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2023 Kia Telluride first look: Family SUV meets premium flexibility

Kia has been quietly building a reputation for some of the best ways to carry a family around, but the 2023 Kia Telluride is more keen to shout about it. The three-row SUV was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show this week, promising both design and functionality specifically tailored to the US market.

That market loves big SUVs and it needs to transport up to eight people at a time, and the 2023 Telluride checks off both those boxes. In spending some time with the new Kia in Detroit this week, we discovered there’s more to the Telluride than just another midsize SUV.

It’s a bold design, one which Kia itself isn’t afraid to describe as “boxy” in fact. That may not be a word car designers might typically like to have attached to their vehicles, but it’s a sign that the 2023 Telluride is all about practicality first. That’s not to say it isn’t stylish in its own way.

From the front, the big grinning grille and unusually rimmed headlamps leave it more memorable than many SUVs of the class. Kia isn’t stinting on branding, either, with both its own badge and the Telluride name writ out large across the hood. From the side, there are hints of Bentley Bentayga to the rear three-quarters.

The back is as squared-off as the front, the hockey-stick rear lamps brackets that only serve to emphasize the width of the SUV. Again, that’s with good reason: Kia is underscoring that this is a practical vehicle with easy load-space.

Inside, though, practicality hasn’t forced out comfort. The Telluride’s dashboard is wide and simplistic, with pleasant open-pore wood and brushed silver metallic trim. The switchgear feels solid and well-made, while the aesthetic could easily be mistaken for that of a car in the premium segment above. An optional 10.25-inch widescreen display sits atop the dash, while the steering wheel’s crisp buttons do nothing to dilute the luxury feel.

Usable space is, again, the status quo. Easily-dropped seats in the second and third rows, plenty of grab-handles and storage nooks, and a general feel of airiness. Head deep into the options list and you can add things like heating and ventilation for the first and second row seating, as well as a useful broadcast system that pipes the driver’s voice through to those in the back.

Whichever you choose, you get a 3.8-liter V6 GDI engine, which Kia rates for 291 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and with 262 lb-ft of torque at 5,200 rpm. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is plenty of active safety tech. We’re particularly pleased to see that blind spot collision assistance and smart cruise control are standard, regardless of whether you opt for the Telluride LX, EX, S, or SX trims.

Kia has, deservedly, built a reputation over the past few years for family cars with personality. The 2023 Telluride arrives to bring more style and interest than, say, a Sedona to the school pick-up, with a healthy level of standard equipment and a keen focus on what buyers in this category want. The only thing left to find out is just how much it will cost, when the new Telluride arrives in dealerships later this year.

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2023 Kia Sorento Is Essentially A Midsized Telluride

2023 Kia Sorento is essentially a midsized Telluride

Wait, isn’t the new Kia Seltos supposed to be the baby Telluride? True, but the 2023 Kia Sorento is also following the footsteps of the magnificent Telluride, and that’s a good thing. You see, the Kia Telluride has an open secret: It’s one of the best three-row SUVs you can buy today. And based on what we’re seeing, it seems the new Sorento is destined to move the goalpost even chúng tôi previous third-generation Sorento was not a bad-looking car, but the new fourth-gen model is beaming with pride. It has a new angular front bumper and horizontal grille similar to the Seltos. The sharper lines and elongated proportions of the vehicle connotes dynamism and confidence. The Sorento is riding on Kia’s new-generation midsize SUV platform, and it’s also the first vehicle to utilize this new chassis design.

The new Kia Sorento has a visibly larger yet tauter body style than the outgoing model. This means a larger cabin and more cargo space in the back. According to Kia’s press release, the new Sorento is among the most versatile and spacious three-row SUVs to hit the road. It may not be obvious at first glance, but the new Sorento is 10 mm longer, 10 mm taller, and exactly 10 mm wider than the old model. It also has shorter front and rear overhangs for a sportier appearance.

