Apple iPhone 6 Launch Event: Technical Issues And A Huge Missed Opportunity

September 10th, 2014 by Staff

 

(www.forbes.com) - As far as 2014 technology launches go, few if any were anticipated to be bigger than Tuesday’s launch of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iWatch. You’d think then, that in its usual slick style, Apple would have nailed down every last detail and aimed to broadcast the event to as many people as possible. How wrong we were.

The launch revealed much of what we’d already heard through leaks and rumors, but not content with a mere live blog or real-time updated article, millions flocked to Apple’s own live stream of the event, with a countdown timer located on a launch page. After all, who wouldn’t want to hear the ooh’s and ahh’s of your typical Apple product launch.

However, PC users that had missed the small print at the bottom hit a brick wall as the video started, with a message saying the video was only available to run on devices running Apple’s Safari browser. Those that quickly and reluctantly made the move from their comfortable 20in+ PC monitor to the tight confines of an iPhone 5S screen, apart from barely being able to see Tim Cook, were then met with more problems.

The stream simply couldn’t cope with demand and thousands reported stuttering and blackouts as a result, while even more people were venting their spleens by apparent overlaid Chinese translation audio that meant they couldn’t hear much of what was said anyway.

The language overlay was eventually fixed, but the lack of bandwidth meant many gave up. It’s the first event of this size that I’ve seen recently suffer this badly from streaming issues and this meant that instead of seeing the event live, many including myself are watching recordings of the event the day after instead. The London Olympics, Football World Cup and countless other events have managed seamless streaming – if the BBC can manage to deal with the demand for Usain Bolt’s 100M final in London 2012 – two years ago, then why couldn’t Apple get its act together in 2014?

All it had to do was provide more bandwidth and millions of willing customers who were genuinely interested in the event would have watched eagerly, allowing Apple’s PR machine to do its magic the world over. Instead, all that resulted was a huge missed opportunity.

However, by far worst thing that happened on Tuesday was Apple’s shortsightedness at restricting viewing to Safari users, namely iPhone and iPad owners. The iPhone 6 represents the biggest changes to the iPhone perhaps since its inception and it enters a market that’s a little stagnant in terms of new features. This was a massive opportunity for Apple to tempt Android users away from their Samsung’s and HTC’s with a bigger screen and plenty of other unique features besides.

Yet what does it do? It prevents these very people from viewing the video stream. Not that they’d have been able to due to the streaming issues or even heard what Tim Cook and others had to say over the Chinese audio overlay. The latter issues can be excused as monumental technical foul-ups. However, preventing potential Android defectors from watching a launch of quite possibly the most potent weapons in the fight against Android that Apple has developed in the last five years just strikes me as borderline incompetent. read more..


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