Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Apple WWDC 2011 Recap: iOS 5, OSX Lion, and iCloud

The title to this post is a bit misleading. Although I own no Apple products (as noted here), I consider it a responsibility to follow all tech-related news. Therefore I cannot in good faith consciously exclude Apple announcement. To such effect, I had to follow Apple's WWDC 2011. (I am a couple days behind, I know...)

Although Apple introduced a host of new products/changes like the iOS5 and OSX Lion, I think the picture reflects on the most important announcement of this conference. As expected, Apple revealed its competing service to the Pandora, Amazon's Cloud Player, and Google's Music (Beta). Nothing new needs to be said, other than just greater detail than what was predicted before. Music labels will be much happier with Apple's approach than the other two behemoths (Pandora is technically a "music recommendation" service). I foresee some nasty lawsuits in the future.

The other two major announcements (iOS 5 and OSX Lion), pardon my lack of enthusiasm, were very underwhelming. Nothing significant was really introduced -- simply a myriad of implications to improve user experiences. Fanboys left and right are either bashing or commending Apple for its approach. I am indifferent about both. The reason? My answer: why fix something that is not broken? In addition, the competition is not that strong anyway. For example, Android OS is more powerful but lacks the proper interface to make it popular; Windows Phone 7 is more intuitive but lacks the brand power and hardware support. On the OSX Lion front, everyone knows that OSX will always be a distant second to Microsoft's Windows OS. Even Apple knows this very well.

What's more interesting is how Apple is consolidating its gains in the marketplace. Namely, they are streamlining their entire ecosystem so that consumers are likelier to keep buying their products. This is very sound strategy. For example, once you have an iPhone, you'd likely buy a MacBook to synchronize with your new phone. Not only would this lessen the chance your customers will sample other products, it also breeds fanaticism. Power of Apple indeed.

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