But the biggest news is the wheelbase, which is now 35 mm longer. This enabled Kia to draw the A-pillar 30 mm further back from the front axle to give the new Sorento a longer bonnet. Also, Kia retained the familiar D-pillar design and wheel arch cladding as part of Sorento’s DNA.

At the back, the new Sorento is clearly inspired by the rugged-premium design of the Telluride. You’ll find a pair of snazzy vertical taillamps that elegantly wrap around the bodywork along with dual tailpipes and bold SORENTO lettering across the tailgate. The car also has front and rear skid plates and an integrated spoiler to complete the sporting vibe.

The fourth-gen Sorento is also the first in its lineage to receive an electrified hybrid powertrain. It combines a 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline mill with a 44.2 kW electric motor. Drawing power from a 1.49 kWh battery pack, the combined out is a thrilling 227-horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, all of which are routed to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox.

European-spec Sorentos will also have the option of a 2.2-liter diesel engine with 199-horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the diesel is perfect if you’re highly concerned about fuel economy. However, the crème of the crop is a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-banger lifted from Genesis GV80. It produces 277-horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque and is connected to an eight-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard while all-wheel drive is optional across the range of motors.

Inside, the new Kia Sorento features an upscale and tech-filled cabin. The driver gets to stare at a 12.3-inch digital instrument display while there’s a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity. It also has vertical air vents with chrome trim that extends to the center console below. The cabin is splattered with a varied mix of leather, metal, and satin-embossed surfaces. In short, it’s a nice place to be whether sitting idly in traffic or cruising effortlessly on the highway.

And since the Sorento is still a family-oriented SUV, it remains a practical hauler even in its optional seven-seat configuration. The third row can now adjust 45 mm further to deliver better legroom, making it better suited for adults rather than small children. And with the third-row seats in the upright position, there’s now 32-percent more boot space than before. Choose the five-seat model and you have 910 liters of cargo space to play with.

On the safety front, the 2023 Sorento is equipped with blind-spot assist with collision avoidance, forward collision avoidance assist, and a surround-view monitor depending on the trim model. Other safety features include lane following assist, driver attention warning, smart cruise control, and highway driving assist.

The 2023 Kia Sorento arrives in Europe in the third quarter of 2023. Meanwhile, the U.S. and other markets can expect first deliveries to begin by the end of the year. North American models will be built at Kia’s West Point manufacturing plant in Georgia.

2023 Kia Ev6 First Drive: The New Electric Benchmark

2023 Kia EV6 First Drive: The New Electric Benchmark

The first chance that any car gets to make an impression is with its styling. Long before reviewers start trying to get rear tires to break loose, or bury themselves ten menus deep in touchscreens to surmise a car’s real capabilities, we appraise its sheet metal for a glint of insight into the design briefs or – deeper still – its true purpose. At this, the all-new 2023 Kia EV6 — the company’s first electric-only model — got me excited long before I’d slid into the driver’s seat.

Just look at it. It visually sits somewhere between a crossover and a wagon, but no matter how you appraise it, it’s stunning.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

Kia has built electric cars in the past with the EV Niro and Soul, but this is the company’s first clean-sheet design. It’s part of why the EV6 can afford to be so bold. Based on the E-GMP EV architecture shared with sister company Hyundai – and used on new Hyundai Ioniq 5 – the EV6 is not just Kia’s latest offering to electric car shoppers, it’s a statement of intent to critics, consumers, and competitors alike that they can electrify with the best of the legacy and new-wave automakers, and look good doing it.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

After I’d pulled myself away from the heckeblende tail lights and double-scalloped hood to surmise its spec sheet, it turns out the EV6 makes a solid statement on paper, too. Kia will offer it with three different drivetrains: The “Light” base model trim punches out 167 HP to solely the rear wheels, whereas the higher tier “Wind” and “GT-Line” trims can be optioned with either a single 225 HP motor driving the rear wheels, or a pair of AC synchronous motors — one at the front and one at the rear — putting out a combined 320 HP and a more-than-respectable 446 foot-pounds of torque.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

