a consumer’s eyes. This is how I feel more and more after six years of watching Apple events as a TechCrunch reporter, but sometimes memes from random Twitter accounts help me find the truth about the consumers I’m looking for.

As this silly little tweet indicates, Apple is heading for a future where it’s getting a little harder to tell the new from the old. The old off-year “S” period is no longer for the iPhone, which has seen adjustments and further size variations since the drastic iPhone X overhaul in 2017. Apple is extending the periods between upgrades major changes across its entire product line, and it is also taking longer to roll out these changes.

Apple released the current bezel-less iPad Pro design in late 2018, and it took three years for the design to result in the iPad mini while the entry-level iPad is still waiting. Switching from the Mac M1s will likely take years, as the company has already detailed. Most of Apple’s substantial updates rely on upgrades to the chipsets they build, which increasingly makes them look and feel like a mainstream chipset company.

It’s not a new trend, or even a new approach, it’s been written over and over again, but it’s especially interesting as the company is increasing the number of employees dedicated to future endeavors like augmented reality, which will replace probably one day soon the iPhone.

It’s an evolution that pushes them into similar design territory to the beloved GoPro action camera, which has struggled time and time again to get its core devotees to frequently upgrade their hardware. These are on ridiculously different scales, with Apple now worth some $ 2.41 trillion and GoPro still battling for a market cap of $ 1.5 billion. The situations are obviously different, and yet they both face similar end-of-life innovation issues for categories they both master.

This week, GoPro launched its HERO10 Black camera, which offers higher frame rates and a more capable processor, as it seeks to push more of its user audience towards subscription services. Seems familiar? This week, Apple launched its new flagship, the iPhone 13 Pro, with a faster processor and better frame rates (for display, not for the camera here, though). They have also spent a lot of time pushing users to adopt new service ecosystems.

Apple devices are getting so good that they are starting to hit a critical feature plateau. The company has always been successful in producing device after device and expanding its audience to billions while dramatically increasing its average revenue per user. Things are clearly going pretty well for the world’s most valuable company, but while the stock has nearly quadrupled since the iPhone X launched, the mainstream iPhone experience seems pretty consistent. This is clearly not a bad thing, but it is – for lack of a better term – boring.

The clear difference, among the 2.4 billion others, is that GoPro doesn’t appear to have a clear escape route from its vertical action camera.

But Apple has pushed thousands of employees towards an augmented reality escape route, even though the technology is clearly not ready for consumers and they are forced to lead with what would have been an AR / VR headset in several thousand dollars. with lots of limits. One of the questions that interests me most is what the iPhone device category looks like once its bulky successor shows up. It’s very likely that augmented reality-centric devices will ship as hugely expensive iPhone accessories and a way to take advantage of the accessibility of the mobile category while providing access to new – and more exciting – experiences. In short, AR is the future of the iPhone until AR no longer needed the iPhone.

Image credits: You’re here

other things

Here is the TechCrunch news that particularly caught my attention this week:

Everything Apple announced this week
Was this the most exciting event Apple has ever had? Nope. Are you always going to click on this link to find out more about their novelties? Yeah.

GoPro launches the HERO10 Black
I have a soft spot for the GoPro, which took a hardware niche and created a really great device and ecosystem. As I mentioned above, the company has a few issues making major updates every year, but it has done a pretty big upgrade this year with the second generation of its client processor and some performance improvements. at all levels.

Tesla to open FSD beta to drivers with good driving records
Elon Musk is continuing to expand its “Full Self-Driving” software to more Tesla drivers, claiming that users who have paid for the FSD system can apply to use the beta and will be analyzed by the insurance calculator. ‘business. After 7 days of good driving behavior, Musk says users will be approved.

OpenSea executive resigns after “insider trading” scandal
NFTs are a curious business; there is a huge amount of money flowing in these markets – and little oversight. This week, OpenSea, the so-called “eBay of NFTs”, explained that its own vice president of products had traded inside information. He was then pressured into resigning.

Apple and Google bow to the Kremlin
Apple and Google are trying to keep governments in most of the markets in which they operate. This leads to uncomfortable situations in markets like Russia, where the two tech giants have been forced by the Kremlin to suppress a political app from the country’s main opposition party.

Gitlab logo

Image credits: Gitlab

extra things

Some of my favorite reads from our Extra Crunch subscription service this week:

What could stop the startup boom?
“… We have seen record results in cities, countries and regions. There is so much money circulating in the venture capital and startup world that it’s hard to remember what they looked like in a leaner era. We’ve been in a bull market for tech newbies for so long that this seems like the only possible situation. It’s not…”

The value of software revenue may have finally stopped increasing
“… I’ve been forgoing the value of software revenue (SaaS, in large part) for a few months after spending a little too much time on it in previous quarters – when VCs start to stress that you can just trade quarter numbers to the quarter and write the same post, it’s break time. But the value of software revenue has shown a simply amazing rise, and I can’t say “no” to a graph …

In GitLab’s IPO file
“… The company’s IPO is therefore long overdue. In its last main transaction, GitLab raised $ 286 million at a post-currency valuation of $ 2.75 billion, per PitchbBook data. The same news source also notes that GitLab executed a secondary trade earlier this year valued at $ 195 million, which earned the company a valuation of $ 6 billion … “

Thanks for reading, and again, if you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get it in your inbox from the newsletter page, and follow my tweets @lucasmtny

Lucas Matney


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