What Apple’s new product line-up means for marketers

What Apple’s new product line-up means for marketers

Unless you’ve been hiding yourself under a bushel the last 24 hours, Apple’s announcement yesterday of the iPhones 8 and X, and Apple Watch 3, may not have escaped your notice.

Whilst the focus was on hardware, three less-prominent developments should have marketers in a tailspin.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Creating augmented reality experiences and content is set to become more affordable and accessible. Except to see lots of brands exploring the possibilities – and hopefully pushing the boundaries – as well as good and bad experiences alike.

QR codes

No, you haven’t been transported back a decade or two. With one simple addition to the iPhone camera, Apple has breathed new life into an old format. As Ben Rubenstein, writing in The Drum, rightly points out: “this isn’t revolutionary, this isn’t new, but now with iOS 11, there will be scale with a proper user experience.” The challenge for marketers is three-fold: ensuring QR codes offer tangible value and benefit to users, over and above tapping in a URL; creating mobile experiences that take advantage of the user’s context (device, location, environment); and managing and tracking campaigns at scale.

Throwing its weight behind QR is Shopify, which now provides every one of its merchants with the ability to create Shopcodes, scannable tags that link directly to products on their online stores, and can even put them straight into a basket, for instant checkout.

Near field communication (NFC)

With iOS 11, Apple has finally opened up NFC tag reading capability – sort of. NFC already powers Apple Pay, the company’s mobile wallet, but it is increasingly used by manufacturers and marketers to connect print, products, and packaging to payment services and promotional campaigns. From next Tuesday – when iOS 11 is released – anyone with an iPhone 7 or newer and our Tap & Scan app – will be able to tap their iPhone on a NFC tag and be instantly connected to mobile content or services. NFC hardware is very low cost – especially when bought in volume – so expect to see more opportunities to tap in future.