Apple hardware plans should benefit partners

The plans Apple is sharing at its developer conference should provide more opportunities for business partners

Apple's Worldwide developer conference (WWDC) might have gained a lot of attention because of the launch of its HomePod speaker and iOS 11 but the promise of some updated hardware was important for the channel.

Among the products being launched by the vendor there was some virtual and augmented reality and a Amazon and Google catching HomePod speaker plus some updated desktops and the iPad Pro.

Given the publishing and design markets are still Apple heartlands the introduction of products that would slot into a corporate environment should be welcomed by the channel according to analysts.

"Regarding the Pro lines, this is definitely an area Apple needs to keep focusing on because addressing that segment with their business partners is the key to staying relevant in the enterprise space and also because some communities (journalists, graphists, designers, developers, ...) are key influencers for the broader consumer community," said Thomas Husson, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester.

Fellow Forrester analyst Frank Gillett said that developers would also welcome the product plans coming out of the WWDC keynote sessions.

"Apple's announcements were focused on reassuring developers that Apple is still in the game of providing tools to reach consumers. The new iMacs and MacBook Pros provide an immediate hardware boost, along with the end of year promise of a new iMac Pro to top end performance," he said.

There was also a thumbs up from partners for the HomePod because it put Apple back in the leading pack of vendors using voice controlled devices.

“Products like Amazon’s Alexa have been on the market for a while, and the significance of Apple’s announcements this year are not that they introduce anything especially new. Instead, they signal that the ship will soon have sailed on voice-activation," said Ben Boswell, UK & Ireland director at World Wide Technology (WWT).

“App development is a cut-throat area of digital business, and one in which ease of use is a massive contributor to success. Improvements in voice assistants are continuing apace and this is a gift to those companies that can get on board. For companies developing voice for front-end consumer apps or other business tools, collaborating with an R&D partner is going to be increasingly important," he added.

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