Which company do you think is set to benefit from the iPhone 11? Apple, probably followed by a bunch of Apple’s suppliers and contract manufacturers, right? CNBC’s Jim Cramer has another suggestion: Instagram.
The Mad Money host made the point in an interview Wednesday. “When you see those terrific camera options for the new iPhone, you know what that’s for? Getting the best possible photos for Instagram,” he said.
His comments are based on the spectacular new camera upgrades for Apple’s trio of new iPhones. Most notable of these is the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, which add a third lens for ultra-wide-angle shots.
“I’m not really qualified to judge the quality of the triple camera in the new phone, but it looks incredible,” Cramer added.
Instagram and unintended consequences
Cramer’s point underlines an interesting thing about tech, circa 2019. It used to be that Apple’s ecosystem stood alone. It was a type of interoperability that not only meant devices worked well together, but that they actually improved the functioning of your existing devices. Sales of one product drove those of another. Today, an Apple user with a MacBook, Apple Watch, iCloud Drive account, Apple Music account etc. will get more value from each.
But as tech companies have taken over more and more domains, there can be some intriguing consequences. Do I think the better cameras of the iPhone 11 are a game-changer for Instagram? No. But I do think there’s a valid point to be made about how Apple’s eagerness to latch onto the popularity of social media drives engagement with social media. (See also Quick Take and “Slofies”.)
That’s especially interesting when you consider the oftentimes contentious relationship between Apple and Insta parent company Facebook. In the battle for eyeballs and our time, companies have to consider these cross-relationships more than ever.
For me, the biggest point this comes back to is Apple’s failure to launch a social network. It’s tried several times in its existence and never managed it. If it did, this latest upgrade would simply feed back into the Apple ecosystem. And not potentially power up rivals in the process.