The Internet of Things and iOS11

| Dirk Kolassa

Apple’s inclusion of Core NFC in iOS11 means millions of consumers can now interact with things through their phones. Here’s why that matters for brands that sell physical products.

On September 19th Apple released iOS11. And with its release, they’re making Core NFC available to users of iPhone 7 or higher.

It certainly wasn’t the biggest thing they announced at their recent developer conference. But there’s a massive opportunity buried in it.

Because it means all those millions of users can now use NFC technology to unlock exciting new experiences.

And because it gives brands that sell physical products a way to make the most of a super valuable segment.

How brands that sell physical products can use NFC

Apple is no stranger to NFC. In fact, it’s been the basis for Apple Pay. But until now iOS hasn’t supported other uses.

From September 19th, that’s changed. And it means iPhone users can’t just buy things from their phone. They can interact with things through their phones.

That’s because NFC technology is being used to turn physical products into what we call ‘living products’. These are physical products with a NFC tag embedded in them. So you can tap on one with your smartphone, and generate a unique, personalized digital experience.

This is the future for brands that sell physical products.

Because now ski jackets can deliver localised slope information. Automotive parts can give installation instructions at point-of-use. Refillable consumables can prompt users to reorder them at one tap of a phone.

Your products become platforms for a more relevant, exciting and innovative customer experience. They amplify the value you already deliver.

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Why Apple users are a particularly valuable segment

With Apple’s announcement, the universe of people who can use NFC tags is bigger than ever. That’s important.

But the real opportunity for brands is that Apple users are precisely the people who most appreciate valuable products.

The new iPhone 8 will retail from $699, up to $849 for a bigger screen and more storage. The iPhone X starts at $999 for 64GB, or $1149.00 for 256GB. Apple users aren’t afraid to spend on quality.

If you just want a phone, you buy a $35 smartphone. If you value a premium experience, you likely buy Apple.

That attitude is why Apple users are bigger spenders than other mobile users. Apple users spend double what Android users do on mobile games, for example, proving their willingness to pay for premium.

And they buy more things from their phone than Android users do. Fluent’s 2016 Devices and Demographics report found that 46.7% of surveyed Americans made mobile purchases from an iPhone, compared to only 38.3% on Android.

That matters because US mobile retail revenues are expected to hit $335 billion by 2020, up from $41 billion in 2013. Apple users don’t just spend more – they spend more on a channel every forward-looking retailer cares about.

So here’s the opportunity – Apple is the ultimate brand, and Apple users ultimate brand buyers. NFC lets you harness that market for your own physical products.

Apple’s inclusion of Core NFC in iOS11 means millions of consumers who’re proven to value premium and innovative experiences can now read NFC tags. By 2018, once iOS11 has gained momentum, you’re looking hundreds of millions consumers.

Brands that capitalise on that by embedding NFC into their products can engage this high-value segment in a whole new way. Most important, they can turn their products into platforms that drive sales and boost customer engagement. They can create true competitive differentiation.

Watch product digitization in action in this video, as premium skiwear brand Spyder transform their jackets into exciting customer experience platforms.

If you want to hear more, we should talk.

 

Pictures copyright © Apple Inc.

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