Apple goes social
The ability for Apple to stay ahead in the consumer goods marketplace is inversely proportional to the speed at which competitors can launch similar products. Take for example the iPhone and the iPad and consider the quick market movements that followed from companies like Samsung, Google and Amazon.
Product features can be copied, operational systems can be developed but one big thing really matters: loyalty. And Apple has always had a big number of loyal fans. But the concept of loyalty seems to be changing with social media. Customers now seem to be more loyal to the social experience with their peer friends than to a brand´s gadget. Don´get me wrong here. Apple builds the best gadgets on the planet. But people don´t really want just gadgets. They want the best social experience a gadget can deliver and other companies have been delivering that, as well as Apple, providing each user with unforgettable social experience.
And how does that social experience takes place? Facebook leads by far! People are using their iPhones and amazing applications that use a Facebook login. The technological experience is Apple´s, the social experience belongs to Facebook. And who deserves the credit for that? What will we remember when we see a picture of a friend´s recent born child? Will we remember Apple or Facebook?
If I would risk a single prediction for 2012, I would say that this will be the year that Apple will launch it´s own social network.
Apple´s engineeers are usability masters, they understand a lot about people´s behaviour, they have a huge network of developers for the iOS, they have a brand that ressembles a religion, they have millions of connected people through their gadgets, consuming and sharing information and uploading it to the clouds through iCloud.
Those facts lead to one question: why hasn´t Apple gone really social yet?
The answer to that is market timing. Apple has mastered time to market like no other company and they seem to be always right when they launch new things, or even create new markets.
How could they strike back at both companies with one single move?
The answer is simple: by using all their creative power to build an innovative social network that changes the way we produce, consume and share information. Will it be like Facebook? Of course not.
This patent from june 2011 shows some stuff they´ve been working on this year.
I expect that they will do to the social media industry what they have done to the computer, phone and music industry.
So, my bet for 2012 is that Apple will revolutionize the social media field.