Only Apple

by Ian Rosenwach on 9.11.2014

Apple Watch

Now I know what “Only Apple” means.

After reading more about the Apple Watch late last night 1, it became clear to me that only Apple could launch the products services they can at the scale they can.

Below are some of the elements that, when combined, make Apple the only Company that can accomplish what they have so far and what they will in the future.

Commerce – iTunes has 800 million credit cards on file. The ability for Apple to extend their services to commerce was created in large part by iTunes.

Design – It’s cliche at this point, but Apple values design more than just about anyone. The Apple Watch looks stunning, and beyond the way it looks the way it works seems unrivaled. The level of precision in the digital crown and how that interacts with iOS software is something that only Apple can do.

Hardware & Software Integration – Related but separate from design. These are two distinct disciplines – to build hardware like the Apple Watch is usually left to single firms that are experts in that field. But Apple does it themselves, and they do it really well. The same applies to operating systems.

Business & Partner Development – Often overlooked but an area Apple excels at. Apple is tenacious when it comes to partnerships. They had to line up large retailers, credit issuers, app developers, and much more to create the Apple Watch. That is a difficult task that is not in the DNA of many tech companies.

Events – The September 9th event lived up to the hype. That is amazing in itself. They are masters of stagecraft and it’s a pleasure to see. It’s also easy to forget all the incredibly detailed work that went into creating the products and experiences launched September 9th.

Conclusion – I’m sure I’m missing a few things (Operations and Supply Chain?) but the Apple Watch is the best evidence we’ve seen so far of Tim Cook’s “Only Apple” mantra.

The way that different disciplines come together to advance industries is something that only Apple 2 could do.

  1. Reading David Pogue’s piece helped me realize the incredible scale and scope of the Apple Watch. Or maybe it was the half-awake dreamlike state of mind I was in :)
  2. For more on the “Only Apple” mantra please see this excellent post by Jon Gruber

{ 0 comments }

How to Save Mankind

by Ian Rosenwach 8.28.2014

“press 1 for billing.” “press 2 for technical help.” “press 3 for sales.” “press 6 to speak to an operator.” Stop the madness. Someone, please, make a touchscreen, smartphone-focused customer service app. It would look like this – You get the idea. Why do people have to wait to hear what option each # on the […]

Read on →

E-Commerce and the Internet of Things

by Ian Rosenwach 8.3.2014

On Friday ReadWriteWeb offered up the below quote from eBay’s VP of innovation – Steve Yankovich, eBay’s VP of innovation and new ventures, sees the future of mobile commerce as various shopping interfaces that will be woven effortlessly throughout daily life—shoppable screens at the airport, at a bar table, at a mall. He heads up the company’s Zero Effort Commerce initiative, […]

Read on →

Apple/Beats – 2 premium brands are better than 1

by Ian Rosenwach 5.12.2014

Apple faced a problem – how could they reach new customers without tarnishing the Apple brand, which commands a huge premium that has driven Apple’s growth? Answer #1: Launch a cheaper, more colorful iPhone! Call it the iPhone 5c. Give people different color cases to let them express themselves and personalize Apple devices more than ever […]

Read on →

Twitter is Dead. Long Live Twitter.

by Ian Rosenwach 5.6.2014

Twitter has had a lot of explaining to do of late. They need to onboard and activate new users while keeping existing users happy. They have to help Wall Street and the media understand Twitter’s business. Last but not least, they have to ensure advertisers see the value in Twitter as an ad platform. How is […]

Read on →

Your Move, New York Times Company

by Ian Rosenwach 3.24.2014

Last week the Washington Post announced a program for partner newspapers to provide their subscribers with access to paid digital Washington Post content. Initial partner companies will be local papers like the Dallas Morning News and Honolulu Star-Advertiser. It’s an ambitious first move of the Post under Jeff Bezos, and provides a window into his long-term strategy […]

Read on →

Microsoft:Hardware::Apple:Software?

by Ian Rosenwach 3.12.2014

Summary: Apple’s achilles heel is fast becoming it’s software and services layer. If something is not done quickly, Apple is at risk of falling behind in software just like Microsoft did in hardware via it’s OPM partners.  Today Apple is the dominant force in hardware + software integration. But they’re at risk of losing their […]

Read on →

Disrupting cable TV will take a team effort

by Ian Rosenwach 2.22.2014

Bottom line: Cable is a huge entrenched industry. Innovation and disruption will take a team effort.  The proposed Comcast Time Warner merger cements the fact that the cable industry is not open to disruptive partnerships. If approved, the company would maintain the status quo by providing consumers with fewer choices; not innovation. See Paul Krugman’s Op-Ed […]

Read on →

Who will become the Operating System of Things?

by Ian Rosenwach 2.12.2014

The sprawling web of interconnected products that has resulted now thoroughly dominates our experience of consumer technology: if you own a Google Chromebook, your life will be much easier if you use Android and Chromecast and Google Drive, and much more painful if you try to use Windows Phone, Apple TV, and Dropbox. (Matt Buchanan, […]

Read on →

With Paper, Facebook thinks like a Media Company

by Ian Rosenwach 2.4.2014

Yesterday Facebook released Paper, a new stand-alone app to browse content. Paper represents a dramatic departure from Facebook as a place to connect with your friends. Paper aims to connect you users with the rest of the world. It’s also the first step towards Facebook becoming a media company. Your Friends – Just a Channel […]

Read on →