At one o’clock in the morning on September 15th, Beijing time, the annual Apple Autumn New Product Launch Conference, which is once known as the “Science and Technology Circle Spring Festival Gala”, arrived as scheduled.
When Apple CEO Tim Cook stands in the middle of the stage, many people may not realize that this year is the tenth year that Cook took over from Jobs.
In the past ten years, Cook has been questioned by countless people. People always like to compare him with Jobs. People who are not optimistic about Cook will say that he lacks Jobs’s genius creativity. The gap between top students and genius is Ku Gram can never be crossed.
In terms of products, although the iPhone is iterating every year, there are more and more labels of “lack of innovation” and “banality” on the iPhone. Is this really the case? The answer may be no.
In the past ten years, under the leadership of Cook, Apple’s stock price has risen from around US$8 in August 2011 to the current US$149, and its market value has exceeded US$2.4 trillion, making it the world’s most valuable listed company.
According to Apple’s fiscal 2021 third-quarter financial report, in the second quarter of this year, Apple’s revenue reached US$81.434 billion, a year-on-year increase of 36.5%; and for the past nine months as of June 30, 2021, Apple’s revenue was 282.457 billion US dollars, a year-on-year increase of 34.5%.
Therefore, Apple still maintains rapid growth. The iPhone is still Apple’s core revenue source. In the second quarter, Apple’s revenue from the iPhone was US$39.57 billion, a year-on-year increase of 49.8%.
These numbers are the most convincing answers that Cook, as Apple’s CEO, handed over to the outside world. At the same time, these figures are also sufficient to prove that iPhone products still have strong market competitiveness.
Everything in the past is a prologue. Standing at the starting point of the new decade, Apple’s market competition is fiercer than ever before. Are Apple and Cook ready? The new products released today (September 15th, Beijing time) will determine what will happen. The answer years later.
iPhone13 series increase without price increase
At Apple’s autumn conference, the most eye-catching product is naturally the new iPhone. The reason why previous generations of iPhones have been labeled “Mediocre” is mainly because users have not seen amazing innovations from these products.
But in fact, the development of smart phones to the present, unless new breakthroughs are achieved in some technical fields, otherwise the “micro-innovation” with performance improvement as the core will still be the main selling point of new products in the next few years.
Perhaps it is also because of the iterative “micro-innovation” that has made Apple’s secrecy work for new iPhone products more and more relaxed. In the past two years, before the release of new products, product information was basically revealed in advance, and the biggest suspense was the price.
This year’s iPhone 13 is also the same, the content of the official announcement of the press conference is basically the same as the information previously revealed. For example, in terms of naming, Apple did not avoid “13”, but ensured the continuity of the number, and the new product was named the iPhone 13 series.
A total of four models were released this time, namely iPhone13 mini, iPhone13, iPhone13 Pro, iPhone13 Pro Max, the prices are 5199 yuan, 5999 yuan, 7999 yuan and 8999 yuan. Among them, the iPhone 13 Pro Max with 1 TB of memory is priced at 12,999 yuan, which is also the price ceiling of the iPhone 13 series.
In terms of specific configuration, the iPhone 13 series all use a super retina XDR display, equipped with an A15 bionic chip, with a 6-core CPU and a 16-core neural network engine. The difference is that the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini have dual wide-angle lenses, arranged diagonally, and the chip is equipped with a 4-core GPU, while the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max have an extra telephoto lens, and the lidar scanner can realize night mode. Portraits, faster autofocus in low-light environments, and a better augmented reality experience.
In addition, the chips of iPhone13 Pro and iPhone13 Pro Max are equipped with a new 5-core GPU, and the screen supports ProMotion adaptive refresh rate function, from 10Hz to 120Hz, the refresh rate will be automatically adjusted with the content.
In other aspects, the iPhone 13 series has also undergone corresponding upgrades. For example, the camera has added a movie effect mode, battery life has been improved in different degrees, and the space occupied by the front “bangs” is 20% smaller than the previous generation.
In terms of color, iPhone13 mini and iPhone13 have 5 colors, namely starlight, midnight, blue, pink, and red. iPhone13 Pro and iPhone13 Pro Max have only 4 colors, namely silver, graphite, gold and far peak. blue.
On the whole, the price of the iPhone13 series is cheaper than last year’s iPhone12. Because the iPhone 13 series canceled the 64GB version, all started with 128GB. If you compare the 128GB version of the iPhone 12 (6799 yuan), the price of the iPhone 13 is 800 yuan cheaper.
Before the press conference, agencies predicted that the iPhone 13 would adopt an aggressive price strategy. Although the costs of upstream parts and transportation have been rising under the epidemic this year, Apple has finally achieved a certain degree of “increase in volume without price increase”, which also reflects Apple’s ability to control the cost of the supply chain system.
According to the usual practice in previous years, after Apple’s new iPhone product is released, the price of the previous generation product will also be reduced. At present, the starting price of the iPhone 12 mini is 4499 yuan, down 1,000 yuan, and the starting price of the iPhone 12 is 5199 yuan, down 1,100 yuan. The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are no longer available on Apple’s official website.
