What the iPhone 13 and iPad mini mean for the enterprise

From Apple 77-minute iPhone 13 event It wasn’t the longest launch of its kind in recent memory – the iPhone 7 reveal took 119 minutes. But company executives still had a lot to do Tuesday. This is what should matter most to business users.

We all want the same things

To be fair, the divide between company and consumer technology expectations continues to erode: Workers want to use the same tools at work as they do at home, and these days most employers feel the same way. Software and hardware are expected to put users first and provide well-thought-out user interfaces that reduce, rather than increase, user friction.

The days when business solutions could get away with being unwieldy or unwieldy are fast disappearing in the rearview mirror. And that means that, to some extent, even the consumer-centric features Apple highlighted have something to do with enterprise IT. Some elements stood out.

Those carrier promotions

Take operator promotions, for example. I noticed them here, but these are emerging globally in a promising deal that should allow telcos to make more of their 5G infrastructure investments, while giving the 95% of existing iPhone users that have yet to have a 5G device a very good reason to upgrade. .

Jefferies Analyst Kyle McNealy Notes:

“One of the most important elements of the iPhone 13 launch from our perspective is carrier promotions (and actual subsidies) that are being achieved even more than last year’s strong promotions.” He noted that “promotions are more aggressive than last year: either they have a higher dollar value or they do not require a new net line.”

That’s serendipitous, of course, given analyst Morgan Stanley’s analysis. belief that 5G is and continues to be what consumers wanted the most from iPhone, followed by improved cameras and longer battery life. Apple fulfilled all three wishes.

What this meansSimply put, it means that there will be a broader market for 5G services. It also means that companies can continue to develop digital transformation plans around the use of the standard. Higher trade-in values ​​might even tempt recently upgraded mobile devices.

No satellite yet

While previous claims that iPhones would support satellite access turned out to be unfounded, as the n53 band used for these is not. listed as supported On Apple’s site, businesses get Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) support on both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12, and a much-improved wireless connection on the iPad mini, which is arguably the business star of the game. Apple program.

You need an 802.11ax router to take advantage of what Wi-Fi 6 offers, but if you don’t have access to one, the device only uses Wi-Fi that is available locally.

What this means: The combination of 5G and faster Wi-Fi will support a variety of mobile equipment in numerous deployments.

Surprise: Dual eSIM support

The new iPhones are the first to support dual é SIM. The iPhone 12 had dual SIM support and worked with both an eSIM and a physical nano-SIM. The iPhone 13 still has the physical slot, but it can work with two eSIMs to connect without a card.

Apple says: “Carrier-connected iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models will arrive eSIM-ready and can connect to your cellular voice and data service without a physical SIM card. You will need a Wi-Fi connection for setup. “You can also activate an eSIM on an unconnected device or add an additional line to one that is connected.

What this means: Now it’s very easy to provide remote employees with both personal and work-related numbers. It’s also a boon for business travelers and anyone who needs to switch networks quickly.

Cameras are not just a consumer item

Apple didn’t spend time discussing augmented reality (AR) during the event. That doesn’t mean you’re not interested: Apple CEO Tim Cook pointed out the importance of AR in a later interview. The company is still focused on that, but it had nothing to announce.


At the same time, many of the new features of its cameras, notably cinematic mode, are powered by a combination of sensors, software, and machine learning technologies running on the new A15 Bionic chip. Cook called this “like having a Hollywood rig in your pocket.”

These high-quality cameras will become tools for creative and marketing departments, and companies will use them for asset and social media design, among other things.

What’s also important is that iOS 15, due out on Monday, features a range of Additional machine vision APIs, some of which may influence aspects of your business. IDG’s recent Insight study showed that 10% of companies are using computer vision today, 37% intend to implement it, and 44% are investigating its future use. Business & Decision, for example, has developed a quality control system for Covid-19 vaccines based on machine vision.

While Apple may focus on how Hollywood uses its combination of sensors, software, and artificial intelligence, the reality in most companies is that computer vision is a key area for process optimization and business change.

