In 1964 Arthur C. Clarke gave his predictions for the world today. He correctly surmised that we would have wireless global communications such that cities as business hubs would no longer be necessary. He predicted that people would no longer commute but instead they would communicate. “Men will only travel for pleasure,” he was quoted as saying.

When you look further back, predictions 100 years ago suggested there would be flying taxis and people would travel to the moon routinely.

Apple released their latest products on Wednesday morning (our time) this week and I set my alarm for 3am to watch the live announcement of their latest products. After waking my son we sat in front of the dedicated Apple Event streaming service to see how Apple was going to change the future and deliver on some of the technological promises from yesteryear.

What did we get? Animojis…

We are all familiar with emojis. We probably use them from time to time. When emojis are just not enough, you need… Animojis. Animoji is a portmanteau of animation and emoji and effectively gives you an emoji but with animation that is drawn from your expression. Some of Apple – and the world’s – best engineers have been working on some incredible technology to be able to have an emoji adjust itself to suit your facial expressions. Maybe these same engineers could work on the technology that will help solve real problems in the world – but I digress. Apple’s engineers create products that people didn’t know they wanted with the ultimate aim of selling more products.

With the launch event on Wednesday, I believe the engineers will deliver on the objective. The products launched will definitely help Apple sell more products. Without going into the type of detail that makes engineers excited, I will give you the overview of what Apple announced on Wednesday.

The Apple Watch Series III was announced. The significant improvement in this model is the fact that it can now have a SIM card inserted into in with, in a first for carriers across the world, the same phone number as your phone. This has never before been possible. Every different SIM card has a different number – until now. That means you can walk out the door without your phone but still take phone calls – on your watch. This is a game changer.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were launched. Apple went away from convention. Since the iPhone 4, each alternate model has been designated with an s. iPhone 4 was followed by 4s followed by 5 then 5s and 6 then 6s. The 7 is the current model – which has now jumped to an 8. The 8 improves on many small items – such as power and camera – but the significant difference with the 8 is that it supports wireless charging. To do that, it has a glass back. No confirmation yet, but I suspect the best news from this is that a glass back should allow for better reception. Stay tuned for this one.

The iPhone X was also launched as their 10-year anniversary model. They called it the iPhone ten using the roman numeral X to designate the ten. I am just going to use the letter X. This was the iPhone that the public had been waiting for. The list of improvements is extensive but the first thing you will notice is the screen. It has a 5.8” viewing screen in a smaller chassis than the Plus which has a 5.5” screen. To achieve this, they have followed the lead of Samsung and removed most of the bezel to give an edge-to-edge feel. Wireless charging is built-in. Face ID is a significant part of the package. In the past you used a finger to unlock your phone. It had a 1 in 50,000 chance of being wrong. The iPhone X uses Face ID which reduces the likelihood of a false entry to 1 in 1,000,000. Dual cameras are standard on the X but they are now arranged vertically on the rear instead of horizontally like the 8. Most importantly, it just looks cool. And that is the most significant technical feature that Apple can boast to deliver increased sales.

Apple share prices fell on the news that the 8 and watch will ship on 22 September BUT the X will not ship until 3 November but this is what Apple does so well. They create demand and expectations – and I expect the share price to boom shortly after the launch as the products go streaming out the door.

Apple has hit the top of the heap again – it is now up to the other manufacturers to respond.

Mathew Dickerson

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