Base buyers will find themselves with a 58 kWh battery rated at 232 miles of range, while the higher-trim Wind and GT-Line are rated at up to 310 miles on a single charge of their 77.4 kWh power pack. Additionally, Kia’s fast-charging system can add over two hundred miles of range in 18 minutes assuming you can locate a 350 kW charger, which will help reduce travel times drastically when 310 miles alone just won’t quite cut it. A port at the rear offers an alternative way to use power, providing a 110V outlet capable of delivering up to 1,900 watts with an adapter, though you can’t – yet – plug the EV6 directly into a home’s breaker board to overcome outages.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

Pricing is competitive for the electric car market. Kia comes within extremely close range of nearly every competitor it hopes to put a shot across the bow of: the EV6 starts at $40,900 (plus $1,215 destination fee) for the Light trim, climbing to $55,900 for the fully-loaded twin-motor GT-Line AWD. Unlike with the Ioniq 5, Kia will sell the EV6 in all 50 states from the get-go.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

No matter which trim buyers choose, they end up with a roomy vehicle that neatly straddles the line between wagon and crossover. With 50.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, and a Telluride-length wheelbase of 114.2″, it has the size of a crossover, but – with its 60.8″ height, excellent forward visibility thanks to its low hoodline, and car-like seating position – it feels like driving a wagon. Buyers also get neatly integrated, dual 12.3 inch screens that serve as the instrument cluster and the infotainment and navigation displays. CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard, albeit only with wired connectivity. Wireless charging, however, is standard from the base model up.


More impressive than comfort, though, is the suite of safety features on the EV6, which comes standard with Kia’s unobtrusive yet phenomenally helpful Drive Wise assist package. Navigation-assisted cruise that automatically slows down on sharp corners, one of the best lane keep systems on the market, and stop-and-go traffic cruise control are all standard from the base Light trim level.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

Buyers moving up to the GT-Line trim get standard blind-spot cameras that display via the instrument cluster on turn signal activation, as well as 360 degree parking cameras. In its fully-optioned form, it’s almost difficult to drive the EV6 dangerously thanks to how comprehensive and well-integrated the Drive Wise system is.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

But I’ve found that with a lot of the EV market’s current offerings it is nearly impossible to glean how a car will actually behave from the numbers on the page, or the features in the cabin. ICE cars all have some familiar traits I’ve learned — a turbocharger’s tsunami of torque when it spools, a V8’s earthmoving grunt at low RPM — but this early into the days of electrification it’s hard to surmise just how any given car will feel simply by glancing at some numbers. To help me learn just what the EV6 is made of, Kia tossed me the fobs to a pair of GT-Lines and set me loose in wine country.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

And in the AWD, fully-loaded GT Line with Sport mode engaged, acceleration is downright stunning in true EV party-trick form, with .75 maximum G’s upon launch. What’s more impressive, though, is how well-composed the EV6 stays after it pulls off the line. As I continued to push the EV6 well past where a typical crossover should stay composed, it actually felt enjoyable to drive.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

There’s hardly any body roll to speak of, and the AWD does an excellent job scrambling for maximum grip, allocating power to the corners that need it most without hesitation. The electronic power steering is sharp and, combined with the extremely strong regenerative braking, helps move the 4,600 pound wagon around like it weighs a fraction as much.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

Switching back to “Normal” or “Eco” modes, though, with their less-harsh regenerative braking mode engaged, makes it a vastly more sedate, comfortable crossover. In Eco, the acceleration becomes downright leisurely and efficient, thanks to a novel electric front motor clutch that allows the drive unit on the front axle to disengage when not needed. Additionally, despite the lack of body roll and general composure I found at the limit earlier in my drive, the suspension remains one of the most comfortable I’ve found at this price point when meandering through the hills of Northern California on the 101.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

Road and tire noise is minimal, and that comfortable, car-like seating position makes eating miles a cinch. With the driver-assist package engaged, it’s a pleasure cruise, especially ensconced in the vegan artificial leather the GT-Line is equipped with.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

