Apple Sets the Bar for Virtual Launch Events

Since we primarily switched to virtual events, I’ve been disappointed in almost every launch event I’ve witnessed. In most cases, they don’t really differ much from live events where the speaker(s) take the stage and deliver their sermon.

Apple Sets the Bar for Virtual Launch Events
Apple Sets the Bar for Virtual Launch Events

Even though some make extensive use of visual aids, most online events struggle to hold an audience because online audiences are more prone to being distracted than in-person audiences do.

The Apple “Wonderlust” launch event last week, in my opinion, was a model of how virtual launches should be done, and it was expertly carried out. I don’t like Apple and probably never will, but I like to say what I think when I think it. The launch presentation last week set a higher standard for how to handle events of this nature.

We’ll talk about that this week, and then I’ll give you my Product of the Week, which has to be either the new Apple Watch Ultra 2 or the new iPhone 15 Pro. But the watch will be my Product of the Week because I believe it to be the more significant item.

What Happens During a Typical Product Launch

I used to instruct a class on how to give presentations because I was a former marketing director and actor. Launch presentations frequently give the impression that they were created for the presenters to perform, just as they do now. Presenters are chosen based on their titles rather than their presentation abilities.

In order to allow those who are not trained to use teleprompters to get up on stage and demonstrate how little they have practiced, presentations are typically created just before the event and changed up to minutes beforehand. Those who practice well and perform well are a minority rather than the rule.

Additionally, the majority of tech presentations focus more on the technology of the product than what it might mean to a customer or user. Even if the technology is visual, the presenter will probably demonstrate how it functions rather than what it can do. The audience members who typically don’t want to understand the technology are bored and aren’t overly enthusiastic about the product.

The goal of a product launch should be to get consumers interested in and motivated to buy the product. Virtual product launches ought to be engaging, contain fewer talking heads, and show off the product’s capabilities in a way that motivates you to purchase it.

Too frequently, following a typical launch event, people simply show little interest in the product. It seems like the audience’s objective was to endure the experience, while the presenters believed that their goal was to survive being on stage.

However, with the Apple launch event last week, that was not the case. Even though I’m not an Apple fan, it made me lust after the iPhone 15 Pro and the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

The Wonderlust Launch Party

The event began with a stunning drone sequence of Apple’s corporate headquarters, which is undoubtedly among the most awesome structures in the world. Then they discussed some of the successful but unreleased products, such as the 15-inch MacBook Air, which Tom’s Hardware rated as the best laptop on the market, and the upcoming Apple Vision Pro (this last point became crucial later), which has succeeded where Meta has recently failed by generating interest in the VR market.

Observe Season 9

The Apple Watch Series 9 (shown above) was the first product to be announced. The Apple Watch has long been the market leader in the smartwatch category, but rivals have been gaining ground. I currently wear a TicWatch Pro 5, which has many advantages over the Apple Watch Series 8. But the Apple Watch Series 9 once more takes the top spot thanks to its enhanced functionality, sustainability, and screen brightness.

One fantastic function on the new watch is “double tap,” which allows you to complete a single action, such as answering or hanging up on a call, by simply tapping your fingers together. It also has a more advanced find-my-phone function.

Sustainable living dedication

The reason why sustainability is significant in this situation is because Apple inserted its sustainability pitch right in the middle of the Apple Watch pitch. This strategy is intriguing because, despite the fact that buyers claim to care about sustainability, they frequently ignore sustainability pitches. Even those from Apple have been mostly smoke and mirrors in my experience. Not this one, though.

Apple spoke at a staged event with a Mother Nature-like actor about its 2030 goals, which were in line with the 2040 and 2050 objectives of other companies. It might sound corny, but it was well done and entertaining to watch. This was done very well, in my opinion though audience response is sometimes a factor in presentations of this nature.

A look at Ultra 2

A second video-heavy piece that moved from location to location to keep the audience’s attention then moved on to the Apple Watch Ultra 2, where Apple discussed how the watch could change your life.

A fan of Apple might switch to a different brand after seeing this watch made by a rival. It had a 3000-nit display, which is comparable to outdoor displays used by the military, a battery life of 36 to 72 hours, a red light for night viewing, which didn’t interfere with your night vision, and it was largely made of recycled materials. In my opinion, these features made it exceptionally good.

Although $799 is not a cheap price, it represents good value given what the watch can do and how much better it is than anything else on the market.

Apple iPhone 15

The iPhone 15, a nice upgrade from the iPhone 14, was then displayed by Apple.

