On Wednesday, the tech world woke up with the announcement that AT & T would be the exclusive mobile operator for the upcoming Magic Leap One as well as an investor in Magic Leap.
The deal goes back to the launch of Apple's iPhone, the device that defines a whole product category. For a new product in an emerging category, Magic Leap puts essentially all its eggs in one basket.
Is that a good move? Let's take a closer look:
Is AT & T's Magic Leap exclusivity a good idea?
Apple has adjusted to the introduction of the iPhone with AT & T. However, other new product listings, such as the Amazon Fire Phone, have not worked so well.
Pro: Magic Leap One (ML1
Con: The iPhone recorded flat revenue growth during AT & T's exclusivity window. Only when other carriers sold the iPhone in the US, starting with Verizon in 2011, did the sales curve really start to grow. The exclusivity also led to Android-powered smartphones as carriers sought alternatives; This last deal can also affect the carriers who also support the competition from Magic Leap.
Pro: By selling through AT & T, Magic Leap creates a constant connectivity for ML1. Although this is unconfirmed, the story tells us that consumers may need to purchase a data plan along with the device, which will ensure that the device is not banned at home or in the office. According to Root Metrics, AT & T's network is a "strong second" behind Verizon, so even ML1 users have consistent connectivity.
Con: The deal also links ML1 to the service experience of AT & T. According to J.D. Power ranks AT & T behind the other full-service carriers, Verizon and T-Mobile, in terms of social media customer care. In terms of customer loyalty attributes, AT & T is not the leader in any category.
What does the AT & T deal mean for the content of Magic Leap One?
The AT & T, which received exclusive rights to the first iPhone, is a completely different company in 2018. The company now acts as ISP, Cable Provider and, with the approval of the Time Warner Fusion, content owner. Considering that Magic Leap prioritizes the creation of content prior to the introduction of ML1 value on this is of particular importance.
Pro: With the extensive Time Warner content library, Magic Leap offers a variety of possible content opportunities for immersive content. AT & T is an NBA broadcast partner through Time-Warner, and we already know that an NBA app will be available for ML1. In addition, AT & T's content services, including U-Verse, DirectTV and HBO, are tailored specifically to the App Screens. Magic Leap could provide a wealth of TV shows, movies and sporting events to users to see right out of the box. Will Magic Leap deliver the Dragons from Game of Thrones (now an AT & T feature) in Augmented Reality? I hope so too.
Con: The deal also has a potential deterrent effect on competing content that makes it to the device. Does the integration of ML1 with AT & T's network in eliminating the FCC's net neutrality policy mean that other content providers can no longer support the device? What if Comcast, with its ownership of NBC and Universal products, would roll out content for ML1 more slowly (for different competitive reasons) than it would otherwise? And dare I mention the idea of bloatware by AT & T
Although we do not know exactly when it will be available or how much it will cost, at least now we know where we will be able to buy ML1.
Pro: While initial availability will be limited to select markets (New York City and Magic Leap's home state of Florida are missing prominently right from the start). en / issue / S … 5_ENG_E1.php Magic Leap will eventually have 2,200 stationary outlets for potential ML1 demos. Because the company insists that the device must be seen in person to really appreciate the spatial computing experience, accessing the device is a big deal.
Con: ML1 will have less control over the sales experience At least until the Magic Shop concept is rolled out.
Pro: Between the lines of the AT & T announcement, the Creator Edition is likely to be a developer-oriented device that appeals to "qualified designers and developers" first. This will allow Magic Leap to iron out the first generation kinks before the device is opened to the public.
Con: By confirming that there's going to be a massive consumer startup, Magic Leap is also facing some of the potential pitfalls that Google has encountered with Google Glass. This device launched as an Explorer edition that was initially available to select people who were also willing to pay a relatively high price, and a consumer edition followed. The limited availability and social recourse eventually led to Google no longer offering the device as a mainstream consumer product. Today Glass is considered a flop, even if it was only a public beta.
After all, we can look back on this development as a catalyst for Magic Leap's success, or the turning point in a massive misstep, framed by billions of dollars of investment. Anyway, the story has now started seriously, and it's going to be a wild ride.