Category Archives: iphone

Google said to be planning iOS support for Android Wear, could debut at I/O conference

android-wear

Last month a developer managed to hack together a solution that enabled iPhone users to see their notifications on Google’s Android-powered wearable operating system, but at the moment there is no official way to use the two competing platforms together. That could change at Google’s annual I/O conference later this year, if new rumors are to be believed.

According to French tech blog 01Net, Google is developing an update to Android Wear that would enable it work with Apple’s iOS devices…

With Apple launching its own smartwatch in April, Google’s developer conference at the end of May could serve as the start of a much more heated war of wearables. Mountain View would be bringing the fight directly to Cupertino, especially given the fact that the latter plans to market the Apple Watch by highlighting its connection to the iPhone as a main selling point. Providing a potentially cheaper alternative that comes in even more styles than Apple’s offering could provide Google with a big leg-up over its rival.

Even if Google does truly launch such a bold new offensive by bringing iOS support to the ever-growing lineup of Android Wear devices, to say that it’s highly unlikely Apple will follow suit and introduce Android support to the Apple Watch would be a massive understatement.

Apple will be pitching its watch and phone as a package deal where both devices are required to get the full experience. To suddenly change course and start selling the watch as the perfect companion for any smartphone would undermine the effectiveness of the whole campaign. Don’t expect to see it happen. Ever.

Still, for those willing to forgo the unique features the Apple Watch offers—heartbeat messaging, animated emojis, and a wide variety of software bundled with iPhone apps—Android Wear could provide a decent alternative for getting notifications and managing basic phone features like calls and email.

Since it’s unlikely that opening up Android Wear to other smartphone platforms would put a big dent in Android handset sales, Google isn’t missing out on much with this change, but is potentially gaining an entire new segment of the market: iOS users who wouldn’t buy an Android phone, but aren’t sold on the price or look of the Apple Watch.

If the rumors turn out to be false and Google isn’t planning to welcome iPhone users to the world of Android Wear, perhaps it’s time to start considering it.


Filed under: Apple Watch, iOS, Tech Industry Tagged: Android Wear, Apple watch, Google, iOS, iPhone

Check out 9to5Mac for more breaking coverage of iPhone, Tech Industry, and iOS.

What do you think? Discuss "Google said to be planning iOS support for Android Wear, could debut at I/O conference" with our community.

Apple Watch’s retail sales pitch revealed: 3 key features, switch to iPhone, focus on bands

Applewatchsales-6

With next week’s Apple Watch event fast approaching, Apple has revealed its retail selling strategies to employees, including a focus on “three key features” and a plan to encourage Watch customers to upgrade or switch to new iPhones. According to selling guidelines provided by sources within Apple Retail, Apple believes that “many customers have already decided they want an Apple Watch,” and will use the Watch to “position the benefits” of purchasing a compatible iPhone model. Retail employees have been told to ask customers about their iPhone usage habits, their favorite feature in iOS 8, and if they use health and fitness software on their iPhone…

Applewatchsales-2

One of the more striking elements of Apple’s sales strategy is a stated confidence that “many customers have already decided that they want an Apple Watch.” Operating under this assumption, Apple employees have been told to ask customers a series of soft questions in order to make the sale, rather than making a hard sales pitch. Salespeople are asked to “listen for cues that reveal what [the customer cares] about” so that they can make purchase recommendations. Questions include, “What interests you the most about Apple Watch?” and “How do you see yourself using Apple Watch?”, as well as asking the customer to explain who the Watch is for: “is it for yourself or someone else? Is there a special occasion?”, the script reads. This indicates that Apple believes Apple Watch may have special appeal as a high-end gift for other people, rather than the customer himself or herself, something Apple has not explicitly pushed for the cellular contract-dependent iPhone.

Applewatchsales-3

Using the Apple Watch as an opportunity to sell iPhones is another interesting element of Apple’s sales strategy. Apple CEO Tim Cook previously dedicated four-hour meetings with Apple Retail Store managers to discuss boosting sales within Apple’s own stores, and the Apple Watch launch will be another occasion to pitch customers on the high-margin smartphone. iOS 8 notably added the Health app and HealthKit, which aggregate fitness and health data, tying deeply into the Apple Watch experience. Given the Apple Watch’s dependence on an iPhone running iOS 8, Apple Retail employees are also specifically told to encourage customers “who don’t use iPhone to switch now so they’re ready for Apple Watch later.”