Unfortunately, despite my joy at finding the EV6 had both poise and comfort in motion, I had a few gripes with the ergonomics of the interior. The 12.3″ main screen is a touch-activated unit, and while it’s integrated beautifully in the dash, it is simply too far from the driver to be easily used while driving. The center console holds the capacitive-touch panel that activates seat and steering climate controls, and while it’s easier to reach, it’s also incredibly easy to bump accidentally with the palm of your hand while trying to adjust the climate control panel directly above it.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

The Meridian sound system that the GT-Line is equipped with trails behind many other branded audio systems on the market, with a disappointing top end and minimal bass. And at a lanky 6’2″, I found my head a bit uncomfortably close to the roofline, which made the EV6 feel a lot less roomy than I’d expect for a car of this size.

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

Victoria Scott / SlashGear

As a result, the EV6 is an easily recommended must-test for a prospective EV shopper. It seamlessly combines the best attributes of a crossover and a wagon in one of the most attractive cars of the decade thus far, and does so at a price point that is extremely competitive. For Kia, it seems, the first time putting electric first is the charm.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro First Impressions: More Than What Meets The Eye

We’re almost at the end of 2023, and the most important phones of the year have already been launched. Honestly, not a lot of phones managed to piqué my interest this year, so I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular to drop out of the blue. But that’s exactly when Huawei announced it’s bringing the Mate 20 Pro to India. 

Now that the Mate 20 Pro has been launched in India for Rs 69,990, here are my first impressions of the phone. In short, there’s a lot more to it than what meets the eye when you first see the Mate 20 Pro. And here’s why:

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Specs

DCI-P3 HDR support

SoCKirin 980 SoC (4 x Cortex-A76 at 2.6 GHz + 4 x Cortex-A55 at 1.8 GHz)

GPU Mali-G76 GPU


Storage128 GB + Nano Memory Card support

Primary CameraTriple Rear Cameras (40MP f/1.8+ 20MP f/2.2 + 8MP f/2.4)

Rear Camera24MP Front Camera

Battery4,200 mAh with 40W Huawei SuperCharge support

ConnectivityUSB Type-C, NFC, No headphone jack

Design & Build

Before I give you my two cents on the design and build quality of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, let me get this straight – it is one of the most beautiful smartphones ever! Yes, I’ve used the phone long enough to draw that conclusion. Every time I pick up the device, I am impressed all over again, which is something that I can’t say for any other phone that have launched this year.

That, however, doesn’t change the fact that it feels like a Samsung flagship phone in hand. The Mate 20 Pro has a glass-sandwich design with aluminum sides. And guess what? The glass, both on the front and the back, is curved. So, it almost feels like you’re holding a Galaxy S9+. Heck, it even looks like one. In fact, I’ve had a few people asking me if it was the Galaxy S9+ with a notch? But I’d like point out that the Mate 20 Pro feels both, slimmer and lighter, although that’s not necessarily the case when you look at the specs sheet.

Every time I pick up the Mate 20 Pro, I am impressed all over again!

The Mate 20 Pro has a 6.39-inch FullView display, which also has an in-display fingerprint scanner. Just like the P20 Pro that launched earlier this year, the Mate 20 Pro has a notch. It is, in fact, wider this time around, but I am not complaining as it houses dedicated Facial Recognition hardware for a secure operation, complete with a Dot Projector, Flood Illuminator, and all that good stuff.

Both the in-display fingerprint scanner and the facial recognition hardware seem to work fine, but I’ll definitely be testing in some challenging situations for the full review.

The Mate 20 Pro has IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, and it supports fast-wireless charging. Heck, you can even use the Mate 20 Pro to charge any Qi-compatible devices, thanks to the gimmicky yet super impressive reverse wireless charging.

Lastly, I’d like to talk about the speaker situation on this phone because, as you can see, there are no visible speaker grills. Well, that’s because the sound comes out of the USB Type-C port and the earpiece at the top.


