The GoPro-ification of the iPhone – TechCrunch


Hello friends and welcome to Week in review!

Last week we talked about sunglasses from a company that a lot of people don’t like very much. This week, we talked about Apple and the company 1,600 times smaller than it and facing similar product problems.

If you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get it delivered to your inbox from the newsletter pageand follow my tweets @lucasmtny


(Photo by Brooks Kraft / Apple Inc.)

the big thing

When you dig deep enough into the tech industry, it’s harder to look at things through the eyes of a consumer. I’ve felt this way more and more after six years watching Apple events as a TechCrunch reporter, but sometimes memes Random Twitter accounts help me find the truth about the consumer I’m looking for.

As that silly little tweet indicates, Apple is approaching a future where it’s a little harder to tell the new from the old. The “S” period from the previous year is no longer for the iPhone, which has seen adjustments and new size variations since the radical redesign of the iPhone X in 2017. Apple is extending the periods between major updates for its entire product line and also it’s taking longer to implement those changes.

Apple unveiled the current design of the bezel-lite iPad Pro in late 2018 and it took three years for the design to make its way to the iPad mini while the entry-level iPad still lurks. The M1 Mac change will likely take years, as the company has already detailed. Most of Apple’s substantial upgrades are based on upgrades to the chipsets they build, something that increasingly makes them look more like a consumer chipset company.

This is not a new trend, not even a new take, it has been written many times, but it is particularly interesting as the company increases the number of employees dedicated to future endeavors such as augmented reality, which will one day soon replace the iPhone.

It’s an evolution that’s pushing them into design territory similar to that of the beloved GoPro action camera, which has struggled time and again to get its core fans to update their hardware frequently. These are on ridiculously different scales, with Apple now worth $ 2.41 trillion and GoPro still fighting for a market capitalization of $ 1.5 billion. The situations are obviously different, and yet both face similar end-of-life innovation questions for categories they both dominate.

This week, GoPro introduced its HERO10 Black camera, which offers higher frame rates and a better performance processor as it looks to push more users to subscription services. Sounds familiar? This week, Apple introduced its new flagship, the iPhone 13 Pro, with a faster processor and better frame rates (although for the screen, not the camera). They also spent a good deal of time lobbying users to adopt new ecosystem services.

Apple devices are getting so good that they are starting to hit a feature-critical plateau. The company has still managed to churn out device after device and expand its audience into billions while greatly expanding its average revenue per user. Clearly, things are going pretty well for the world’s most valuable company, but while the stock has nearly quadrupled since the iPhone X launch, the consumer experience with the iPhone feels pretty consistent. Clearly that’s not a bad thing, but it is, for lack of a better term, boring.

The clear difference, among another 2.4 billion, is that the GoPro does not appear to have a clear escape route from its vertical action camera.

But Apple has been pushing thousands of employees onto an escape route in augmented reality, even if the technology is clearly not ready for consumers and they are forced to lead with what is rumored to be a multi-purpose AR / VR headset. Thousands of dollars. with many limitations. One of the questions that interests me the most is what the iPhone device category looks like once its clunky successor has raised its head. AR-centric devices will most likely ship as wildly expensive iPhone accessories and a way to take advantage of the accessibility of the mobile category while providing access to new and more exciting experiences. In short, AR is the future of the iPhone until AR no longer needs the iPhone.


Image credits: Tesla

other things

Here is the TechCrunch news that particularly caught my eye this week:

Everything Apple announced this week
Was it the most exciting event Apple has ever had? Nah. Will you keep clicking that link to read about their news? Yah.

GoPro launches HERO10 Black
I have a soft spot in my heart for GoPro, which has taken a hardware corner and created a device and ecosystem that is actually quite good. As I mentioned earlier, the company has some trouble making significant updates every year, but this year they did a pretty sizable upgrade with the second generation of their client processor and some performance increases across the board.

Tesla to open FSD beta to drivers with good driving records
Elon Musk goes ahead with expanding his “Full Self-Driving” software to more Tesla drivers, saying that users who paid for the FSD system can request to use the beta version and will be analyzed by the insurance calculator bot. the company. After 7 days of good driving behavior, Musk says users will be approved.

OpenSea executive resigns after ‘insider trading’ scandal
NFTs are a curious business; There is an intense amount of money beating through these markets, and little oversight. This week OpenSea, the so-called “NFT eBay,” detailed that its own vice president of product had been trading inside information. Later he was forced to resign.

Apple and Google bow to the Kremlin
Apple and Google are trying to keep governments in most of the markets in which they operate happy. That leads to some awkward situations in markets like Russia, where the Kremlin forced both tech giants to remove a political app from the country’s main opposition party.


Gitlab logo

Image credits: Gitlab

extra things

Some of my favorite reads from our Extra Crunch subscription service this week:

What could stop the startup boom?
“… We have seen record results of cities, countries and regions. There is so much money spilling around the venture capital and startup worlds that it’s hard to remember what they were like in times of scarcity. We’ve been in a bull market for tech novices for so long that it feels like the only possible situation. Is not…”

The value of software revenue may have finally stopped rising
“… I have refrained from covering the revenue value of the software (SaaS, to a large extent) for a few months after spending too much time on it. in previous quarters – when venture capitalists start pointing out that you can swap numbers from quarter to quarter and write the same post, it’s time for a break. But the value of software revenue had a simply incredible run, and I can’t say “no” to a chart …

Inside the GitLab IPO presentation
“… Therefore, the IPO of the company was long awaited. In your last primary transaction, GitLab raised $ 286 million at a post-money valuation of $ 2.75 billion, for PitchbBook data. The same source of information also points out that GitLab ran a child transaction earlier this year worth $ 195 million, which gave the company a valuation of $ 6 billion … “


Thanks for reading, and again, if you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get it delivered to your inbox from the newsletter pageand follow my tweets @lucasmtny

Lucas Matney




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