The Strategist

Apple Event 2018: Amazing Apple Watch but underestimated IPhone

09/13/2018 - 14:56

The latest Apple event looks quite sensible from the business point of view: there’s one unique feature (ECG), single design for smartphones, upgraded articular qualities. What is missing is unique software features.

Kārlis Dambrāns
Kārlis Dambrāns
All the smart watches in the world became outdated on September 13. Almost all manufacturers have embedded the messages function in their gadgets, and some models can measure the pulse, take calls directly and are water-resistant. But no one has been able to introduce ECG tests into watch yet. Now, however, the new generation Apple Watch Series 4 and its ECG function opens the new door.

Now owners of new watches have something to boast about, but there’s no certainty that they will use the ECG function. Introducing the first Apple Watch, the company has already promised a revolution in Digital Health. Including thanks to this thesis, it reached its previous peak of capitalization in the region of $ 700 billion in 2015. But then the shares feel by a quarter because in 2016 the company for the first time since the beginning of the century reduced revenue. IPhone models were increasingly in competition with other manufacturers of smartphones, and Apple Watch, although it became the best-selling smart watch, could not compensate for the fallen figures in terms of sales. They brought visible benefit only to athletes, but there was not enough of them. In addition, other smart watch manufacturers quickly learned to measure the pulse and traveled distance (and some, such as Garmin, did even more accurately).

In medicine, regular monitoring of heartbeat (in contrast to the pulse, the ECG makes it possible to analyze a separate act of heartbeat involving two auricles and two ventricles) informs about heart diseases and helps prevent heart attacks. The approval of the US Department of Health (FDA) makes the new watch a serious one, but does not guarantee that it will replace modern mobile cardiographs that require several sensors on the body and a small box on the belt. Of course, the watch is more elegant, but it is still a big question whether their information about heartbeat is accurate. 

The ability to track the owner's fall, their ECG and pulse will allow Apple to try to introduce us to the digital era of medicine once again. If it works out, there will be a huge market with trillions of turns. If not, the company gave its fans another important opportunity to say: "Apple was the first!" Although Steve Jobs has repeatedly shown: it's not who first made the gadget, but who explained to the world why.


One of the gadgets that Jobs introduced to the world were smartphones. Apple did not become the leader in sales of these devices in unit terms, but still ousted leaders of the 2000s, Nokia and Microsoft (the mobile OS), from the market. According to analysts, the company receives more profit from the iPhone than Samsung and Huawei does, overtaking it on sales.

But people have got used to the aura of innovation around Apple products, and so they become disappointed when the company does not show anything particularly interesting. In fact, this has already been repeated several times: how did the iPhone 3Gs differ from 3G, and 4S from 4? Increased speed, new software features, but not innovation at the level of the fingerprint scanner, with which 5S stood out sharply against the background of the iPhone 5.

It is clear that the company does not see any sense in releasing all its work at once (if any). Repacking the existing, creating a new color (that, God forbid, not to be confused with the previous model) normally support sales. And then there's the new size. We remember that this is a return to the old system - a conventional smartphone and a Plus model. But the iPhone 8 Plus owners will be encouraged with a clear difference with XS Max, and X owners will have to think about a new diagonal. A coprocessor for fast work with neural networks will allow adding functions of working with photos that are inaccessible to previous models. If even games look differently on the new and old models, there will be enough reasons to go.

The characteristics of the hardware always (as well as this time) became public before the premiere, but Apple has always managed to surprise consumers with software updates. In the meantime, at best, the features that were the same with other smartphones are repeated (blurring of the background on the photo, editing). It remains to wait for the release of a new mobile operating system iOS 12 in the next week.