Walt Mossberg’s takeaways from Apple’s iPhone event

Walt Mossberg discusses Apple’s lineup of new devices and his take on the company’s new services on CNBC:

They did what they had to do. They caught up and, for all I know once the reviews are out, maybe they went ahead a little, on the camera stuff which they [had] fallen behind Google on, a little bit. They certainly came on strong on that and spent a lot of time on that…

They came out with their two services [Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade] at a much lower price point that I think people thought they would. I think [the pricing] reflects the fact that they have enough money to do this. I think it reflects the fact that they don’t have a big back catalog… on the TV one… A ceiling has been set by Disney, which does have a big catalog, so $4.99 make sense and… for Apple, unlike a content company, a pure content company, these really are ways to sell more devices at to keep people in their ecosystem…

I am a consumer of Apple products… [On the new iPhones], I think I’m gonna wait and see what my friends, and most of them are my friends, who are the reviewers of these products say about, particularly, the cameras and the battery life. If the cameras are really sensational, not just for pros, there are a lot of things in there for serious pros… for average people, if the cameras are markedly, markedly better and the battery life claims hold up, I might consider an upgrade [from my current iPhone X].

Apple is trying to do what they think of it as being “early HBO,” so not many shows, not much quantity, but high quality. That’s what they’re trying to do and they’re spending a fortune on each of these shows reportedly and you can see the Spielbergs and the Reece Witherspoons and all of the famous people they have [lined up]…

I’m a big, huge fan of the Apple Watch and AirPods – I have several pairs of AirPods, which is a little crazy, but I do – I have an Apple Watch 4 and I’m thinking very seriously of upgrading [for the Always-On Retina display].

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, we agree with Walt here:

Apple’s strategy is to make owning and upgrading iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple TVs, Apple Watches, etc. as irresistible as possible. The more people with iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple TVs, Apple Watches, etc., the more Apple services to which they subscribe. Apple TV+ is part of that strategy. — MacDailyNews, September 11, 2019

As for cameras, back in 2015 it was reported that Apple had 800 people working on iPhone cameras, yet Google still kicked their 800 asses, especially in low-light photography four years later (Night Sight). Granted, it’s not representative of reality, but when snapping a shot at night, we do prefer to see what’s there more than we prefer the “accuracy” of underexposed black soup.

So the question is: Why? 800+ people and four long years weren’t enough to figure out something like Night Sight, Apple? We don’t like to see Apple outclassed in anything, especially after throwing 800+ people at the iPhone camera hardware and software over a period of several years.MacDailyNews, May 8, 2019

Those who can wrap their heads around Apple’s massive cash mountain and the company’s unparalleled ability to generate cash can clearly see who the winner will be. The most talented producers, writers, directors, editors, actors, etc. are attracted to exactly what Apple has and makes in vast abundance: Cash. The king.

Like bears to honey, it’s happening already.MacDailyNews, January 3, 2018

Apple has the money required to catch up and even surpass all competitors very quickly and they can accomplish it without buying a studio or even production companies.MacDailyNews, April 3, 2018

Finally, always-on! These new Apple Watch Series 5 models will sell like hotcakes. If you haven’t got yourself an Apple Watch yet, what are you waiting for? These are the ones you want!MacDailyNews, September 10, 2019


  1. I would love to see Apple do an iTunes movie purchase or rental deal that was similar to the audible book points deal, where for so much per month you get points. You can then spend your points on books. You can collect only 6 points per month. I go on and off book buying sprees and it is. Ice to just download books when I want to.

  2. This is just the beginning for Apple. Apple TV+ is a foot in the door for video streaming…a way to begin securing a slice of the market. In my opinion, the various streaming options will inevitably lead to grouping/bundling deals to combine the strengths of distribution channels, original content, and large catalogs of movies and shows. Yes, bundling…

    People have been dreaming and talking about low cost “a la carte” programming selection for years. One reason is that most people hated the cable companies. But the truth is that there is efficiency and convenience in delivering a larger, combined entertainment package rather than five or ten different smaller packages. A la carte programming selection may be attractive to some people with more limited viewing needs. But it can become an irritant to people who desire a wider range of programming and don’t want to juggle multiple sources to achieve it.

    As has been pointed out elsewhere, Apple may eventually develop options for “bundling” that includes Apple Music along with Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade and other functions (larger iCloud storage? iBooks? Apple News?). In Apple’s case, it could take the form of a checklist of services associated with your Apple ID that offers a larger percentage discount as you select more services.

    In the longer term, it seems likely to me that Apple will team with Disney and/or other content producers and catalog owners to better compete with Amazon and Netflix. Apple’s ecosystem will drive the distribution of that media.

  3. Gotta correct Walt on one thing for sure: “Early HBO” isn’t quite the right metaphor. If Apple TV+ was early HBO, there’d be boobs and lots of F-bombs, XD.

    Jus’ sayin’….

  4. “Finally, always-on! These new Apple Watch Series 5 models will sell like hotcakes. If you haven’t got yourself an Apple Watch yet, what are you waiting for? These are the ones you want! – MacDailyNews, September 10, 2019”

    For roughly $499 for a watch, I do not want anything released to date. I’ll keep using my Timex, thank you.

    I will purchase a Watch but am waiting for that illusive diabetic solution that Tim Cook was testing … how many years ago? … the fabled Glucose reading technology that does not require Dexcom or some other inject-able device that expires in a week and must be replaced … is what I will spend my money on. Buy it once from Apple and be done with it.

    With all due respect: I don’t know that people who do not struggle with diabetes have any clue how much of an instant success THAT technology would be and I am saving my pennies to purchase it not just because Watch is cool.

    Everything about the Watch (for me anyway) is just “that’s very nice.” The diabetic solution would turn “that’s very nice” into “I must have this.”

    Full disclosure: I am a 71 year old diabetic, yes I invested in a iPhone Xs Max (and it was X-s-ively priced but I now do not need an iPad).

    If you think Apple’s destruction of the music business was revolutionary, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

    1. There are a couple of apps that use a disk on one’s tricep muscle area and can give blood sugar readings displayed on the screen of smart phones. I think the disk must be replaced every few weeks for around $100-110 so it’s not cheap or free but saves the diabetic person from the multiple daily finger stabbings to get a drop of blood. I asked my MD about accuracy and was told they are extremely accurate. I don’t have the manufacturers names handy as I am on vacation in Eastern Europe.

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