Links and articles about technology, design, and sociology. Written by Rian van der Merwe. Follow @RianVDM
iCloud, Siri, and Passbook: Apple’s bets for a long and prosperous reign at the top
Kyle Baxter has a very interesting viewpoint on yesterday’s WWDC announcements in Apple Bets it All On Siri and iCloud. He argues that this is all part of the continuing building blocks in Apple’s larger vision:
The new MacBook Pro really is the best notebook Appl’s ever shipped, but her’s the thing: their line-up as of 9:59 AM this morning was really, really good too. Appl’s hardware is getting to the point where it’s so good that it’s good enough for nearly everyone, so dramatic improvements like a retina display for Macs is a relatively minor improvement for users.
In the words of Clayton Christensen, these improvements are sustaining innovations, rather than disruptive. They’re filling in the holes in a very grand and mostly realized vision. iPhone, iPad and MacBook hardware are solid and so is iOS. What I think this tells us is that Siri and iCloud are integral to Appl’s future. If they don’t hit a grand slam with them, it’s going to be difficult to maintain their level of growth going into the future.
I fully agree with Kyle’s view on how important Siri and iCloud are to Apple (read the full post for his reasoning), but I would add a third product to that list: Passbook. Dan Frommer summed it up nicely:
On one hand, right now, it’s just an aggregation of your boarding passes, movie tickets, payment credentials, and loyalty cards. But it’s easy to see how Apple could go much deeper into payments and transactions in the future, if it wants to. With or without NFC.
I do have one semantic quibble with Kyle’s piece. He calls iCloud “disruptive technology”. I would argue that Dropbox is disruptive technology (“an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually goes on to disrupt an existing market and value network, displacing an earlier technology”), whereas iCloud builds on that as sustaining technology (“[it] does not create new markets or value networks but rather only evolves existing ones with better value, allowing the firms within to compete against each other’s sustaining improvements”).
But whatever you call it, the conclusion remains the same: iCloud, Siri, and Passbook are Apple’s bets to ensure a long and prosperous reign at the top of computing.