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The Executive’s Guide to Apple’s October 2020 Hardware Event

Today’s “Hi, Speed” Apple Event revealed four new pieces of hardware: the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and HomePod Mini, as well as software changes like 5G support.

Here are our biggest takeaways from Apple’s October 2020 announcements.

HomePod Mini

The Announcement

With people around the world spending more time at home than ever, technology for the home is a key strategic focus for software companies like Apple. The HomePod Mini is the newest addition to Apple’s lineup of smart speaker products – which focuses on integration with Siri, iPhones, and other connected devices in the home and the car – though at a more affordable price than standard smart speakers.

The emphasis for the HomePod Mini is largely around it’s integration with other devices, including Siri, iPhones, and AirPods, and more, which allows for extensive personalization, including multiple user support based on voice recognition. It also includes a new Intercom feature that allows users to broadcast messages through the house, and through iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and CarPlay.

Why does it matter?

The value proposition of the HomePod Mini gets right at two of the biggest challenges in the smart speaker industry: monetization and discoverability. The deep integration with Siri will enable HomePod Mini to access and use mobile apps on the iPhone, and Discover Tab in the iPhone Home app will help more users discover possible connected accessories or setups in their home.

What should you do?

The HomePod Mini smart speaker offered at a lower price makes it available to more consumers, heightening the potential number of homes that have connected devices. If your application has potential for extensible functionality across multiple devices, now may be a good time to invest in those features, as well as integration with Siri. With Siri’s deep integration to HomePod Mini comes an opportunity to build Siri Shortcuts into your mobile apps for different tasks that your users do, specifically at home.

iPhone 12

The Announcement

Each of the new iPhone 12 models, including Mini, Pro, and ProMax, include significant upgrades in performance, including 5G connectivity, the A14 bionic chip, computational photography in the ultra wide lens camera, night-mode time lapse in video, and MagSafe Wireless chargers.

The iPhone 12 will include Verizon’s nationwide 5G and the first smartphone chip built on 5nm process technology, both of which enable advanced machine learning capabilities.

Why does it matter?

The future of machine learning on the new iPhones is strong. With the introduction of 5G support, developers can have more ML experiences inside apps. With the camera and performance improvements, including the LiDAR scanner in iPhone 12 Pro Max, these updates open the door to more seamless AR experiences.

What should you do?

With faster processing time introduced in the new line up of iPhone 12s on 5G, now is a good time to make use of machine learning inside your applications. If you’ve considered enabling AR experiences, like our client Regal, now is a good time for this as well.

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Preorders for the iPhone 12 models will begin as early as this Friday, October 16, and preorders for the HomePod Mini will begin on on November 6 — so now is the time to start preparing your applications for Apple’s new hardware.

If you or your team need strategizing new machine learning capabilities, integrating your apps with Siri and other connected devices, or want to get more insight feel free to get in touch with WillowTree.

Want to talk to one of our developers, designers, or strategists on how to prepare your apps for Apple's latest updates?

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