Apple’s announcement this week grabbed plenty of headlines. A couple of new phones, a watch, and a payment service…oh, and something about a new album from U2.
Although exciting for the Apple fan boys in our office, most of Apple’s new offerings aren’t amazing. We’ve already seen larger phones, smart watches, and the ability to pay via a smartphone. The main difference is the attention that the products have gained, and the reach that Apple has not only with consumers but also with major organisations (e.g.: Visa, Amex, MasterCard). Is this the catalyst that will mean wearables hit the mainstream?
However, it’s not just the new shiny objects that really matter, there are a lot of things under the hood that will make a massive difference to the world of mobile in the coming months.
In fact, Apple’s announcements a few months ago were perhaps more critical. HomeKit, HealthKit and add to that Apple Pay (as well as Google’s equivalents) combined with their phones and watch mean that we’re all about to see a new raft of innovation around mobile.
It’s these additions that Australian companies should pay attention to.
Over the last few years we’ve already seen a bunch of innovation in mobile, but most of it has centred around the smartphone. Essentially providing apps that people can use anywhere, but really only dipping into information and functionality. The recent additions by Apple and Google will extend the innovation beyond the smartphone, and out to smart devices that we have in the home, business, or even what we wear.
Why does this matter to Australian business? Think of what services will now be possible in the health industry, for utilities, the media, property, retail, and the Government, etc.
Health insurance companies are already using technology to offer discounts the more active people are; hit your daily step goal, and save money on your health cover. Energy companies are also offering flexible pricing for customers using smart meters (already installed in Victoria).
This is just the tip of the iceberg. With smart devices about to boom, imagine the other innovations that will be enabled.
Australian organisations should evaluate what the boom in the Internet of Things means to their business. What will this technology mean to their existing service, or are their new services they can offer? Will it mean new players can enter their market and flip their business model on their head (look at what Uber has done to the taxi industry recently)?
It’s now not only important that an organisation has a mobile strategy; they need a broader strategy that looks at how technology can enable, extend, improve, or add new services to their organisation. If they’re not, their competitors are.
Mobile apps are dead. Long live the app-enabled consumer service.