WWDC 2013: No Game Changers
Of all the products unveiled at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2013, iOS7 and iTunes radio were the most important ones for the company’s future. iOS 7 runs on the company’s popular iPhone and iPad product lines and its new, minimalistic design was well received by developers. Aside from cosmetic changes the software also gained functions like Control Centre which allows users to manage settings and currently running applications from a single menu. Critically important is that iOS 7 now allows applications to run a wider range of functions in the background, bringing multitasking capabilities to Apple’s mobile devices. To the dismay of many widgets, cross-application data sharing, and ground-breaking features not available on competing platforms were not part of the update.
The launch of the subscription-based music service iTunes Radio was long anticipated as services like Pandora continued to gain popularity threatening the iTunes downloads revenue stream. With a large install base, and content library iTunes Radio should be able to effectively compete with existing offerings at launch. However, iTunes Radio offers no incentives or enhancements for consumers to switch from third-party cross-platform services like Pandora en masse which will limit is financial impact for Apple Inc.
iOS 7 and iTunes Radio bring Apple Inc’s feature set closer to that of competing platforms and services, but offer no functions that could have a measurable impact on device sales or the competitive landscape in tablets and smartphones.