In addition to the iPhone 13 series, Apple also released several new products, including the new iPad and iPad mini. Among them, the new iPad mini has a relatively large upgrade. In addition to the significant performance improvement through the A15 chip, the new iPad mini also adds a USB-C interface, which can support 5G networks. At the same time, the new iPad mini is equipped with a 1200-pixel ultra-wide angle. Front camera, and has the function of centering the character.
In terms of design, the new Pad min integrates the touch ID into the top button and supports the second-generation Apple Pencil, which can be magnetically attached to the side frame of the iPad mini. On the price, the 64GB version of the new iPad mini is 3799 yuan, and the 256GB version is 4999 yuan.
On the same day, Apple also released Apple Watch Series 7. The new Apple Watch redesigned the display, narrowing the bezel by 40%, making the screen area larger than Series 6 by nearly 20% and 50% larger than Series 3. %above. In terms of health function, Series 7 can measure blood oxygen through innovative sensors and App, and can monitor one’s own heart rate anytime and anywhere, as well as conduct mindfulness training and sleep tracking.
In addition, the charging speed of Apple Watch Series 7 has also been improved. Compared with Series 6, the charging speed can be increased by up to 33%. It only takes about 45 minutes to charge from zero to 80%. With the help of cellular network function, Series 7 allows users to use the network function even without a mobile phone. According to reports, the starting price of Apple Watch Series 7 is 399 US dollars. Since the product is officially on sale at the end of autumn, Apple’s official website in China has not yet displayed the price information.
Apple’s sales are bullish, “duogu seek defeat”
Looking at the forecasts published by major institutions, despite the existence of chip shortages, everyone still makes positive growth judgments on iPhone 13 sales.
According to TrendForce, the biggest challenge facing Apple is that some parts are affected by the new crown epidemic and the supply is tight, but the impact is expected to be limited. The total annual production is expected to be 230 million units, with an annual growth rate of 15.6%, including new machines. It accounts for about 37%~39%.
In addition, the proportion of the brand’s 5G mobile phone production will jump from 39% in 2020 to 77%, ranking first in the world. In view of the poor performance of the previous generation iPhone 12 mini market and the early termination of production (EOL), it is estimated that the proportion of the new generation iPhone mini series will also fall within 10%, and the other three models will be the focus of sales in the future.
Tianfeng Securities also believes that thanks to the US ban on Huawei and new design and specification upgrades, iPhone 13 shipments in 2021 can still maintain a year-on-year growth of more than 10% (compared to iPhone 12 shipments in 2020). It is believed that the current challenge facing the iPhone is the shortage of parts. The old model has been revised down by about 5-10% in 3Q21 due to the shortage of materials. The iPhone 13 has a potential downgrade risk in 4Q21 shipments due to the shortage of materials. However. , This downward revision has a limited impact on iPhone 13 shipments.”
From the perspective of the status of the global mobile phone market, the current Apple can be said to be “losing alone”, continuing to rank among the top and maintaining a high income.
Specific to the ranking of global mobile phone brands, Apple ranked third in the second quarter. According to Counterpoint’s report, Samsung’s shipments in the global smartphone market in the second quarter of 2021 remained the first, reaching 57.9 million units; Xiaomi in the second quarter It surpassed Apple and ranked second for the first time, with shipments exceeding 50 million units, followed by Apple (48.9 million units), OPPO (33.6 million units) and vivo (32.5 million units); in the Chinese market, Apple ranked Fourth, the top five shipments in the second quarter were vivo (23%), OPPO (21%), Xiaomi (17%), Apple (14%) and Huawei (10%).
Although Apple did not enter the top two in terms of shipments, Apple ranked first in the global mobile phone sales rankings in the second quarter. Counterpoint research analyst Aman Chaudhary pointed out that Apple’s sales accounted for 41% of total market sales in the second quarter, a record high, followed by Samsung, OPPO, Xiaomi and vivo.
Counterpoint analyzed that in the second quarter, thanks to Apple’s strong industry relations, prudent supply chain management, transportation management, and the ability to shorten the time from factory to sales outlets, Apple’s supply capacity was not affected by the industry’s chip shortage, and sales increased year-on-year. By 52%.
Apple’s banknote capabilities have once again demonstrated. It is worth mentioning that Apple still has an absolute advantage in the high-end market. In particular, Huawei fell out of the top five in the market during the crackdown. Apple took over more high-end market shares. In the domestic high-end market, Apple and Huawei opened up from five to five last year, further widening the gap between each other. According to GFK data, in the first half of 2021, in the global high-end market above $600, China and Western Europe accounted for 67% of the market, and Samsung and Apple accounted for 94% of the high-end market in Western Europe.
Although the mobile phone market’s competitive landscape is still dynamic, Apple is repeating the “boring” end of the story: No matter how the market share of competitors changes, Apple always occupies the high point of industry revenue and profit.
