Apple’s inclusion of 5G in its new iPhone range will spur on the adoption of a technology which Verizon Media ANZ’s managing director Paul Sigaloff (pictured below) says will change the game for every consumer and business….
When Apple adopts a technology, it generally starts the process of subtly changing our world. Overnight the world’s first US$2 trillion company announced its new iPhone 12 models will include 5G technology.
With it, they’ve heralded the start of a new industrial revolution and create new technologies and even industries.
I know that’s a big claim, but the potential advances of 5G are enormous. Basically, it’s the promise of almost instant access – and ironically for Apple herald capability to enter the post-smartphone era.
Post-smartphone is not just about all of us being connected, faster. It’s also about everything around us being connected. Now, with this new opportunity to harness the power of 5G, content creators have limitless options to delight and inspire consumers through what they create.
Apple’s role in this
5G has been talked about for quite a while and most manufacturers have a smartphone on the market enabled with it. Telcos have been slowly rolling out the technology. So why is this such a big deal?
The answer comes in Apple’s ability to popularise existing technology and make it mainstream. History shows Apple is the ultimate fast follower – they didn’t create touch screens or even the smartphone category, but the iPhone was the product that put it firmly in people’s imaginations.
It’s one of the best marketing organisations on the planet, so its message gets heard, and it has the ability to really make these innovations sing in its products.
Add to the fact that Apple accounts for more than 50 per cent of the Aussie mobile operating systems market and they have the mass to get things adopted quickly.
It’s well known 5G is going to be a gamechanger for speed – downloading a full HD movie will only take 4 seconds. A recent Verizon Media consumers study showed 78 per cent of people are most looking forward to these enhanced speeds.
Just like 4G before it, the arrival of 5G in the Australian market means both volume and quality of content consumed will increase because it will become easier. But it will also change the way we consume reality – immersive experiences like augmented reality (AR), extended reality (XR) and virtual reality (VR) will become more mainstream.
The enhanced speed will be transformational for AR in particular. We’ve already had phenomena like Pokemon Go, while many brands have been starting to use it to showcase products for consumers when COVID lockdowns made getting to stores to see things impossible.
Take away the lag and those little glitches caused by suboptimal connectivity and consumers are going to start expecting this kind of ability on all their digital experiences. Brands need to start the process now or risk getting left behind.
Investing in 5G enabled experiences like extended reality (XR), live streaming video and gaming puts you on the path to be ready for where many consumers are already, and where the majority will be very soon.
The future is already being trialled
Many companies have experienced a decade of digital transformation in a few months through the events of 2020, and consumers are now more used to interacting with brands on their devices at their convenience.
But it will also transform the way we enjoy live experiences as well. In fact, it already is.
Earlier this year, Verizon Media equipped fans at the stadium in Miami with 5G phones and enabled them to watch the game in 5G and created augmented reality overlays so they were able to see live stats, replays and other content all in-stadium.
While this is a great example of how 5G can enhance consumer experience in the sports and entertainment environment, it also has a really interesting application for public spaces. Fans at the stadium were able to locate food outlets and facilities via the AR overlaps, similar to an in-stadium GPS.
By just connecting a 5G offer with people who were already using their smartphones, we could secure more engagement through the crowd and apply a seamless digital experience to the physical game.
With sport and the arts facing the need to up the value offer to draw the crowds back into venues in the future these kinds of advances will be key in creating this.
Unlimited potential, limited time
The arrival of 5G also means that video, already exploding in popularity over the past years, will become even more commonplace across our devices. This will have an impact on how marketers look at engaging customers.
Verizon Media’s Connecting Physical and Digital Worlds study showed the majority of advertisers believe 5G will lead to significant improvements across areas like content production (88 per cent), more immersive ad formats (87 per cent), better targeting with more data (85 per cent), and enhanced video streaming experiences (85 per cent).
Marketers will now have a better chance than ever to make meaningful connections with their audience, but need to do so with this new wireless technology front of mind. In a post-pandemic consumer landscape people’s connection with technology has become more fundamental.
With Apple’s new 5G offering, there is so much to be excited about. 4G massively changed the way in which we connected with our devices and each other, but the new Apple 5G with its market lead of truly unlimited data capacity will define this new generation of smartphone users.
All of this is just what we can predict, the really exciting thing with any new technology is the chance to write the future and create new categories and even new industries.
The future is just arriving, now is the time to shape what it looks like for your business.
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