What this means: Apple now offers a stable and powerful solution accompanied by SDKs that can form building blocks for the creative use of computer vision in your business. The fact that Apple hasn’t talked much about augmented reality almost certainly implies that it has a lot more to say, probably in the spring of 2022.

iPad mini, Apple’s stalking horse

The new iPad mini is small, but big. It houses the same processor used in the iPhone 13 (which bodes well for Apple’s Mac and iPad event in October), is available with 5G and is compatible with Apple Pencil 2, and provides 8.3 inches of screen on it. space than before. It’s a powerful tool that I think will be the choice of many who need a device that they can take with them everywhere. It is also a tool that most companies will find use cases for.

It seems clear that Apple believes it too.

Introducing the device, Apple showed images of the iPad mini in real work situations. And speaking after the launch Cook talked about customers using it in hospitals, classrooms and for mobile jobs across multiple industries. And 5G / cellular means you can use it to work in a field.

Greg Joswiak, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, said:

“With its ultra-portable design and a wide range of uses, from everyday tasks to creative and business applications, there is nothing like the iPad mini. The new iPad mini is a huge leap forward that can be held in the palm of your hand. “

What this means: The iPad mini seems like a perfect solution for a wide variety of uses and pits the device squarely with the devices currently used by field service, engineering or storage teams.

And the processor?

There was much consternation when Apple declined to give details of comparative speed for its A15 chips. Yes, it said how much faster it was compared to “top competitors”, but it did not unleash a large amount of data to show an improvement compared to its previous chips.

Naturally, this led conspiracy theorists to posit that Apple’s processor design teams have somehow reached the limit of what they can achieve. This does not ring true.

What seems more likely is that the 5-nanometer (nm) A15 processor is an evolution of the 5-nm A14 chip as well. In this iteration, Apple has focused its teams on graphics performance and battery life, rather than performance, because that’s what consumers wanted to see improved. Why focus on performance when you already offer the fastest mass market mobile chip on the planet?

The next big leap in performance will come with the move to 3nm process manufacturing, which was originally expected in 2022, but may now come later. The 1 TB maximum storage can also be a game changer for some users.

What this means: Better battery life, jaw-dropping graphics (and computer vision AI), and it still runs the fastest processor on the block. Most companies need to spend more time developing unique advantages, rather than competing on speeds and advances, I guess. But I do enjoy speed comparisons.

Battery duration

We all want a phone that we can continue to use. Apple’s decision to increase battery life is important to everyone, and one of the biggest criticisms that its devices have historically faced. What you get:

  • iPhone 13 – Up to 2.5 hours longer battery life than iPhone 12.
  • iPhone 13 mini: 1.5 hours longer than the previous mini.
  • iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max: 2.5 hours longer than their predecessors.

What this means: CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood nailed it: “It seems that Apple has come a long way in battery life, something that is very important for consumers who spend more and more time glued to their phones. For people upgrading from much older iPhones, the improvement will be dramatic. “

Covid-19 is not over

A depressing reality that also emerged after the event is the reality of Covid-19 and its impact on international supply chains. Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty noted that Covid-related travel restrictions slowed Apple’s ability to respond to a number of last-minute production challenges that arose when building the new Apple Watch Series 7.

“The lack of immediate availability or a specific shipping date for the Series 7 seems to confirm a slower production ramp, but it is not clear exactly how this will affect shipping time,” he said.

What this means: It remains vital to monitor and protect supply chains and their human infrastructure heading into the fall. While vaccines can help in some places, they are not yet universally available, suggesting that most companies should expect greater impacts.

The sum of the parts is great

Apple has 900 million iPhone users who have yet to buy a 5G smartphone. Carrier offerings, long battery life, and advanced photography features (among other things) will change that. As Evercore’s Amit Daryanani said:

“The incremental features will make this an attractive product for iPhone 900M + users who did not purchase the iPhone 12, ensuring that the iPhone cycle remains at CY22.”

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Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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