Apple Watch image via AP

Although many people expect next week’s media event to focus on new selling points for the Apple Watch, the pitch interestingly focuses on promoting “3 Key Features” previously highlighted by Apple during the first Apple Watch reveal in September 2014. These features are “Health and Fitness,” “New Ways to Connect” [with people] and “Timekeeping.” Apple notably spotlights Health and Fitness first, and discusses it the most, saying much less about the communication and timekeeping features.

Yesterday, we reported that Cook teased a number of upcoming third-party Health and Fitness applications expected to launch alongside Apple Watch, and will likely be revealed at the March 9th “Spring Forward” event in San Francisco. The New Ways to Connect feature mentioned in the training materials references the sharing of heart beats between two Apple Watch users, while Timekeeping refers to the device’s clock faces with digital complications and information widgets.

Applewatchsales-4

Lastly, Apple asks employees to discuss personal style such as “customer needs, tastes, and material preferences” with customers. The Apple Watch comes in three styles, an aluminum sport version, a shiny stainless steel design, and a flashier 18-karat gold model, and this is where Apple will help determine which collection should be recommended to the customer. To narrow this down, Apple asks employees to ask the customer: “Are you looking for a watch that’s more casual or formal?” and “Do you prefer metal or leather bands?” The employee can use these questions to determine whether the customer is looking toward the entry-level Sport model or one of the two more premium options. Only the stainless steel and gold models are pre-sold with bands other than the plastic sports straps; the stainless model can be positioned by asking customers if they prefer metal bands.

Additionally, Apple tells employees to ask an accessory-related question: “Would you like different bands to suit different occasions?” On the surface, the question seems innocuous, but points to the fact that Apple is hoping that Apple Watch will simultaneously invigorate its accessories business, a point confirmed by Senior VP of Retail Angela Ahrendts last week in the first ever Town Hall meeting for Retail employees. According to people in attendance, the meeting for corporate retail employees took place in the Cupertino Flint Center, where the Watch was first unveiled. Among several topics, Ahrendts is said to have specifically named accessories as one of the three most critical facets of Apple retail going forward, alongside iPhones and sales in China. We reported last month that Apple would individually sell different Apple Watch band options in its stores at launch, meaning that a customer could buy a Watch from any collection with its included band, then buy separate bands to rotate styles to their liking.

Apple Watch table from Event - BusinessInsider

Apple Watch table from Event – Business Insider

During that Town Hall meeting, Ahrendts also discussed an upcoming revamp of the Apple Store sales experience, indicating that Apple will move to a model more personalized to individual customers. Apple has internally discussed new retail store layouts and sales methods in light of the Apple Watch. The company has installed safes inside of Apple Stores to house the more expensive device, while it is also planning to set up new glass-covered Apple Watch display tables similar to those at the device’s unveiling. For the gold model, employees are expected to use a special iPhone app to unlock the table, enabling customers to try on the more expensive watch. Apple is also considering a new “Special Reservation” program for customers to pre-reserve a custom Apple Watch casing and band combination before going into the store, trying it on, and completing the purchase.

While Apple has said that the Apple Watch will go on sale in April, the company has not officially indicated the launch countries. Besides the United States, Cook told retail employees in Germany that the device will be available in their country in April, while sources say that retail employees from Australia, France, and the United Kingdom have been trained in Cupertino about the Watch, indicating an April debut for those countries as well. The Apple Watch will start at $349 for the aluminum Sport model, with the stainless steel and gold models expected to be priced much higher.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple Watch, iOS Devices Tagged: Angela Ahrendts, Apple Store, Apple watch, Cupertino Event, exclusive, Flint Center, iOS, iPhone, retail store, Sales Strategies, Tim Cook, Town Hall

For more information about AAPL Company, iOS Devices, and iPhone continue reading at 9to5Mac.

What do you think? Discuss "Apple Watch’s retail sales pitch revealed: 3 key features, switch to iPhone, focus on bands" with our community.

Gartner: iPhone worldwide sales topped Samsung in holiday quarter, but Samsung won the year

iphones

Gartner is out with its latest report tracking smartphone movement during the previous year and more specifically the holiday quarter.

Headlining the report is news that over 1 billion smartphones were sold in 2014, a data point IDC first said was hit in the previous year, adding that two out of three phones sold last year qualified as smartphones.

