iPhone SE 2022 Starlight Back in Hand

The GoPro-ification of the iPhone – TechCrunch

Last week, we discussed sunglasses from a company that many people do not like very much. This week, we’re talking about Apple, and the company is 1,600 times smaller than it is facing similar product problems. If you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get this in your inbox from the newsletter page and follow my tweets @lucasmtny

the big thing

When you get deep enough into the tech industry, it’s harder to look at things with a consumer’s eyes. I’ve felt that way more and more after six years of watching Apple events as a TechCrunch reporter, but sometimes memes from random Twitter accounts help me find the consumer truth I’m looking for. As that dumb little tweet indicates, Apple is charging toward a future where it’s becoming harder to distinguish new from old. The off-year “S” period of old is no more for the iPhone, which has seen tweaks and new size variations since 2017’s radical iPhone X redesign. Apple is stretching the periods between significant upgrades for its entire product line and taking longer to roll out those changes.


The shift from M1 Macs will likely take years, as the company has already detailed. Apple debuted the current bezel-lite iPad Pro design in late 2018, and it’s taken three years for the procedure to work its way down to the iPad mini while the entry-level iPad is still waiting. Most of Apple’s substantial updates rely on upgrades to the chipsets they build, which increasingly makes them look and feel like a consumer chipset company. This isn’t a new trend or take; it’s been written many times. However, it’s fascinating as the company bulks up the number of employees dedicated to future efforts like augmented reality, which will soon replace the iPhone.

It’s an evolution pushing them into a similar design territory as action camera darling GoPro, which has struggled repeatedly with getting their core loyalists to upgrade their hardware frequently. These are on laughably different scales, with Apple now worth $2.41 trillion and GoPro still fighting for a $1.5 billion market cap. The situations differ, yet they face similar end-of-life innovation questions for categories they have mastered.

This week, GoPro debuted its HERO10 Black camera, which brings higher frame rates and a better-performing processor as it looks to push more of its user audience to subscription services. Sound familiar? This week, Apple debuted its new flagship, the iPhone 13 Pro, with a faster processor and better frame rates (for the display, not the camera). They also spent a healthy amount of time pushing users to embrace new service ecosystems.

Apple’s devices are getting so good that they’re starting to reach a critical feature plateau. The company has still managed to churn out machine after device and expand its audience to billions while significantly expanding its average revenue per user. Things are going pretty well for the most valuable company on earth. Still, while the stock has nearly quadrupled since the iPhone X launch, the consumer iPhone experience feels pretty consistent. That’s not bad, but it is boring, for lack of a better term. Among 2.4 trillion others, the apparent difference is that GoPro doesn’t seem to have a clear escape route from its action camera vertical.

I’m most interested in what the iPhone device category looks like once its unwieldy successor has reared its head. Most likely, the AR-centric devices will be shipped as wildly expensive iPhone accessories and a way to piggyback off the accessibility of the mobile category while providing access to new — and more exciting — experiences. But Apple has been pushing thousands of employees toward an escape route in augmented reality, even if the technology is not ready for consumers. They’re forced to lead with what has been rumored to be a several-thousand-dollar AR/VR headset with plenty of limitations. In short, AR is the future of the iPhone until AR doesn’t need the iPhone anymore.

other things

Everything Apple announced this week
Was it the most exciting event Apple has ever had? No. Will you still click that link to read about their new stuff? Yeah.

GoPro launches the HERO10 Black.
I have a very soft spot in my heart for GoPro, which has taken a niche corner of hardware and made a device and ecosystem that’s quite good. As mentioned above, the company has some issues making significant updates yearly. Still, they made a reasonably sizable upgrade this year with the second generation of their customer processor and some performance bumps across the board.

Tesla will open the FSD beta to drivers with a good driving record
Elon Musk is expanding its “Full Self-Driving” software to more Tesla drivers, saying that users who paid for the FSD system can apply to the beta, which the company’s insurance calculator bot will analyze. After seven days of good driving behavior, Musk says users will be approved.

OpenSea exec resigns after ‘insider trading scandal
NFTs are a curious business; there’s an intense amount of money pulsating through these markets — and little oversight. This week, OpenSea, the so-called “eBay of NFTs,” detailed that its VP of Product had been trading on insider information. He was later pushed to resign.

Apple and Google bow to the Kremlin
Apple and Google are trying to keep happy with the governments of almost every market they operate. That led to uncomfortable situations in markets like Russia, where the Kremlin forced both tech giants to remove a political app from the country’s main opposition party.

extra things

What could stop the startup boom?
“…We’ve seen record results from cities, countries, and regions. There’s so much money sloshing around the venture capital and startup worlds that it’s hard to recall what they were like in leaner times. We’ve been in a bull market for tech upstarts for so long that it feels like the only possible state of affairs. It’s not….”

The value of software revenue may have finally stopped rising.
“…I’ve held back from covering the value of software (SaaS, largely) revenues for a few months after spending a bit too much time on it in preceding quarters — when VCs begin to point out that you could just swap out numbers quarter to quarter and write the same post, it’s time for a break. But the value of software revenues posted a simply incredible run, and I can’t say “no” to a chart…. “

Inside GitLab’s IPO filing
“…The company’s IPO has, therefore, been long expected. In its last primary transaction, GitLab raised $286 million at a post-money valuation of $2.75 billion, per PitchbBook data. The same information source also notes that GitLab executed a secondary transaction worth $195 million earlier this year, which gave the company a $6 billion valuation….”


I have always enjoyed writing and reading other people's blogs. I started writing a journal as a teenager and have since written numerous books and articles. My blog is a place where I can write freely about my personal interests and those of others.

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