WWDC 2019 : Apple prepares for the era of “post iPhone”


What will there be of the WWDC 2019 ? The geeks a bit naive jostling for the Mac Pro. Videographers jostling for the price (surprisingly reasonable) the Pro Display XDR, those who don’t know the film anything other than buckets of popcorn will retain the price (absolutely obscene) the Pro Stand. Those who are sufficiently old and wise to have used SoundJam MP will remember the joke of Craig Federighi on iTunes. Developers, finally, will Swift UI. But these ads hide this ad. Dotted, this WWDC 2019 draws the contours of an era ” post iPhone “.



A Mac very Pro


But before imagining the future, it is necessary to manage the past, and the jolly fellows who were calling for a new Mac Pro. You want professional equipment ? Well, this hardware resolutely professional. With its Intel Xeon W with up to 56 cores logical, his memory bank could accommodate up to twelve dimms of up to 128 Gb of ECC RAM, two SSD NVMe connected in RAID 0, its modules, MPX and its eight PCIe slots, and power 1 400 W, which integrates two Ethernet ports 10 Gb/s, the Mac Pro will cost not less than 5 999 $.


The Mac Pro is a workstation professional, offering the benefits of a work station professional, at the price of a workstation professional. Apple had prepared the ground : of the iMac 21,5” to the iMac Pro, passing by the Mac mini, it offers a range that meets the needs of consumers as prosumers. Unless you are one of those “amateurs” who formed the core of the customer base of Apple, and you’re looking for a tower modular, in which case you can go elsewhere.


Apple has decided : she’d rather lose a few customers, and cash out a few tweets and blog posts furibards, rather than undermine, the Mac Pro. But she also prefers to go amazingly great and awesome, with a hint of arrogance in the voice, rather than to explain them clearly. This is how it has taken the developers to cold, and caused a knee-jerk reaction that will stick to the skin, with a foot of screen to $ 999. If only she had taken thirty seconds, in his keynote two and a half hours, to present clearly the future customers of the Pro Display XDR !


Because even if it costs 4 999 or $ 5 999 $ in his version of the matte screen, this screen could well be the deal of the century. Its datasheet is worthy of the best reference monitors : LCD IPS 32-inch displays 6 016 x 3 384 px, backlight capable of providing 1 000 nits continuous and 1 600 nits in the advanced, local dimming on 576 areas to achieve a contrast of 1 000 000:1, reference modes photo and video, ability to choose the refresh rate… The Pro Display XDR can be compared to monitors three to five times more expensive.


Image Apple.

While upsetting a customer base of fans who were waiting for a machine to € 3,000 and a screen with 1 000 €, Apple may well have “saved” these independent creators unable to buy machines to 10 000 € and screens to € 30,000, who had resigned to spend a fortune on rentals to produce films and documentaries in 4K, HDR or video games in VR as larger studios. (And, incidentally, relieved MacStadium, which is not displeased to see the return of the Xserve.)


That the same company will present on Tuesday a non-update of the iPod touch at 249 €, and the following Monday a complete redesign of the Mac Pro to 5 999 €, is fascinating. Apple is capable of technological sophistication almost superfluous, as evidenced by the iPhone XS, and at the same time, a pragmatism almost vulgar, as has recently been shown to be the iPad mini. The Mac Pro opens up new prospects, the iPod touch tries to respond in 2019 for the problems we already did more in 2015. Apple has never offered range also clearly articulated, and his clients have never felt the effects of range.


The iPod company, the iPhone company, the Services company


Have you noticed that ? The iPhone, which still represents 60 % of the turnover of Apple, has not spent much more than a quarter of an hour on the stage of the McEnery Convention Center. While the smartphone market seems to be permanently saturated, and it collects more harshly than its competitors landing progressive, Apple wanted to show that it was not only theiPhone company.