Gartner’s data shows Apple topped Samsung in worldwide smartphone sales with 74,832,000 units shipped during the holiday quarter, just 1.8 million units more than Samsung, giving Apple 20.4% market share for the quarter, a virtual tie with Samsung’s 19.9%.

Notably, Gartner’s data told a different story during the same quarter in 2013 when Samsung topped Apple’s smartphone sales around the world by more than 30 million units with 29.5 % marketshare for the quarter over Apple’s 17.8%.

Apple’s record 74.4 million iPhone sales during the holiday quarter following the introduction of the larger-screened iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus of course served Apple well. Samsung entered the quarter ahead of rumors of the newly announced Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge flagship smartphones which will start shipping next month.

Coming up behind Apple and Samsung is Lenovo (which includes sales of Motorola-branded phones), Huawei, and Xiaomi with single digit market share. The collective group of others which amount to 42.4% of the holiday quarter sales.

Gartner

When you look at the data for smartphone sales to end users by vendors for the year as a whole, though, Apple falls behind Samsung considerably. Samsung sales caught 24.7 percent of the market over Apple’s 15.4 percent for the year. The difference? Samsung sold 307,597,000 units over Apple’s 191,426,000 units. Compared to marketshare in 2013, Apple actually dropped 0.1% from 15.5%, although Samsung lost 6 percentage points to the runners-up.

Gartner

With Apple out of its S-year cycle for most of 2015 (until this fall) and Samsung competing with its new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, the race between the two will remain an interesting space to watch.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices, Tech Industry Tagged: Apple, Galaxy, Garnter, iPhone, Samsung

For more news on AAPL Company, iOS Devices, and Apple continue reading at 9to5Mac.

What do you think? Discuss "Gartner: iPhone worldwide sales topped Samsung in holiday quarter, but Samsung won the year" with our community.

Apple hanging billboards on skyscrapers and buildings around the world to showcase iPhone 6 photography

B_Ed5BMVAAAugOx

As part of its Shot on iPhone 6 campaign promoting iPhone photography, Apple is now hanging billboard advertisements around the world. The ads feature the photographs in full bleed with a simple ‘Shot on iPhone 6′ tagline. The posters are going up around the world, including some dramatic large billboards on the side of skyscrapers. Pictured above is one such poster (photo taken by Jimmy Grewal on Twitter) being setup on a skyscraper in Dubai.

In total, the campaign will showcase 77 different individual’s images spanning 24 countries. Users on Twitter have been posting sightings of these ads from all over the world …

Apple launched this campaign on Sunday, conveniently timed to coincide with Samsung’s Galaxy S6 announcement. You can see the full range of photography, and the apps that were used to make them, on Apple’s website. The apps used comprise the iOS Camera app (obviously), VSCO Cam, Instagram, Filterstorm Neue and Snapseed.

Tell us in the comments if you’ve seen the ads near you!


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple Watch, iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple ad, iPhone, photography

Visit 9to5Mac to find more special coverage of AAPL Company, iOS Devices, and iPhone.

What do you think? Discuss "Apple hanging billboards on skyscrapers and buildings around the world to showcase iPhone 6 photography" with our community.

Apple hanging billboards on skyscrapers and buildings around the world to showcase iPhone 6 photography

B_Ed5BMVAAAugOx

As part of its Shot on iPhone 6 campaign promoting iPhone photography, Apple is now hanging billboard advertisements around the world. The ads feature the photographs in full bleed with a simple ‘Shot on iPhone 6′ tagline. The posters are going up around the world, including some dramatic large billboards on the side of skyscrapers. Pictured above is one such poster (photo taken by Jimmy Grewal on Twitter) being setup on a skyscraper in Dubai.

In total, the campaign will showcase 77 different individual’s images spanning 24 countries. Users on Twitter have been posting sightings of these ads from all over the world …

Apple launched this campaign on Sunday, conveniently timed to coincide with Samsung’s Galaxy S6 announcement. You can see the full range of photography, and the apps that were used to make them, on Apple’s website. The apps used comprise the iOS Camera app (obviously), VSCO Cam, Instagram, Filterstorm Neue and Snapseed.

Tell us in the comments if you’ve seen the ads near you!


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple Watch, iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple ad, iPhone, photography

Visit 9to5Mac to find more special coverage of AAPL Company, iOS Devices, and iPhone.

What do you think? Discuss "Apple hanging billboards on skyscrapers and buildings around the world to showcase iPhone 6 photography" with our community.