In 1994, Apple released the QuickTake 100, an early model digital camera retailing for $749. The camera was only compatible with Mac and boasted a 0.3 megapixel resolution and 1 MB of flash memory – decent specs for the mid 1990s. By 1997, however, following poor sales and the return of Steve Jobs to Apple, the QuickTake was discontinued as the company turned is focus back to the development of computers.
So why should Apple consider making digital cameras again, if their first attempt was a flop? There are a few reasons why the consumer electronics giant should take a second stab at the camera market and why consumers would flock to Apple stores, credit card in hand.
Take a look.
We have the technology
I’m not talking about Steve Austin. I’m referring to the iPhone camera. Apple already has capabilities in digital camera technology. In fact, like the Apple Photos Every Day TV ad graciously informed us, the iPhone camera is the most used camera in the world. And critics agree that Apple’s camera is fairly decent in the specs department – 8 megapixels, 1.5 microns pixels, image stabilization, color-matching flash, burst mode, and HD video recording are just a few of the camera features included on the 5S iPhone.
Apple has the capabilities to make high-quality cameras so R&D costs and time are already reduced from the get-go. In addition, consider the economies of scope that would result from also designing cameras, and it’s evident that the barriers to entry into the digital camera space are greatly reduced for Apple.
Synchronizing an iOS camera with iCloud would be a highly attractive feature among iPhone, iPad, and MacBook users. Imagine taking a picture with your DSLR Apple camera and having the photos upload to your iCloud account via Wi-Fi connection. You’d be able send the photo as an SMS message as it would be automatically uploaded to your iPhone’s Photo Stream. Similarly, should you want to edit the photo, it would be also be readily available on your MacBook iPhoto folder, automatically synced without having to insert the SD card into your MacBook or run a cable from your camera to your computer.
Tim Cook has been criticized recently for his lack of ground-breaking announcements at Apple’s 2013 Special Event in October, with some murmurs that Apple may be losing its touch. Perhaps an iCloud camera would change some critics’ minds.
The choice of photographers
Though Windows dominates the desktop and notebook for business use market, Mac is known to be a popular choice among professionals who work in creative fields. It’s not uncommon to find a design agency that’s standardized on Macs. In fact, this very unscientific poll found that 46% of photographers use a Mac versus the 38% who reported using a PC. Many photographers swear by Mac so introducing an Apple camera to the market would likely receive a warm reception from many photography professionals. Add in the appeal of iCloud synchronization and Apple has a shot at a decent market share in the DSLR space.