Have you ever felt let down by virtual product launches? I have and most of them are quite similar to in-person events. Usually, it involves someone talking on stage which isn’t very exciting.
Some virtual events use slides or videos but they often feel just like regular presentations. The problem is that they can’t hold your attention as well as in-person events. It’s easier to get distracted when you’re watching online.
The Apple Wonderlust Event
Last week, Apple did something different with their virtual launch event called “Wonderlust.” Even though I’m not an Apple fan, I can appreciate a good event when I see one. Apple set a new standard for how these events should be done.
In this blog, we’ll dive into what made the Apple event stand out. We’ll also take a look at my “Product of the Week” which might be the new Apple Watch Ultra 2 or the iPhone 15 Pro. I’m leaning toward the watch as the star product.
Typical Product Launches
To understand why the Apple event was exceptional, let’s first look at how most product launches usually happen. You see, I used to teach people how to give presentations. But even now it feels like most presenters are just going through the motions. Instead of picking the best speakers, they often choose based on job titles.
What’s worse, presentations are often prepared at the last minute. This means that people who aren’t used to reading from teleprompters end up on stage, looking unprepared. Sure, some do a decent job, but they’re the exception, not the rule.
Tech presentations usually focus on the product’s technology but they forget to explain why it matters to regular folks. Even if the technology is visual, they spend more time explaining how it works rather than what it can do. This leaves the audience bored and unenthusiastic.
The Right Approach
Product launches should be all about getting people excited to buy the product. Virtual events should be exciting have fewer talking heads and show off what the product can do in a way that makes you want it.
But the Apple event was different. Even a non-Apple fan like me was tempted by the iPhone 15 Pro and the Apple Watch Ultra 2.
The event began with a beautiful drone video of Apple’s headquarters. They also talked about products already doing well like the 15-inch MacBook Air and the upcoming Apple Vision Pro.
Apple Watch Series 9
They started with the Apple Watch Series 9 and it was impressive. Apple has been a leader in smartwatches, but competitors were catching up. My TicWatch Pro 5 even outperformed the previous Apple Watch. But the Series 9 regained the lead with better screen brightness, longer battery life, and other improvements.
The Series 9 has a cool feature called “double tap” making it easy to answer calls with a quick tap. It also has an improved “find-my-phone” feature.
Sustainability is crucial and Apple brought it up during the Watch presentation. Often, companies talk about sustainability, but it’s just words. Apple, however, made serious commitments for 2030 which match other firms’ goals for 2040 and 2050. They even used an actor to represent Mother Nature in a fun way.
Apple Watch Ultra 2
Next came the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and it was a real competitor to other brands. It had a super bright display, excellent battery life, a red light for night use and it’s made with recycled materials. It might not be cheap but it offers great value.
iPhone 15 Improvements
Apple also introduced the iPhone 15 with a tougher glass case, a 48-megapixel camera, and better audio quality.
They expanded the phone’s satellite capabilities which is a game-changer. You can now call for help even when you’re out of cell coverage or contact AAA for roadside assistance. There’s also a “find someone else” feature like a GPS tracker.
They fixed inductive charging so that the phone works through an approved case. Another great addition is the new programmable button, linked to the camera which can be very helpful in certain situations.
The iPhone 15 Pro Game-Changer
The iPhone 15 Pro is a game-changer. To compete with other phones, it needs to excite people enough to switch or upgrade. The camera is the star, with a fantastic 120mm lens. It’s made with some recycled materials and offers gaming performance that’s never been seen in an iPhone.
Apple didn’t mention this, but they’ve gone back to using Qualcomm modems and radios which is great for connectivity. The Apple launch event was probably one of the best I’ve seen. It was like Nvidia’s great presentations, but with a stronger focus on what the product means to users. It was visually captivating, well-executed and set a high standard for others to aim for.
Why Apple’s Hard to Beat
This event showed why Apple is tough to compete with when they’re at their best. But if they dropped some of their barriers, they could attract even more users.
A Challenge Beyond Apple’s Control
There’s one more significant challenge to mention. Reports show that many people are in debt and they’re struggling financially. No matter how amazing a new iPhone is, it’s still a luxury item. When people can’t pay their bills or put food on the table, luxury items don’t sell well. So, even though Apple did a fantastic job with their products, they can’t control people’s financial situations. This might lead to a slow quarter for Apple and the tech industry in general.