What makes more than 15 billion in turnover, with triple-digit growth since its inception and a margin of between 30 and 50%? In 2019, that was barely less than Uber’s revenue but more than all of Spotify, Twitter, Snap, and Shopify combined. Are you giving your ear to the cat?
Billions therefore, and even a little more if we add the 90 euros of my fine last week. I admit that it had been a year since I succumbed, once again, to the genius of Apple after finding wireless headsets ridiculous and resisting for years. The height of vulgarity and addiction, I didn’t care. And when we had to industrialize our calls and string together the “visio”, find more comfort for me and a little less inconvenience for my new office colleagues – who were only my wife and my children until now -, j cracked. Even just one, even off, even or especially on a bicycle… the constabulary gave me a ticket.
So, since I have been following the law, too, on my bike, with my ears and mind alert, I have had time to think about what I am missing. Hey Siri… The voice assistant of course. Adding a headset to your terminal is like unleashing a hidden function, a new super power.
The Apple mantle
First thought here, Apple, now the world’s largest market capitalization – by far – is a praying mantis. She eats the markets that have made her pregnant. Look at the “wearable devices”, since its connected watch released a little after many others (Withings, Fitbit, Nike, Garmin, LG… Do you remember the ideal gift for Father’s Day 2015?), Apple devoured the market which practically only exists for itself: twice the size of the Swiss watch market, often more than half of the connected watch market. One wonders if this is not what happened with the personal assistants. I had tested for you, upon its release in the United States, Alexa. Where are we five years later? Amazon has, in the connected speakers market, with this personal assistant, a market share of 70% in the United States, of the order of 50% in Europe, it is a hallucinating success. But Jeff Bezos’ platform announced in early 2019 – Amazon is even more discreet than Apple on its figures – to have exceeded 100 million devices sold, or 6 to 8 billion dollars in total, therefore barely more than half of a year of selling Airpods.
So imagine that there is hardly anything other than Amazon to make its (smallest) hole in an innovation and its uses when Apple has decided to invest in it.
Second reflection and second insect, after the praying mantis, the scorpion. Isn’t that arachnid’s kiss at the podcast market? One may wonder why Apple has not structured this market more than it has helped create and grow since its very beginnings. After reading this issue, I’ll let you ponder this question: has Apple, magnanimously, left us the audio and its creativity or does it let us work for it and make it sell more Airpods? because this audio industry will be difficult to make profitable … and ClubHouse, I finally speak about it, reveals new uses to us without immediately explaining to us how to make money in an era where users are becoming more and more careful about their personal data , advertising or the addition of yet another subscription.
But, third and final consideration, let’s look at the moon rather than the finger. Confined again, we need perspectives and broad horizons. Facebook maintains its long-term bet on virtual reality. He will pay, I’m sure.
And this is what seems most fascinating to me in this new phase of the transition digital – the transformation is over, since 2020, we have switched to a digital world, devoured by software. Without cookies, with more state regulation, competition control, the United States and China in a frontal digital war, Europe which absolutely must exist, a new frontier and a complete paradigm shift are coming: let’s hope let it be the end of the attention economy and the advent of the creative economy. In a more secular and industrial way, a little less exciting too, we will talk about the first-party data war.
New proof that we should no longer speak of transformation but of transition: when we are confined again, digital technology accelerates even further.