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All eyes on Apple ahead of today's big product launch

9/09/2014 by


Despite increased competition in the smartphone market, an Apple product announcement still draws plenty of hype, according to a local tech expert.

"People are not covering the launch of the new Samsung Galaxy as hard," said Andrew Peters, founder of Wondermint in Des Moines. "Apple has a really good hold on the media and knows how to work that to its advantage."

That includes leaks, blog posts, rumor-mongering and lavish events like the one scheduled for this morning.

The company will announce a series of new products. Many expect an iPhone 6, a new operating system and the company's first foray into the smartwatch market.

"It helps propel awareness," Peters said of the launch party, "and they are pulling out all the stops for this one."

Despite the hype machine, Apple consistently lags behind Android when it comes to market share of smartphone operating systems. According to data from digital analytics company ComScore, Android accounted for 52 percent of smartphone subscribers age 13 and older. For Apple, that number was 41 percent.

But Apple's 41 percent puts it at the top of the list when it comes to smartphone manufacturers. Samsung, which finishes second, manufactures 28 percent of smartphones.

As has become standard, today's event follows weeks of speculation fueled by a rabid fan base and bloggers.

Adam Lella, a Chicago-based industry analyst, said that is indicative of the general trend in technology releases. "When a new, exciting product comes out, there is a lot of hype around it because people want to see new features," he said. "That's just where we are in the technology industry."

Add in the rumors that Apple has been looking to enter the smartwatch market, and you have an event Lella expects to be one of the company's biggest.

But Christian Renaud, a technology industry veteran, says the most game-changing feature rumored to be part of today's announcement is a so-called "near-field communication chip."

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