At the end of Apple's iPhone 14 conference, the most widely circulated Meme is a middle-aged man holding a shirt exactly like what he was wearing, his face full of joy. The one in his hand is called iPhone 14; the one he is wearing is called iPhone 13.
This nasty joke has spread widely, and it has obviously made many disappointed consumers "out of breath". Eve Jobs, the daughter of Apple founder Steve Jobs, also retweeted it on Instagram.
The iPhone has been in existence for 15 years, and each generation of products has certainly failed to meet people's expectations. It can also not be ignored that in the timeline when the world is changed by the iPhone, the "big" innovation of smartphones is really getting more and more difficult.
Pursuing safety, selling "fear"
Two days before Apple's iPhone 14 launch, Huawei's Mate 50 launch was "preemptively" held.
Two days later, everyone was surprised to find that the most eye-catching "features" of the two world's high-end smartphones, the iPhone 14 and Mate 50, actually support satellite communications.
And to highlight the significance of this feature, the conference had to ominously assume the terrible scenario of "in case the user is going to die", although each speaker added "of course we don't want that to happen".
For example, in a video introduction similar to a "disaster movie", if a user gets lost on a cliff and has a car accident, surrounded by barren mountains and mountains, the satellite SOS connection and automatic collision detection in the new mobile phone will come in handy.
It is indeed possible for people to pay for many low-probability "extreme situations" because of the exaggeration of public opinion. At the same time, for mobile phone manufacturers, it is necessary to "unanimously" exert efforts for low-frequency scenarios such as "outdoor risks", which shows the difficulty of innovation in all product functions.
Some people will doubt, is it really a small probability to get lost in the mountains? There is a US data for reference. According to the statistics of the non-profit organization Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, the US National Park Service carried out a total of 3,371 search and rescue missions in 2021.
In fact, if you pick up our current mobile phones, you will know that in the 15th year of the iPhone's birth, almost everything in the mobile phone can meet various scenes in life, and it has even been detailed enough to know better than yourself whether you slept well last night.
To switch to the latest phone, you need a reason.
Of course, the "Smart Island" of "turning waste into treasure" is quite cute.
At the end of July, Apple announced its second-quarter earnings report, with sales and profits exceeding Wall Street expectations. In June, Apple's revenue of $83 billion set a new record, an increase of 2% over the same period last year; the installed activity of product devices hit a record high.
Revenue growth is expected to accelerate in September, CEO Tim Cook said.
In September, Apple released new phones a week earlier than usual, and also wanted to increase revenue for the quarter by adding a week of sales.
The global economy has been sluggish since the beginning of this year. The Russian-Ukrainian war has caused price fluctuations in a range of commodities, inflation in the United States and Europe has remained high, and other smartphone makers have cut production in anticipation of a "recession." And Apple requires suppliers to make more phones than the previous year.
This trend is similar to that of the auto industry. The richer the customer, the stronger the purchasing power. Many "luxury car" manufacturers have begun to abandon mid- and low-end products in favor of higher-end models. Expensive iPhones are also selling well.
The new joke is, "Seeing that the iPhone 14 and Mate 50 are hard to come by, I know that it's not the economy that's bad, it's my economy."
Apple's "increased" production of mobile phones has its confidence.
The iPhone already dominates the U.S. smartphone market. For the first time since 2010, iPhone users in the United States outnumbered Android users. According to Counterpoint Research data, last June, the iPhone's market share in the United States has exceeded 50%.
From the perspective of the global market, Apple is also a dominant player. According to the same data from Counterpoint Research, in the high-end mobile phone market with an average price of more than $400, Apple's market share will increase from 55% in 2020 to 60% in 2021; Samsung will drop from 20% to 17%; Huawei From 13% in 2020 to 6% in 2021; Xiaomi from 3% to 5%; OPPO from 2% to 4%; vivo from 2% to 3% in 2020.
The rise of Chinese design
Covid-19 has been going on for so long that Apple has had to move some of its phone production from China to other markets. Starting this year, Apple will manufacture the iPhone 13 and assemble the iPad in India.
Last month, overseas media quoted sources as saying that Apple's supplier Luxshare and assembler Foxconn have started trial production of Apple Watches and laptops somewhere in northern Vietnam.
It sounds like Apple is "moving away" from China, but that's not the case.
According to several analysts familiar with Apple's new business, Apple's Chinese employees and suppliers still provide a full range of contributions to the latest "mobile phone overlord" – involving making speaker and camera modules, cutting glass and supplying batteries, etc. Work.
According to reports such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, in the past, Chinese workers could only do low-end services for assembly, and their share in the iPhone value chain was not worth mentioning. Today, experts estimate that Chinese suppliers account for more than 25 percent of the iPhone's value.
Some simply say that the iPhone has changed from a product designed in California and made in China to a product created by the two countries. This change is naturally a substantial progress from Made in China to Made in China and Created in China.
To some extent, the geographical blockage caused by Covid-19 has promoted more opportunities for local Chinese engineers to develop their talents. Apple can't let local engineers go abroad, so it authorized Chinese engineers in Shenzhen and Shanghai to be responsible for the key design work of new mobile phones.
Moreover, Apple intends to hire more Chinese engineers. According to GlobalData, which tracks hiring trends in the tech industry, Apple has posted half more jobs in China this year than in all of 2020.
A United promotional poster shows that Apple used to spend $150 million a year on United flights. Former employees recalled that before the epidemic, whenever they boarded a flight to Shanghai and Hong Kong, they would find that the business class was full of Apple employees.
Today, United no longer flies non-stop from San Francisco to Hong Kong, but has direct flights to Shanghai four days a week.
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