American Marketer


Sexy, but unimpressive: Apple fails to meet mobile expectations

June 12, 2013

Krishna Subramanian is chief marketing officer of Velti


By Krishna Subramanian

Apple’s iOS redesign is a much-needed update that will realign the company with modern design. It is a way to make iOS sexy again.

However, Apple is not actually stepping up to deliver any game-changing products or features. It is just putting more makeup on the front end of a product, which will not drive sales.

Apple iOS 7 will not motivate users to buy new iPhones or tablets, unless they need them.

One-click purchasing ability set to drive iTunes Radio success
Mobile advertising has never been a strong suit for Apple and I do not expect this to change with the unveiling of iTunes Radio.

Certainly, with Pandora projected to generate $372.1 million in mobile ad revenue this year, Apple will try to get a piece of the streaming radio advertising dollars.

However, I expect the real value proposition of iTunes Radio will be the one-click purchasing ability directly from iTunes.

Streaming radio services have become an extremely popular way to discover new music and having one-click purchase ability integrated into iTunes – the most widely-used music service in the world – I expect this feature to deliver the most benefit to Apple and users.

Apple’s biggest competitor will no longer be Android
I expect Android to disappear and be replaced by Chrome within one year. It does not make sense for Google to have two operating systems.

The platform Google is building now, the direction and style of applications and Chrome Books suggest that Chrome will be the winner.

More importantly, look at the way Google is structuring its organization.

Sundar Pichai replaced Andy Rubin to manage Android in March and is now managing both Chrome and Android.

As such, we can expect that the user experience will become seamless between multiple screens if Google were to use one operating system – which, again, I believe will be Chrome.

Content is still king
Without new hardware, Apple has not done anything to entice developers to build for the platform. As a result, there will be less content to drive market share.

Wearable technology is a chicken-and-egg situation

There is currently no value for users – wearable technology is all about data collection and the only way to drive adoption is to make that data useful to users by integrating it into the rest of their life.

Until that happens, advertisers and consumers will remain uninterested.

Krishna Subramanian is San Francisco-based chief marketing officer of Velti, a global provider of mobile marketing and advertising services for brands, advertising agencies, wireless carriers and media. Reach him at