The protective Gorilla Glass on top of the display is very reflective, and the panel doesn’t get as bright as I’d like, so I did have some trouble while using it in direct sunlight. It’s an OLED panel, so it shows vibrant colors and deep blacks, which is exactly how I like displays.


What often separates the top-tier phones from the rest are the cameras. Well, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro has three of them. The setup includes a 40MP Wide Angle 27mm, f/1.8 shooter, a 20MP Ultra Wide Angle 16mm, f/2.2 lens, and an 8MP 80mm 3x Telephoto f/2.4 lens with OIS. On the front, there’s a 24MP f/2.0 camera.

Having used the P20 Pro, I had a lot of expectations from the cameras of the Mate 20 Pro. I have a lot to say about the cameras, but I’ll reserve my judgment for the full review with a detailed round up. For now though, let’s just say that the photos are aesthetically pleasing and look good on the phone’s screen. Needless to say, they’ll suffice your Instagram needs. Here, check out some samples yourself:

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Camera Samples: Daylight Huawei Mate 20 Pro Camera Samples: Night Mode Huawei Mate 20 Pro Camera Samples: Aperture Mode Hardware & Software

The Mate 20 Pro is one of the first phones with the 7nm Kirin 980 SoC. Much like Apple’s new A12 Bionic chip, Huawei has improved both the CPU/ GPU and AI performance. I haven’t had the chance to push the chipset to its limit yet, both I can say that it is as fast as any other recent Android flagship out there.

Thanks to the GPU Turbo technology, I had a pleasant experience during my casual gaming experience playing some titles like PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9, etc. It packs 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, so you can load it with a ton of apps and games, and not worry about any performance issues.

The Mate 20 Pro also has an enormous battery. Inside the lithe body, there’s a 4,200 mAh battery that’s running the show. Thanks to SuperCharge 2.0, the battery charges wickedly fast. It’s almost funny when I think about the fact that Huawei ships a superfast charger inside the box, whereas Apple wants to extort more money for a charger that’s not even in the same ballpark as this fast-charging technology.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Price and Availability

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro will go on sale in India starting December 3. It carries a starting price of Rs. 69,990, and it will be exclusively available on Amazon India.

Now, that’s a hefty price tag for a smartphone that’s trying to compete with big boys in a highly saturated market. So, it it worth the asking price? Well, I’ll be putting the Mate 20 Pro through its paces in the next few days, and I think I’ll be able to answer that question for you in my full review.

A Look At Tim Cook’s First Two Years As Apple’s Ceo

Two years ago today, to the date, Tim Cook officially took over the reigns as Apple’s CEO. Cook had long been handling the position’s day-to-day duties, and had played interim CEO on a few occasions, but on August 24, 2011, Steve stepped down and Tim stepped up.

One can only imagine what it’s like to try and take over a chief executive role for a company as big as Apple, following up someone like Steve Jobs. But Tim Cook has thus far managed to do it. Here are some of the more notable moments from his two-year tenure…

Foxconn problems

Less than 6 months after taking office, Tim Cook was confronted with a major PR problem. The New York times published a scathing article on Foxconn, Apple’s largest manufacturing partner, for its poor employee working and living conditions. While it’s true, the company had long been under scrutiny for its labor problems, this report suggested that Apple was aware of the infractions, and intentionally not doing anything about them.

Cook reacted quickly, sending out letters to employees and the press, ensuring them that “Apple cares about every worker in its worldwide supply chain,” and is doing everything in its power to improve their working conditions. As a result, Apple opened up its supply chain to inspection by the Fair Labor Association, and recent reports say Foxconn has shown signs of improvement.

iOS 6 Maps app

In late 2012, Apple made the decision to drop Google’s Maps app in iOS 6 and replace it with its own mapping software. But it quickly found out how difficult the task was, and Tim Cook found himself in another PR fiasco. Consumers everywhere complained of missing data points, location inaccuracies and poor turn-by-turn directions. Some government agencies even started issuing warnings about the app.