From this perspective, the current Apple may lack challengers. A few years ago, everyone expected Android, Huawei, etc. to make more industry innovations, but at present, Apple’s competitors have not enough effective offenses and are more complicated. However, this is not only because of Apple’s own strength, but also a combination of geopolitical and economic factors, which contributed to Apple’s dominance.
Domestic supply chain reshuffle
Whether from the perspective of revenue or profit, Apple’s mobile phones have been advancing all the way since the beginning of this year. With the advent of the peak sales season, can the new iPhone products bring growth momentum to the Apple industry chain?
The current domestic Apple suppliers are also presenting a complicated situation. On the one hand, Ou Feiguang has been eliminated from the circle of friends, and domestic companies have continued to join the Apple supply chain. Among the new domestic manufacturers in recent years, BOE has undoubtedly attracted much attention. BOE has already supplied flexible OLED screens for iPhone 12. Many panel industry insiders told the 21st Century Business Herald reporter that BOE will also supply screens for the iPhone 13 this year.
According to the forecast report previously released by Omdia, in 2021, Apple is expected to purchase 172 million flexible OLED display panels from Samsung Display, LG Display and BOE, of which 106 million will be used for the new iPhone 13 (5.4, 6.1 and 6.7 inches). For the new iPhone 13, BOE’s panel is undergoing certification, and mass production is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021.
In the 2020 TOP200 supplier list announced by Apple, 36 new companies have been added, of which 12 are from mainland China, including Zhaoyi Innovation, Tianma Microelectronics, and Changying Precision.
In addition, according to reports, Sunny Optical will enter the Apple iPhone supply chain for the first time this year, and will provide lenses for the rear cameras of new iPhones, but its share is relatively small. Previously, most of the lenses for iPhones were provided by Largan, a Taiwanese company in China, and Sunny Optical has become a major supplier to smartphone manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Huawei, OPPO, and vivo in China.
On the other hand, the leading companies in Apple’s industry chain are extending their boundaries. For example, Luxshare Precision’s acquisition of Wistron’s iPhone foundry in Taiwan will increase the iPhone assembly foundry business. According to reports, Xun Precision grabbed Apple’s new mobile phone orders from Foxconn and Pegatron, and will be responsible for about 3% of the iPhone 13 series production.
Regarding Luxshare Precision, Tianfeng Securities also pointed out that Luxshare, the main assembler of Apple Watch 7 is currently actively copying production lines and expects to start mass production on all production lines at the end of September. Therefore, Apple Watch 7 will be supplied from mid-October. There will be more obvious improvement after the second half of the year.
“We estimate that Apple Watch 7 and total Apple Watch shipments will significantly increase to 14-16 million units and 40-45.0 million units respectively in 2021. Benefiting from the large shipments of Apple Watch 7, Luxshare’s Apple Watch business Profits in 4Q21 will significantly exceed the combined profit of 1-3Q21 and beat market expectations.” Tianfeng Securities said.
In addition, Goertek has gradually expanded from AirPods and Android TWS to more IoT products; this year Foxconn entered the automotive OEM, invested in Byton, and Geely established automotive OEM companies, all of which attracted considerable attention in the market.
It can be seen that the competition among Apple foundries is more intensive and multifaceted. Apple’s multi-supplier strategy is an opportunity for domestic companies to broaden the upstream and downstream boundaries step by step to obtain higher-end manufacturing capabilities. Of course, Apple suppliers are still facing the uncertainty of the trade market and the consideration of the global layout of the industrial chain.
Get rid of the “innovation” crisis
In recent years, Apple has suffered from the “lack of innovation” controversy. Faced with a lot of noise, Cook said in an interview in 2019 that Apple’s long-term health and product line have “never been better” and the company’s ecosystem has “never So powerful”.
Looking back at Cook’s statement now, all this is gradually becoming a reality, especially the launch of the self-developed chip M1, once again letting the outside world see Apple’s self-innovation. At present, Apple has indeed reached a new level of ecology, hardware, The supply chain, developers, and other dimensions constitute the Big Apple ecosystem, and the mobile phone has become the cornerstone of the ecosystem.
An industry insider analyzed to reporters: “Apple has completely survived the innovation crisis three years ago. The ecosystem that Apple has created now, including the connection of multiple terminals such as PCs and mobile phones, is the result of its own long-term efforts. Both Windows and Android For the interconnected ecosystem that it wants to achieve, Apple is now taking the first step.
As far as Apple’s update direction is concerned, the focus now lies on the ecology. It is becoming more and more difficult to update and innovate a single product, but Apple benefits from the ecology. It can reap the profits of watches, headsets, and even product lines such as Macs through mobile phones. It is more profit-oriented rather than market share. “
Apple’s ecological innovation is not radical. On the contrary, Apple still continues its conservative strategy and insists on “be yourself.” Even the M1 chip, which is amazing to the outside world, is not born out of nowhere. Apple has always grasped the core technical aspects, and the self-developed chip has been developed for a long time. Whether it’s M1 or the update of the operating system, iPhone 13, and other new products, Apple is still continuing its own plan and moving forward in its own way.