Apple held its first press conference this year.
Purple iPhone , iPad Pro and iMac blessed by M1 chip, and AirTag, which broke the news for many years, also appeared together. Looking back at the Apple conference in recent years, it is not difficult to find that this technology company with a market value of more than 2 trillion US dollars has almost never released a concept product.
In contrast to other major technology manufacturers,
such as curved waterfall screen concept phones, non-porous design mobile phones , air-to-air charging technology, etc., the new technology products launched by mobile phone manufacturers always make people feel that the technology is advanced, and Apple has several press conferences a year. We can basically guess what product will be released at each press conference. Therefore, more and more people think that Apple lacks innovation. Is this really the case? Why does Apple, which holds hundreds of billions of cash flow, never release concept products?
01 What manufacturers release concept product is the real intention
First of all, our users know that the introduction of a series of concept products by mobile phone manufacturers is actually a way of propaganda to prove their own research and development capabilities. As a hot spot in the industry, innovative technology can always attract the attention of consumers, and it is easier to establish a “tall” brand image in the minds of users.
For example, TCL launched two scroll screen products at CES2021. Among them, the 17-inch printed OLED scroll screen concept product is very interesting. Its shape resembles the “sacred edict” issued by the emperor. Its screen stretches around the left and right ends. After unfolding, it will become a larger display. TCL demonstrated that it can be used as a portable map and tablet computer in the field on foot.
The color gamut of this scroll screen
is as high as 100%, and its OLED RGB self-luminous devices are manufactured using a high-precision inkjet printing process. Traditional OLED screens use evaporation process, which is complicated and costly to produce. It is obviously not realistic to realize mass production in a short time. For users, it is more like a concept product, but this product also makes consumers feel the R&D strength of TCL .
Vivo screen fingerprint recognition is a concept technology before commercial mass production
From here, we can see that the manufacturers promote concept products, first, in order to show their own research and development capabilities, to create a brand image in the minds of users; second, rely on the hot marketing of concept products to boost their products that are actually sold in volume; Third, the concept product heralds the trend of new technology for future products. The first step in research and development is also to pave the way for the real mass production of future products. The fingerprint technology under the screen like vivo is a classic example.
Looking back at Apple,
relying on concept phones to promote its own research and development capabilities is completely unnecessary for its current size. Moreover, some of Apple’s products play the role of industry “vane”. If you rashly launch concept products, it may further reveal the direction of future product design and give competitors the opportunity to copy and imitate. Apple will naturally not be so stupid.
Apple does not promote conceptual products, just because it does not rely on conceptual products to do hot marketing, show strength in research and development, and establish a brand image? In fact, what is more important is related to the experience and lessons of its historical development.
02Why does Apple not push concept products and things that cannot be mass-produced mean that there is no user experience
Apple’s experience in product line planning in the past has concluded that user experience is the company’s lifeline, and Apple’s status as it is today has a lot to do with this transition. Let’s first tell a story:
As we all know, Steve Jobs was one of the founders of Apple, but he had a disagreement with the board of directors on the direction of the company’s development, and was fired by the company he founded. Jobs, who left Apple, still chose the computer industry and founded NeXT.
When the time came to 1996, IBM was sitting in the personal computer market, and manufacturers such as Dell and Hitachi launched a price war to seize the market. In contrast, Apple Computer had almost no advantage in the market. Moreover, at this time, Apple had a lot of product lines. In 1995, Apple had launched 54 computers.
Multimedia game console jointly launched by Apple and Bandai of Japan
In addition to computers, Apple has also ventured into hardware fields that it is not good at, such as printers, monitors, and gaming products. For example, in 1996, Apple and Bandai of Japan cooperated to produce a multimedia game console. As a result, only 42,000 units of this game console were sold worldwide, and the market response was mediocre.
The product line is chaotic and the user experience is not good. As a result, the sales of hardware products have fallen sharply, and the inventory has piled up like a mountain. Apple has gradually lost the reputation it has accumulated over the past 20 years. When Jobs returned to Apple in 1996, the cash in the company’s account was only enough to keep it running for two months, and it could go bankrupt at any time.
Jobs, who had returned,
began to think about what Apple really wanted to do and how to restore the reputation of users. Subsequently, Jobs carried out a series of reforms, reducing financial pressure through the abolition of projects. At the same time, the decisive reduction of the product line has made Apple’s product line return from chaos to simplicity.
Focusing on the advantages of developing core products and improving user experience not only brought Apple back to life, but also continued this brand strategy, laying the foundation for Apple’s position in the technology circle.
Like the product line that Jobs cut down, concept products are more like “industrial semi-finished products” for Apple today. Too many product lines make Apple unable to focus enough, and concept products are also equivalent to a product line. This product line is not only It consumes energy and financial resources, and there is no user experience if mass production is not possible. Launching a concept product runs counter to the company’s development philosophy, which is tantamount to repeating the same mistakes. This is obviously what Apple does not want to see.
Write at the end
Does not launch a concept product mean that it has never been studied? The answer is of course no. Apple is large, with hundreds of billions of dollars in cash flow. It also has its own R&D team. It is conceivable to bring together outstanding engineers from all over the world. Their ideas can be described as wild and unbelievable. The so-called “concept products” will naturally Yes, it’s just not public.
The gross profit margin of Apple’s hardware products is around 60%, and high profit returns cannot be separated from its streamlined product strategy. For these hardware, Apple CEO Cook once said, “All Apple products can be put down on a table.” Each of Apple’s products plays an important role in their respective fields. Although there are not many types of products, each product is listed after repeated scrutiny by designers and decision makers.
Prior to this, the wireless charging board AirPower did not meet its own quality expectations, and Apple directly terminated its sale. The public opinion storm caused by this was not small, not to mention the influence of the concept product. The models released by Apple every year bear the main force of sales. At the same time, the product risk is extremely high and there is no room for mistakes. Therefore, Apple only promotes mature and mass-produced products. This strategy also determines that it will not promote its own concept products.