Once again, Cook reacted quickly and penned a well thought-out letter to the public, this time apologizing for Apple Maps falling short of expectations. He admitted that his team had failed to deliver “the best experience possible” to customers, and promised to put the weight of the company behind making it right. And for what it’s worth, Maps is significantly better than it was.

Apple stock crosses $700 per share

Despite the Maps debacle, Apple went on to sell its iPhone 5 in record numbers. Pre-orders for the handset crossed 2 million in the first 24 hours, and total sales topped 5 million during its opening weekend. This led to Apple’s stock crossing the $700 per share mark for the first time in the company’s history.

Admittedly, at $501 and some change, AAPL has since fallen quite a bit from its peak. But at the time, crossing that $700 mark signified that Wall Street had faith in the one-year veteran and his Cupertino gang to continue their run without Steve Jobs at the helm. And without question, I think that this was a major high point for Cook.

Executive Shakeup

On October 29 of last year, Apple issued a surprising press release announcing that SVP of iOS software, Scott Forstall, would be leaving the company as part of a major executive shakeup. Forstall had been leading iOS development since the platform’s inception, and was said to be a Jobs favorite. So needless to say, this was one of Cook’s biggest moves at the time as CEO.

A recent Reuters profile cites sources saying that the shakeup was a direct result of the Maps fiasco, and Cook moved quickly and decisively. He fired Forstall, and handed off Maps to Eddy Cue, design to Jony Ive, and the iOS team to Craig Federighi. We don’t yet know how effective the reorganization has been, or will be, but we should get a better idea this fall.

iPad mini launch

Even though Apple has been making tablets since 2010, it didn’t start offering a 7.9-inch version until late last year. In November of 2012 Apple launched the iPad mini, and by all counts it’s been a resounding success. Even without a Retina display, most analysts believe it’s outselling the larger iPad by a significant margin.

While Tim Cook might not be the visionary that Steve Jobs was, he still has to sign off on new products. And his thumbs up or thumbs down can have a huge impact on not only Apple’s profits, but its brand image and investor relations as well. Here, he made the right call in green-lighting the iPad mini, making his first new product launch as CEO a success.

So as you can see, Cook has overseen some major issues, changes and product launches (and many more we didn’t list) at Apple in the last two years, and has managed to keep the ship steady. Sure, APPL has slid 200 points from its peak, but it’s also moving upward right now, and has gained more than 100 points in the last two months.

But the next two years will really show Cook’s abilities. Apple has a big fall of product refreshes coming up, and there is said to be a number of all-new products—iTV, iWatch, etc.—in the pipeline. And he has to preside over all of this with investors and, from what we’ve been hearing, Apple’s board breathing down his neck, calling for more “innovation.” It’ll be interesting to see how he responds to the added pressure. So far, I think he’s done a great job.

What do you think?

Do Apple Products Warrant Their Premium Price In 2023?

I was recently in Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta, and I visited the Microsoft store, the Apple store, and a pop-up Amazon shop. As I wandered through all three of them, I began to ponder the state of each company when I look ahead to the next generation of consumer technology. As I walked through each of them, this thought kept popping into my head: do Apple products warrant their premium price? Are Apple products a premium experience, or is it all about the Apple brand?

Do Apple Products Warrant Their Premium Price?

When I walked through the Apple store, I saw roughly the same core products they had a few years ago. The Mac is a stagnant platform. The iPad is still running a blown up phone OS. Under Tim Cook, Apple has certainly been innovative in a lot of ways, and most of that is with the processors for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. The iPhone design is amazing, but I want to be thinking what’s past iPhone. The store is massive, well staffed, and there were tons of customers everywhere.

All of its products are on display, but the walls are covered with accessories for its products. The accessory ecosystem around Apple’s hardware products is certainly something Apple has grown in the last few years. With iPhone and iPad cases and Apple Watch bands carrying a premium price, Apple’s margins on its products (when added with its hardware margins) is just outstanding.

