Cupertino, CA - Leading up to its holiday announcement in which many analysts expect Apple to unveil a new iPad and release its much awaited Mac Pro, the technology giant has announced a new Kickstarter campaign called Bloom.
Essentially, Apple's new Bloom will be a crowd-funding service, through which it can garner support for various new initiatives. Although the official press release differentiates the new service from the very popular American crowd-funding site Kickstarter, its offerings are remarkably similar, albeit limited to Apple-only initiatives.
"Apple Bloom will embrace the support and creativity of our incredible customers, and will let them stay connected to all their funded projects by tapping into the power of iCloud," stated Eddy Cue, VP of Internet Software and Services. "Beginning this winter, every iCloud-enabled device will have access to Bloom, and if, say a design student in Tokyo contributes $4500 to say the new iPad nano – not that I'm saying this is in the works, it's just an example – this supporter can check up on how the campaign is doing using her iPad, her MacBook Pro, her iPhone, her iPod touch, or, if she's really in a bind, she can even use a public computer. This is truly going to change everything."
Following the typical donor reward system found on many Kickstarter campaigns, Apple promises that for any donation over $2000, the donor will receive a $10 iTunes Store gift card. For any donation over $5000, the donor will receive an extra gigabyte of iCloud storage.
Of course, this first phase of the project is simply aimed at raising money for Bloom, using Kickstarter, in something of a public pilot project. While there appears to be notable conflict, Kickstarter CEO Perry Chen seemed unconcerned.
"Frankly, we're flattered that Apple has gone ahead with the Bloom campaign. It demonstrates an ongoing mutual respect between our companies, and certainly raises awareness for Kickstarter in the process," stated Chen. When asked about concerns regarding competition from one of the richest corporations in the world, Chen laughed it off. "From what I understand, Apple is going to be using their service strictly for Apple products. The fact they chose use Kickstarter as their launching platform, well we're all just delighted."
In Apple fashion, the details of Bloom are characteristically vague, but they have announced that the service will be designed to garner support for the most in-demand products, such as the already anticipated iPhone 6, 6S, 7, and iPhone X.
"Perhaps our customers are seeking an anodized aluminium backing in an emerald green, or a subtle gradient from autumnal orange to yellow," opined Sir Jonathan Ive, VP of Design. "These are careful considerations that have historically occurred behind closed doors. With the launch of Bloom, this will all be different. It's quite an exciting prospect, essentially the birth of a new, fruitful partnership."
Many analysts have raised questions over Apple's ability to fulfill its reputation as technological trailblazer, revolutionizing established industries and even introducing new ones. While opinions about the future of the Silicon Valley company continue to garner heavy debate, a crowd-funding site seems akin to the death-knell for its days of the New and Unexpected.
"We've witnessed the enormous popularity of Kickstarter campaigns, many of which from exciting new entrepreneurs in our incredible state of California," stated CEO Tim Cook. "Here at Apple, every one of us comes to work each day, knowing we have the best customers in the world. Above all, what we value is simplicity. And connecting the concept of crowd funding with the best customers in the world, well it's a natural fit."
While Bloom may jeopardize Apple's future for revolutionary new products, it has earned Apple its place in revolutionizing the crowd-funding model. A major corporation soliciting donations from its customer base has earned numerous Wall Street analysts' quiet admiration.
"The majority of the campaigns we see on Kickstarter are from enterprising individuals," stated Perry Chen, "who are the, if you will, backbone of entrepreneurial America. What we've seen from Apple in their Bloom campaign is unprecedented."
Indeed, the Bloom campaign is Kickstarter's most popular to date, having raised $42.7 million in its first seven hours alone. Meanwhile, projects including the much hyped SolarDrop – a campaign which aims to raise $125 000 to produce a $15 solar-powered water generation system that can turn sand into drinkable water – has nearly closed out its three-month campaign with a mere trickle of funding: $2130 at press time.
"I just can't wait for Bloom," stated Mark Jeffries, a massage therapist from Brooklyn who had been camped out in front of Apple's 5th Avenue flagship store for 3 days. He paused a conversation on his iPhone 5S to chat. "I'm on the phone with the credit card company right now. Getting them to raise my limit. I've already maxed it out on the Kickstarter campaign, and there's gonna be some serious spending once Bloom goes live." When asked why he was camped out in front of the store, Jeffries could provide no clear answer.