All eyes are on Apple this week as the tech giant gears up for the release of its latest lineup of products. This season’s big reveal of the latest and greatest Apple items on offer is scheduled to take place on September 12, and among the items tipped for launch are the iPhone 8 and Apple Watch 3.
For electronics retailers carrying the ever-popular Apple brand, product launches bring a host of interest as consumers race to pick up the newest must-have items.
So let’s take a look at what may be revealed and the new security measures retailers can take to allow consumers access, but guarantee the safety of these valuable Apple products.
What will be revealed?
If past years are anything to go by, the September event will see the latest incarnation of the iPhone officially revealed, with rumours also abounding it will see the launch of a new, improved Apple Watch 3.
This takes us to version 8 of the ever-popular iPhone, which remains among, if not the, most popular smartphone brands. Gartner placed Apple second among all smartphone retailers in the first financial quarter of 2017, while Strategy Analytics placed the iPhone 7 as the number 1 selling smartphone during the same period, shipping 21.5 million units during the period and holding six per cent of the market share.
Meanwhile the same period saw the Apple Watch take out poll position ahead of Fitbit as the number one wearable item, with an estimated 3.5 million watches sold during the quarter.
So what will be revealed next?
The Apple Watch 3
- A micro-LED screen – Which would offer a brighter screen and extra battery life
- A smart wrist band – Apple is believed to have a patent for a fabric-style wristband which has the capability of acting as a display, and may feature additional sensors that focus on health. It could also boast a modular design that allows users to add extra features like additional batteries, biometric sensors and even solar cells.
- FaceTime camera – Apple Watch 2 doesn’t have a camera, but 3 feasibly may.
- Phone-free cellular capability – To allow users to make calls on their watch
- A magnetic strap – That acts as protection when the watch is taken off, but could also be used as a stand.
The Apple iPhone 8
- A redesigned screen – This rumour leads the charge, with predictions the iPhone 8 will feature a radically redesigned screen which might be 5.8 inches and AMOLED in a smaller frame.
- Wireless charging
- No physical home button – Instead the phone might utilise gesture control or a virtual home button.
- Face unlock – Possibly using a 3D scanning face sensor to unlock the device.
- Augmented reality features
- 3D cameras
- Longer battery life
When will items hit the shelves?
Apple items usually hit stores about a week and a half to two weeks after any Apple keynote address, which could feasibly see new iPhones and watches in store around September 22. The Australian release date generally coincides with that of the US.
Apple product launches garner huge interest regardless of whether it’s the latest Apple Watch, iPad or iPhone on offer. For retailers it presents the unique dilemma of providing consumer access to touch, feel and test the latest Apple items, while guaranteeing the security of these high-value electronic products.
And with the latest Global Retail Theft Barometer noting electronics are among the most highly coveted items targeted by thieves due to the high resale value, it’s a very real concern.
State-of-the-art security options available to retailers include:
- Specially designed alarmed showcases for watches
- Tethered or alarmed phone cradles that are static or feature a high-strength cable to allow consumers to pick up and feel iPhones
- Tethered wearable displays that also allow the consumer to engage with the product without staff assistance
- Lockable cabinets and drawers that allow staff to access products for the consumer to experience
The final word
Whatever Apple offers up on September 12, it’s sure to spark renewed enthusiasm and interest in the ever-popular brand. And as the lead up to Christmas commences, Apple Watch and iPhone 8 will be among the hot-ticket items on many a Christmas wish list. The challenge for retailers is displaying these electronics while guarding them against theft.