The iPhone continues to be the company's meat-and-potatoes product, accounting for just under 70 percent of revenue. The iPhone is also putting Apple on pace to make more money this year than any company has earned in history. The technology juggernaut released a new commercial for the phone, posted late Sunday on YouTube, pushing its name-brand phone with a twist on an old tagline: If it's not an iPhone, it's not an iPhone.
This commercial is the third in a new batch of Apple ads to carry the tagline, updated from a previous campaign, which tout the polish and end-to-end quality of the iPhone. But this one is oddly interesting because it's, well, a little vanilla.
With products such as the Apple Watch, Apple's still making specific cases for consumers — the fitness buff, the super-communicator, the tech fanatic — but with the iPhone? At least with this commercial, it's pretty clear that Apple feels like the brand itself is enough to make the argument. Even the old commercials, where Apple used to bookend the spots with "If you don't have an iPhone" and "Well, you don't have an iPhone," used to spout very exact selling points, such as "having an iPod in your phone" or specific features of the App Store. It isn't even going for the heartstrings here, as it has done so effectively in the past.
And we're way past the days when Apple has to remind you there's an app for that — now it just says that it has 1.5 million apps for the phone and calls it a day. The iPhone has mass-market appeal, and Apple seems to be happy pitching that message to everyone.
As strong as the iPhone is expected to be, there are already rumblings that the company may fall short of predictions for its newest gadget, the Apple Watch. This will be the first quarter that Apple reports Watch sales, though the company won't break the wearable out into its own reporting category, so exact numbers may be hard to come by; analyst estimates put figures somewhere between 3 and 4 million Watches sold since it went on sale this spring.
If Apple is reporting softer sales than expected, however, many analysts also think it's not that much to worry about. In a note to investors, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster predicted that the Watch's "breakout year" could be 2017, as Apple and other developers continue to build out the product. Apple's already announced plans to update Watch tools for developers to allow them to play around with the features of the device more — it was one of the announcements that got the biggest cheer at the company's developers conference in June.
What remains to be seen, of course, is whether an early reception that seems lukewarm after all the Watch hype will temper that enthusiasm among developers who have to remake and streamline their products for the wrist-sized screen. Apple's built an impressive library of Watch apps already — at least 3,000 — but will need better, purpose-built apps to really break the wearable into the mainstream. And while a recent survey from that analysis firm Wristly reported that the Watch has a 97 percent satisfaction rating among its owners, it's still looking at just a fraction of the gadget-buying public.
It could be a long time until Apple can make an ad for the Watch like it just did for the iPhone.