Apple’s next innovation to intimidate Asia

Apple developer conference SFIf anything can be said about Apple products, it’s that they are game changers. This week, the widely publicised Apple Developers’ Conference, which began on June 10 in San Francisco, continues this legacy. Asia tech junkies need to keep their eyes peeled at the competition.

With over half of ASEAN internet users on mobile Apple devices, the ripples made in the northeastern US city will quickly become waves in Asia, where in some cases iOS penetration rates are higher than the US. In Singapore, more than 10 per cent are on the operating system compared to 6 per cent in the US, according to an Australia-based research company.

To put it boastfully: Downloaded the new iOS 7 is like getting a new phone, Craig Federighi, Apple’s head of software engineering said during the first day of the conference.

Taken however you’d like to chew it, creative industries in Asia will need to use the innovations coming out of Silicon Valley as a barometer for where the industry’s competitive race is heading. Not to mention — Samsung and HTC.

Although the buzz hasn’t reached Asia in such volume yet, the unveiling of Apple’s new iOS 7 will eventually reach these shores in force this fall when the software becomes publicly available, the same time when rumour has it that a new iPhone will also be released.

Newswire AP has called the new operating system a revolutionary shift away from Apple’s appearance, now applying a more “flat” design over the 3D one that has been familiar to users since the first iPhone launched in 2007.

Perhaps the most exciting of rumours, the new iOS 7 is expected to be built into cars beyond becoming available for iPhone 4, the iPad 2 and iPad Mini.

Apple consumers can also expect a change in how they organize their photos, with the new software bringing a coup de grace on the photo streaming model in preference for photo “moments,” whereby users can search photos according to time and place. These photos can then be shared through the AirDrop feature, allowing users in your network to share and comment on “moments.”

This introduction will be especially potent in click-happy Asia, where the inventive photo features will prove a disruptive source.

Apple has also announced a new feature on its iCloud services that will gather passwords for devices using security encryption, aiming to take the mind-numbing hassle away from the exponentially growing amount of sequenced numbers and letters in our lives.

Asia’s tech industry will be looking to San Francisco this week.  Consumers will also catch the wave – predictably sooner than later. 

About author

Justin Calderon

Justin Calderon is a research analyst for Inside Investor based in Manila, Philippines. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Newsweek (Japan), CNN Travel, GlobalPost, Global Times and The Nation (Bangkok). Living in and out of Asia since 2006, Justin spent two years in Shanghai working for a popular B2B magazine. He also hunkered himself down in Taipei for two years to teach English and study traditional Chinese characters. He is a Mandarin and Thai reader and speaker.

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