When I browsed through the Microsoft store, I saw their line of surface laptops. I’m not going to pretend that I am considering buying one of them, because I don’t enjoy using Windows at all. I can appreciate their willingness to take chances with a form factor, though. While it wasn’t as busy as the Apple store, there were still plenty of customers in there. When I look at the Surface laptops (especially the ones with detachable keyboards), I do get really envious of being able to carry one device for tablet and laptop computing.

When I browsed the Amazon pop-up shop, I saw a company who is committed to building out its Alexa and home connected products. I saw a company who isn’t as concerned with growing its device average selling price for every single product, but rather a company who wants to grow its average devices per user metric more than anything.

In playing with their tablets, they are nowhere near as polished as the iPad, but they aren’t bad for the price. If you simply want something for content consumption, it’s hard to ignore them.

I am as bullish on Amazon going forward as I am any consumer technology company. Their smart home ecosystem is just outstanding. The Echo products keep getting better (while the cost remains low). They’ve found a great balance between building their own products (Amazon Camera and Ring Doorbell) and making it easy for third parties to add Alexa support.

When I look at Amazon, I see well-made products for a lot less money. Do Apple products warrant their premium price? When I first became an Apple customer, they were more expensive, but they offered products that were head and shoulders better than their competitors. Is that still the case?

The Next Ten Years

In the days since I walked around these stores, I’ve been thinking through what the next ten years of consumer technology might look like. I’ve felt like there has been this general unrest with some of Apple’s longtime users for a while. We all love our iPhones (so much that Apple had to build tools to help us not use them so much), but the Mac hardware line is stagnant. I’m discussing buying 50+ laptops with Apple right now, and I don’t trust the MacBook keyboard, and the MacBook Air is long in the tooth.

The iPad hardware is amazing, but the software still lacks for a lot of use cases. The HomePod sounds great, but it’s overpriced for what it can do compared to alternatives. The Apple TV is great, but it runs essentially the same apps as devices (Fire TV) that are 1/3rd the cost. Siri has grown at a snail’s pace compared to Alexa and Google Assistant.

Apple used to be about premium experiences compared to the competitors, but I do not see “premium” on any products except iPhone. It seems like now they are counting on the Apple brand to sell the products versus a best in class experience. On the flip side, I feel like there are so many categories they could make a meaningful impact in (home networking, home automation products, and expanded cloud services) that it perplexes me why they don’t.

Tim’s Gambit

The thing I like the least about Tim Cook’s Apple is they are taking gambles on raising pricing and building accessories for iPhones where Microsoft is re-thinking the laptop, and Amazon is trying to build a world where the OS lives in the cloud. We’ve been reduced to a world of apps and digital assistants. Android has most of the core apps you’d need to switch. Alexa can do a lot more than Siri. Amazon Fire TV has very similar apps to Apple TV.

While its competitors are getting a lot better at hardware and software, Apple seems to be focused on raising ASP on its products. How long can that last? I am going to make a prediction that might sound crazy, but I bet Jeff Bezos has a team working on a next Amazon Fire Phone. The first one was terrible, but Amazon has made a lot of great products since then.

What happens if Amazon comes out with a $399 Fire Phone that’s tied heavily into Alexa and it’s connected home products. What if it includes all of the major apps you’d want. Apple’s iPhones would start to look a lot more expensive in comparison. Apple in 2023 seems focused on the average selling price of its products while also growing accessories revenue.

Back in 2012, Jony Ive said this:

“We are really pleased with our revenues, but our goal isn’t to make money. It sounds a little flippant, but it’s the truth. Our goal and what makes us excited is to make great products. If we are successful people will like them, and if we are operationally competent, we will make money.”

Does this sound like Apple in 2023? It doesn’t seem like it to me. I’m still carrying an iPhone X, using my Apple TVs daily, and I am writing this on a MacBook Pro, but I am not sure I still have the affection for the products I once did.

Do Apple products warrant their premium price in 2023? I think so, but I am not so sure when looking ahead to the next few years. All of its competitors seem to be providing really good experiences for less money.

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