It should well agree : iPadOS 13 is neither more nor less than iOS 13. But this name also sends a clear message. The iPad is a device the entire time, whose destiny is not entirely linked to that of the iPhone, the iPad is a vector of growth, even when the iPhone stuck, iPad is a pillar of the building cupertinien, and not just a dock-door. The iPad should represent 10 % of the activity of Apple this year, as much, if not slightly more than the Mac.


Image Apple.

In the same way, after the presentation of the Mac Pro, Apple would have been able to move very quickly on macOS Catalina. But it has presented some new features of the iPhone through the Mac, and give them an opportunity to remember that 100 million people were using macOS. Before presenting a new Mac, Steve Jobs liked to quote Alan Kay, ” people who take the software seriously should design their own hardware. “ Tim Cook can no longer open his mouth without uttering the word ” services “.


What we are talking about the iPhone or the Mac, the iPad or the Apple Watch, the material is in the service… services. Smartphone sales are falling ? What does it matter ! Each of the thousand millions of iPhone owners spending a few euros in the App Store. Several hundred million of them are subscribers to a package in iCloud. Apple News+ Apple TV+ Apple Arcade are so many ways to transform the customers one-off customers regular, and hook new customers.


It is not surprising, therefore, that they are entitled to their minute of glory. But the demonstration of SwiftUI would have been able to wait for the ” Platform State of the Union “, the second keynote opening devoted specifically to developers. Except that it clearly shows the future of development on the platform of Apple. Yes, ” the “ and not ” the “. Eventually, the same code will run on all devices with interfaces adapted to each screen, be distributed in a single shop, or even be run on the same processors, when the Mac will incorporate ARM chips.


Technologies that are more personal and more proactive


This WWDC allows us a glimpse of what the future of computing ” at the intersection between biology and technology “. Steve Jobs had sketched out this turn a few months before his death, Tim Cook has built, and Apple borrowed it at full speed. Oh, other giants of Silicon Valley have provided watches that are connected or headphones wireless. But Apple has a coherent vision, rooted not only in hardware innovation, but more fundamentally in a relationship of trust.


Images Apple.

Would you want to wear a Facebook Watch ? Yet, you wear an Apple Watch. The difference is simple : you know that Apple will not observe your heart rhythm to increase the profitability of the advertisements on its social network. When some of them have options to limit the collection of such or such data, Apple made sure to be simply incapable of knowing even the existence of these data. In the short term, as this prevents it to compete fully with some of its competitors, even if the increase of the computing power of the devices allows him to make up for this gap by using the data locally in a confidential manner.


But in the long term, this strategy pays off, because it combines good ethics and good business (that’s why the Silicon Valley was suddenly converted to confidentiality). With ” Sign in with Apple “, the firm of Cupertino carries this logic to its climax. Not content to mow the grass under the feet of Google and Facebook, it takes a central place in your digital life, by becoming a supplier of identity. But an identity that is blurred, decoupled from the data, purely utilitarian. Confidentiality is a service like any other.


Therefore, why not entrust information as intimate as your menstrual cycle, or data as sensitive as the background noise, to Apple ? Confidentiality governs the data collection, the trust will govern your relationship with the company, and the two transformed products. The Apple Watch becomes a “control center” of the body, the witness of a holistic vision of health, an element of objectification of a biological machine that sometimes eludes us.


Therefore, why not entrust a greater role to Siri ? The wizard is not only more reactive, in the sense that it responds to your requests, but proactive, in the sense that it can now read your messages and provide you with the answer. The same logic is at work in the Photos, which performs a first sorting of your photos, without, however, remove the clichés ” useless “. While Google claims to be able to speak to your place with scary sound Duplex, Apple always leaves you the final decision.


Image Apple.

Therefore, why worry about the augmented reality ? The vibrator of the Apple Watch ticking away the hours and guide you in the street, the speakers of the AirPods improve your hearing and answer your questions. After the touch and the hearing, there is no doubt that the view will be next ” sense up “, as the show RealityKit and Reality Call. But look at the demo of Minecraft : no one can believe that the objective is to hold an iPad at arms length. We navigate again to the blind man, but we will soon see more clear. After all, the glasses, it is made for that.

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