Inevitably, a legion of Apple fans will tune in to Tuesday’s event, but the fact that they’re doing it for a third time in as many months raises the question: Is there such a thing as too much Apple?
While the prospect of yet another Apple event may lead to exasperated groans in some corners, the world’s most valuable company will probably do itself no harm.
“After a while, yeah, I think that the magic wears off, especially with these virtual events,” William Stofega, program director for mobile device technology and trends at research firm IDC, told CNN Business. “Trying to pay attention while people are in your apartment … running around, it’s hard.”
There’s also the massive hit to the economy from the coronavirus that has curtailed many people’s spending power.
Some consumers certainly value a break from the barrage of negative news, but the unbridled enthusiasm of tech executives can be grating as well.
“The upbeat messages — it’s nice to hear, but then when you’re struggling, if you have a cutback at your job, there’s always that bleed-over and that could dull the reception,” Stofega said. “The thing that garners the most attention, obviously, is the iPhone and some of the media products, but … it can be a little excessive after a while.”
It’s worth noting that Apple has been forced into staggering some of its launches this year. The coronavirus hit the company’s global supply chains and delayed production of the iPhone 12 by a few weeks, forcing it into an October launch instead of its usual mid-September timeframe (Apple rolled out watches and iPads then instead).
Nothing to lose
For Apple, like many companies holding livestreamed events, there’s very little downside. It’s cheaper and more efficient to produce a one-hour video than it is to host hundreds of reporters and analysts at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, as it usually does. And more events just means more eyeballs and more buzz around its products — livestream fatigue notwithstanding.
“Especially now during the Covid-19 pandemic people are spending more time at home and consuming media, which is what Apple is capitalizing on,” said Maurice Klaehne, an analyst at Counterpoint Research. “These virtual launches have been very well attended and keeping them shorter seems to be working to capture the attention of the viewers.”
And there are signs that the frequent rollouts are helping the company’s bottom line.
“While Apple has indeed added more launches this year, it has not hurt the company,” Klaehne said. “In fact, looking at the most recent earnings reports, Apple increased revenues in all categories.”
Klaehne says virtual events make that part of the business an easier sell.
“While Apple has historically been driven by its hardware sales, it’s continuing to expand its service revenues,” he said. “Having more launches will only help the company grow this service revenue stream.”