The 15 has a 48-megapixel camera, better audio quality, and an upgraded glass case that makes it less likely that you will drop it.

People can now call for assistance outside of cell coverage or to AAA for roadside assistance thanks to the expanded satellite capabilities. If I had kids, they would have this phone because I think it has a killer feature.

Finding someone else is yet another feature suitable for children. It works like a GPS tracker that directs you to the person you want to find, much like a lost child at Disneyland. I understand how incredibly helpful that would be because I was once that child.

Even the inductive charging was fixed by Apple, allowing the phone to now be charged through an approved case (the emphasis here is on “approved,” but it’s better than nothing at all). The new programable button is among my favorite features. I complained that one of the reasons I was in danger was because a comparable feature in the previous version of the Windows Phone had been removed after I was nearly killed by some kids a number of years earlier. This button, which is connected to the camera, might help you get the perfect shot to apprehend the criminal, or criminals, in my case. Therefore, this is another feature that I absolutely must have.

Apple 15 Pro

I view the iPhone 15 Pro as an innovation that actually kills the iPhone.

The reason I use the term “iPhone killer” is that phone manufacturers must outperform the devices that people already own. Apple’s biggest issue isn’t a rival like Samsung; it’s its own products that are currently in use because if the new phone doesn’t excite customers enough to replace their old phone, Apple won’t make a sale.

If the iPhone 15 Pro was developed by Samsung rather than Apple, it is good enough to convince an Apple user to switch, let alone upgrade from their iPhone 14—a big assumption this year. However, even if Samsung created the iPhone 15 Pro, it would still be an improvement over the iPhone 14. So excellent.

With a 120mm lens that is amazing, a titanium case that is partially recycled, and gaming performance never before seen on an iPhone, the camera is what really sets the phone apart. It can also produce 3D videos that let you experience events as if you were there when used with the upcoming Apple Vision Pro that I previously mentioned.

Final words: Qualcomm Extra Secret Sauce

Apple is once again utilizing a Qualcomm modem and radio, which is one thing the company neglected to mention. Since Qualcomm produces the best wireless device communication technology in the market as a result of this partnership, which also produced the original iPhone, many of the connectivity advancements are dependent on Qualcomm, guaranteeing their compatibility and largely trouble-free operation. For users, that is fantastic news.

Possibly the most impressive launch I’ve ever attended was this one for Apple. It was comparable to the outstanding work Nvidia does at its events, but with a stronger emphasis on user benefits than technology. It had excellent visual appeal, was executed flawlessly (on par with TV production standards), and set a very high standard for others to follow.

The occasion also demonstrated why it is so challenging to compete with Apple. When a company is at its best, as it was last week, no other one is in its league. Apple could increase its installed base if it would just abandon its “lock-in” strategy and remove barriers to migration. Although that may be the case, this product launch should increase Apple’s market share.

I should point out one significant issue, though, that is not Apple’s fault

According to reports, a large portion of the consumer market has accrued unheard-of debt and is at its debt ceiling. A new iPhone is still a luxury good, regardless of how good it is. Luxury items don’t sell well when you’re struggling to put food on the table and pay your bills.

Apple did a great job making products that people want to buy, but if consumers lack the funds, Apple won’t see a boost in sales, and Apple can’t solve this issue. Although I anticipate Apple to perform better than most, the tech industry as a whole may still experience a downturn in the quarter.

iWatch Ultra 2

I really like smartwatches. One of the biggest disappointments in Apple’s execution is that it did not uphold Steve Jobs’ stance of allowing devices like the iPod to function with other platforms (in that case, Windows, in this case, Android), which restricts its user base and my ability to use the watch.

Even though I’ve noticed that other watches have been catching up, the most recent Apple Watch Ultra 2 is so far ahead of everything else that I doubt anyone will be able to compete with it in the near future. Even though the double-tap interface is more alluring than the 3000-nit display alone, it still changes the game.

The only features I believe the watch is missing are a camera for emergencies and satellite connectivity so you can still call for help if someone steals your phone or if you forget or lose your phone in an emergency. I anticipate that at least one of these features will be included in upcoming Apple Watch models. At the very least, I would wager that Tim Cook’s newest watch would have the satellite feature if he had children.

For people who use the Apple Watch to maintain their fitness, this upgrade is a must-have due to the titanium case, up to 72 hours of battery life, and improvements to exercise monitoring. Apple’s position as the market leader and standard-setter is once again cemented by the release of this watch.

Unfortunately, because it starts at around $799, many people will find it to be an expensive holiday gift. It remains my Product of the Week, though.

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