With Apple’s stock price under pressure, the company is gearing up at the San Francisco Cow Palace for the September 9 World Developer Conference.
The extravaganza is being promoted as Apples biggest event history as the company introduces the iPhone 6S; the updated Apple TV, focused on gaming; and a large-screen iPad. Although there are lots of rumors that Bono from U2 will be the big surprise on the stage, there are is not much of the usual buzz before such a big party.
Apple is expected to launch more products than at any of its prior events with almost every one of its mobile device getting an upgrade, including iPhones, MacBooks, iPads, Apple TV–and possibly even an autonomous car.
Apple employs a form of “Hunger Marketing” for these new offerings by bringing products to market with an attractive value or price point; and then restricts the supply to build marketing traction based on scarcity value.
At its April product introduction, Apple created a pre-order program for the Apple Watch, which created the illusion that the product was sold out. People got the initial impression that the product was premium because of rarity, and many customers tried to buy and resell it at higher prices.
Breitbart News warned in an article entitled “Apple iPhone’s Implode in China Stock Crash,” published just days before Apple’s stock price peaked at $132 a share, that China’s stock market crash threatened to tank the company’s sales momentum.
We argued that the 150 percent gain in the Chinese stock market prices had been the engine that drove most of Apple’s 60 percent sales momentum. For Chinese investors, checking stock prices on an expensive iPhone was seen as a mark of sophistication and luxury. We were concerned that China’s $3 trillion stock crash was going to torpedo conspicuous consumption.
On August 20, the highly-respected tech analysts at the authoritative Gartner Group reported that “smartphone sales in China, the world’s biggest market for the devices, fell in the second quarter for the first time” in the quarter ending June–and appear to have fallen rapidly since then.
With China accounting for about 30 percent of total smartphones sales on the planet, worldwide smartphone sales grew at the slowest pace since 2013.
Product introductions for iPad and Apple TV will be crucial for the success of Apple’s event.
The long-rumored iPad Pro update will finally be unveiled, according to reports from 9to5mac. The Pro will run iOS 9.1 and have a monster 12.9-inch display and a stylus. The device will have 64GB of storage, versus 16GB base models of the iPad Air and iPad mini lines. They will be shipped with Gold, Silver, and Space Grey variations.
The built-in LTE-capable iPad Pro versions with LTE chips will compare closely to Apple’s latest MacBooks, support a new Apple-designed Bluetooth keyboard, and be priced at about $1,000.
The radically updated Apple TV 2015 will also run a modified version of iOS 9 and come with an interface that looks like the iPad. With the product not getting an upgrade since January 2013, the new focus will be on gaming with more power for better graphics. There will also be a new remote that could double as a controller and an app store to buy and download games.
Apple’s stock price is still down 20 percent since July and has only slightly rallied prior to Wednesday’s event. Shareholders are beginning to worry that Apple may be about throw a party, but “The Thrill Is Gone.” Wednesday’s event begins at 10 am West Coast time and is expected to run for about two-and-a-half hours.
(Click Here to live stream WWDC.)