Framing Apple’s iPhone keynote

This year’s iPhone event is done and dusted, and now we’re all sitting in the interregnum between the announcements and the reviews. I’ve been lucky enough to live blog these events for years, but the process of creating a live blog is weird. I was taking photos for the site during the keynote, and since I’m a “spray and pray” kind of photographer, I took upwards of 1,600 photos in just a couple of hours.’

I point that out just to say that my attention was more focused on what Apple was doing than the reaction to it. I only had so much bandwidth, and most of it was taken up by the camera. So when I had a chance later to look at all the coverage (and Twitter jokes), it didn’t come as a huge surprise to see that there was a lot of shrugging this year. “S-year” keynotes often feel like downers to the tech world, even though S-model iPhones are often Apple’s most popular and well-loved devices.

It’s certainly too early to say whether that sales pattern will repeat itself this year, but since my attention was dominated by the keynote, another kind of pattern crystalized for me as I was snapping away with the camera: Apple’s structure for announcing new features has a very specific and repeatable narrative structure.
So that’s what this week’s Processor (hey, it’s back!) is about. Maybe Apple’s framing technique was so easy to see because there were fewer product announcements this year, and the announcements that did happen were so straightforward. I saw Apple framing product announcements in a way very similar to how George Lakoff talks about politicians framing issues.

This year’s framing around the camera was especially fascinating. Arguably, the innovation on the iPhone XS that will be most noticeable to customers is the camera. And with that camera, Apple is trying to do some very similar stuff to what the Pixel 2 does: it takes multiple photos at once, it stitches them together, and it does more computation.
But you know what didn’t get mentioned at all during the keynote? Any other smartphone cameras. Apple would rather you frame the new iPhone as a thing that’s getting closer to replacing a DSLR, not as a thing that is in the scrum with other smartphone cameras. Apple sets the terms of the world and of the things that exist in it. That’s the frame.

Lakoff writes:
This gives us a basic principle of framing for when you are arguing against the other side: Do not use their language. Their language picks out a frame — and it won’t be the frame you want.
Once the frame is established, within that frame, Apple tells a story where one thing leads to the next. Here’s how that usually goes:
* Talk about how great Apple products have always been
* Talk about specs and tech details on the new thing
* Talk about how Apple’s new thing will let you do amazing new things

Apple keeps doing these keynotes specifically to create that frame and tell that story. They don’t (just) exist so you will know what the new feature or product is; they exist so you can see yourself as a character in Apple’s story. They’re Apple’s best chance to set the terms of the discussion for its products.

Even in an S-year keynote, where the announcements aren’t that game-changing, Apple can still use this narrative-setting structure to shape how people think about their products. It might be even more important in an S-year.

The real point of the keynote is to make you see yourself as a character in Apple’s story
I don’t think that Apple is unique in consciously deploying a narrative frame as a technique, but I do think that the company has shown a deeper, more conscious awareness of its structure and importance than anybody else. It knows that most people will forget the feature but remember the story arc — or at least remember the feeling that story arc is meant to evoke.

To be clear, I’m not pointing out these rhetorical techniques because I think they’re somehow disingenuous. Apple may be deploying tactics we more often see in political discourse, but that doesn’t mean that it’s just propaganda. It’s marketing. And Apple has proven itself to be very good at marketing over the years.


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Author: Dieter Bohn
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Apple is reportedly planning to update its Apple Watch with a solid-state button

Apple is reportedly planning to make a change to the Apple Watch, according to Fast Company: a future version might replace its physical button for a solid-state one that provides haptic feedback, much like the updated home button introduced in the iPhone 7 a couple of years ago.


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Fast Company cites a “source with direct knowledge of Apple’s plans,” saying that the company will keep the same configuration of buttons, but that it won’t physically move, relying instead on Apple’s Taptic Engine to react to a user’s touch. The report also says that the digital crown will still physically move to scroll.

Apple switched things up in 2015 with its MacBook Pro’s Force Touch Trackpad and with its iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in 2016. Both devices removed physical moving parts and replaced them with surfaces that replicated the feel of a click when pressed using the Taptic Engine. The MacBook Pro’s trackpad and iPhone’s buttons took a little getting used to, but swapping out the physical button means that the devices have one less thing that can physically break. It also helped Apple make the iPhone water resistant. The same logic seems to be at play here, especially as Apple has worked to make the Apple Watch water resistant to appeal to swimmers and athletes. The removal of the button could also help free up some space for a slightly larger battery, thus giving it more operating time.

It’s not clear when the change will occur: Apple traditionally announces new hardware in the fall, and Fast Company’s source says that it could be part of that lineup — but if not, it could come in 2019.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author: Andrew Liptak
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Sales data suggest Apple might be about to make the $1,000 iPhone X even more expensive

UBS’s analysis of iPhone pricing suggests Apple could make the iPhone X even more expensive.

iPhone X isn’t selling very well so the company might, counter intuitively, raise the price when it launches the new version of the flagship phone later this year, according to UBS.

Once Apple establishes a price band, it doesn’t leave it, sources tell analysts.

Apple might also make its low-end SE model even cheaper, giving consumers a wider range of prices.

When Apple launched its flagship iPhone X priced at around $1,000, it tempted an inevitable question: Is it worth it? On the last earnings call, CEO Tim Cook reported iPhone sales declined by 1%. That led many to conclude that the answer was “no.”

iPhone X might be a very good phone, but it’s not $1,000 good, in other words.

In the last few weeks, analysts at City and Wall Street investment banks have begun cutting forecasts for iPhone sales in the expectation that many consumers baulk at the four-figure price tag and think the cheaper iPhone 8 looks like a bargain by comparison.

But Apple may have a surprise in store. It could raise the price of the new 2018 flagship iPhone X to $1,100, according to an analysis of average sales prices (ASPs) by UBS analysts Steven Milunovich and Benjamin Wilson.

Their belief is that “once Apple establishes a price band it typically keeps it, consistent with what we’ve heard from former Apple employees,” the UBS told clients in a note recently.

Over the last few years, Apple has successfully persuaded its customers to increase what they pay for phones from an average of somewhere around $600 to nearly $800.

At the same time, Apple’s three-pronged strategy is to persuade repeat customers to pay more for newer products while offering cheaper devices for first-time customers. Milunovich and Wilson outlined the strategy in a recent research note:

“Cascade top-of-the-line features down the price curve (screen size, camera, etc.)”
“Move premium customers up the price curve with moderately higher prices”

“Establish higher price bands based on new features while tapping into lower-end markets with older devices”

So at the same time as offering an even-more-expensive iPhone X model, the price of the entry-level iPhone SE could fall as low as $300, they say.


 

Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author  Jim Edwards 

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