September 20, 2016

What the iPhone 7 Announcement Means for Brands

INFLUENCER: Ian Cahill, Channel Supervisor, Mobility at VML, says Apple still has a few tricks up its sleeve

In what was expected to be a lackluster product announcement - largely due to the notion that Apple would be reusing the same body style from the previous two phones - Apple proved it still has a few tricks up its sleeve.

The iPhone 7 was announced September 7, along with the Apple Watch series 2. The hardware is not surprisingly Apple's "fastest and most efficient ever." And while the hardware itself boasts upgrades such as DSLR quality cameras, stereo sound, water resistance, and the much hyped GPS chip in the watch, it is the software that is raising eyebrows.

iOS 10 is loaded with features and functions that will perk the ears of many brands. Starting with the new Messages App Store, where brands can build and offer their own "sticker" packs and apps that can play within the messages platform. With Messages being a space where consumers spend significant amounts of time, incorporating brand messages and UX can have a huge impact moving forward.

Apple also has been diligent in revamping Maps. Putting their checkered past behind them, Maps now offers a strong API for brands to leverage the growing popularity of location-based learning and offerings.

APIs have also been made available to third parties looking to leverage the soothing voice of Siri. Brands will have untold power to incorporate search, payment, and messaging via voice actions that are seeing a surge in the marketplace thanks to products like CarPlay and Amazon Echo.

Speaking of products, the Apple Watch is already the #1 smartwatch on the market, but the improved performance of the series 2 model, including the new GPS feature, could prove to make the Apple Watch pop up on wrists all over the world. We could see it become just as much a fixture of everyday life as the iPhone and the iPod before it.

Furthermore, Apple Watch series 2 is a treat for sports enthusiasts, and Apple's partnership with Nike's running community only underscores the notion that Apple has paid attention to the needs of the fitness community who is looking for a more robust tool to move beyond basic pedometers. Brands can leverage the always-in-your-face notifications to communicate to users more timely and effectively. And the GPS chip included in the new watch will only serve to further refine and personalize the messaging experience.

The iPhone has long been the "it" device and Apple proves that it can remain innovative and industry leading while remaining sleek and sexy. Additional offerings like HomeKit and VoIP APIs further explore rising tech trends from the Internet of Things to Smart Cars and the like.

All in all, it looks like Apple will remain "courageous" and take the risks necessary to guide and inform the tech conscious consumer and the tech-driven brands. Even without a headphone jack, they are poised for continued success.

This content appeared previously on: Little Black Book