iPhone 12: Same High Price But Little Innovation Once Again

As I tweeted earlier today, there is something about a brand-new smartphone (regardless of the brand) coming with no charger or crappy pair of headphones that feels grossly unnatural. Having said that, wireless charging isn’t exactly a new innovation and in the case of Apple, they’re banking on the fact that most who upgrade to the iPhone 12 will already have chargers on hand.

To give Apple a bit of credit, the iPhone 12 will come with a USB-C cable, so all the consumer needs is the wall adapter, and even then, it doesn’t have to be official spec.

Personally, I made the switch from iPhone to Samsung last Christmas, and whilst the adjustment from OS to Android took a bit of getting used too, there is nothing from today’s Apple event that makes me think I need to switch back.

Indeed, there is nothing about the iPhone 12 that really sticks out above its predecessors, and certainly nothing that makes me second-guess my well loved S10.

Here’s the thing. For me at least, the iPhone 12 is just more of the same with a slight improvement to the camera and an increased operating speed thanks to that sexy A14 Bionic chip. That might be a somewhat dull assessment, but to the average consumer like myself, that’s simply how these Apple events have come to be.

Apple events are flashy, focused, and extremely impactful marketing tools that those firmly aboard the iPhone fandom train will tune into each year. To the general consumer though, they are typically events that end with the same question, a question that starts and ends with to second guess the cost of the device in question.

And honestly, call me a bit “behind the times”, but how much better are we really expecting our smartphone cameras to get at this point? Is the camera really worth shelling out over a grand for? If that’s your market, go and spend the money on a good quality DLSR.

Priced firmly in the premium market at $1350 for its ‘cheaper’ mini version, the iPhone 12 is a hard sell given the current financial outlook for many after a year of uncertainty and job losses on mass thanks to COVID-19.

To those who can afford it, and especially those already in the Apple echo system who are looking for an upgrade, an iPhone 12 purchase makes a bit more sense.

But for the average user, and especially an Android native considering making the jump to Apple’s latest offering, the iPhone 12’s wildly overpriced $1350 just to get in the door should make for harrowing reading.

The Changing Nature Of How We Consume Media

The date is June 1st, 1960, and it is the first broadcast of television in New Zealand. 

From then until the 1989, broadcasts were mostly controlled by the Government. New Zealand’s first pay-to-view television came in 1990 – and Sky Television still holds a large part of the market share today.

Who could’ve thought that in little over 50-years time, the landscape of what seemed to be the one constant in home entertainment would change forever.

By todays standards; 50-years seems almost like an eternity for one solitary entity to remain the primary way people consume their entertainment. But that’s exactly what happened with TV.

In the late 2000s, Apple released a phone that caught the attention of the world, and it would change the way people consume media forever.

The iPhone was a game changer, and nothing like it has been achieved since.

We’ve seen Samsung battle Apple at the top of the smartphone market, but companies like Huawai and Sony have also made significant progress in the past few years.

And then came instant streaming, on demand, and relatively cheap ways of viewing the content that people want, not what they are given. Yes, I am talking about Netflix.

Netflix has fundamentally ‘changed the game’, especially in recent times. It’s cheaper to create content and doesn’t rely on the backing of major television companies. Netflix allows people to stream content on their phones and tablets, but a large percentage of the service’s user base still uses it on their televisions at home.

So therefore, it keeps a tradition that seemed doomed not too long ago very much still alive. That tradition? Consuming content on a fixed television screen in peoples homes, or at least those who choose to view it that way.

Sky Television’s Future Will Be Determined By Their Own Values 

With all this change toward a more digital and noncommittal nature of media consumption – it leaves companies like Sky Television facing an uncertain future.

Sky’s biggest, and perhaps only real drawcard right now, is their exclusive rights to the rugby.

Overpriced, yes, but still not real value for money when you compare to the likes of Netflix and others. Currently, Sky’s only alternative to having a monthly subscription with a set top box is what they call FANPASS – and that actually costs more to buy than the prior.

How is it that Sky can justify a few hundred dollars for six months of online sports content in 2017?

Sky have signalled their intention to remain on top of the rugby coverage market and they did this when they took most of New Zealand’s media companies to court over what they call “theft of content”.

Sky’s rationale behind this is due to news sites using video clips of games in their editorial coverage, but they simply don’t realise that video has become a key component of how news is delivered in 2017.

The Changing Nature Of How We Consume Media 

Is TV a dying form of media? No way.

If radio can survive the TV broadcast revolution; then TV can definitely survive the instant streaming revolution. Prices for Netflix and other only-online services will likely increase over time, and it could become a point of contention in the future.

But TV, and to a lesser extent media, still involves consumers looking at screens and working with devices that continue to adapt themselves to fit into our lifestyle. How we consume these mediums is changing, and that is the only certainty right now.