Last night, Apple made its much-anticipated announcement about the new iPhone. As you can imagine, I was greatly looking forward to the big reveal.
When the news came out that the new iPhone is in fact an iPhone 4S, and not an iPhone 5, we at GEAR4 were neither surprised nor disappointed.
The iPhone 4S is still very much a next generation device: the A5 processor and 8MP camera are major hardware updates. Plus it's both CDMA and GSM in one device (which makes a big difference in the USA and some other major markets, although we don't have CDMA networks in Europe), and has resolved any remaining issues with the antenna. Anyone waiting for the new device will not be disappointed and I think it certainly lived up to the hype created in the tech world prior to the announcement.
For me, one of the most interesting parts of last night's launch was that Apple talked about their market share of mobile phones globally for the first time (they currently only have around 5%, so the growth potential is enourmous). This was the precursor to last night's real news, that they will continue with both of the existing devices, iPhone 3GS and 4G, and price them at a level never seen before.
The iPhone 4 is now priced as 3GS has been since last year, and the 3GS is now free with a contract in the USA. In the UK this is likely to mean iPhones will become free with very reasonable contracts, making the technology more affordable.
It's clear that Apple have their sights on double-digit share of the mobile handset market globally. This can only be good for the ecosystem of accessories that GEAR4 operates in. We are an accessory brand making everything from cases, chargers and speakers and new products called 'Appcessories'. The more iPhone users there are, the bigger the market we address, and in today's economic climate it's a rare treat for a growth business like ours to be operating in a growing market!
We are working very closely with Apple on the 'Appcessory' development. As the name, (which GEAR4 originally coined I must add) suggests, 'Appcessories' are accessories and apps combined to deliver a solution. We have made a universal remote, app-enhanced speakers, and a music keyboard so far, and many other players have created toys, health products and home automation products.
Our next big thing is a contactless sleep monitor built into an alarm clock. Generally these products are only possible because people have so much computing power in the pockets (iPhone) or on their coffee table (iPad), and allow us to use the storage, connectivity and user interface of the iphone as the 'brians' and remote control for our accessory devices.
It's a really exciting time to be working in the Apple ecosystem, and the more users there are using iPhones, iPads and iPod touches, the faster the Appcessory market will grow, meaning it's an incredibly exciting time for myself and GEAR4.