All of a sudden the wireless headphone market is a thing. After years in which wireless audio solutions have been nothing more than a novelty that dispenses with wires in favour of terrible quality audio, we now have the AirPods and people are starting to take notice. It is true that the AirPods with the W1 chip are the ones grabbing all of the headlines, and they are not the only headphones using this chip because the Powerbeats3 also use it.
The plain fact is that Apple has nailed the experience first time and created a product that surprises, works well enough and that fits into what you want and need to do each day. When Apple does this, it wins a profitable market which was originally in its fledgling stage.
It can be argued that Apple did this with the iPhone. We discussed on LIM last week how we were carrying around Treo phones and other devices that appeared to be unbeatable at the time. Over time, the iPhone grabbed many of us and forced Android and the rest to play catch up, and in some areas they started to beat the iPhone. Apple has, however, managed to stay at the top of the market is continuing to generate massive profits from the iPhone, an industry it won and then let the others catch up. Android dominates the user numbers while Apple dominates the profits, a position that could turn bad for Apple at any point unless the company continually keeps one step ahead. It’s a tightrope that requires forward thinking every moment and which Apple will battle to stay ahead of.
The iPhone is actually an unusual example of Apple winning because there are many other areas in which Apple has stunned the market and then not pushed forward. Siri is arguably third in the market now in terms of how well he/she works. Amazon and Google are putting more into their products and also concentrating on finding new markets for the technology to be used. When Apple launched Siri, we saw huge possibilities, but Apple has failed to improve it enough to stay ahead.
Fingerprint technology came to life through Apple and changed how millions of us accessed our phones, but the rest soon caught up and now we have many phones using this tech and producing an experience that is just as good as Apples. That is not a slight on Apple because there isn’t too much you can do here, but it makes me wonder if Apple is actually doing lots of good in the tech market.
With the iPhone it continues to grab most of the money, but it made phones what they are today. With Siri it gave us multiple solutions from different organisations and it’s likely that the competition will up their game and give us a huge selection of great quality wireless headphones as well. We use fingerprints all day and think nothing of it and so we await Apple to give us the next big thing so the rest can jump on and share in the moment.
Tell me, who else has given us new technologies that change how we live every couple of years?