The iStrum will be made of the same lightweight material as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and will come in either silver or space grey to match the smartphone range.
It will include a special slot to hold either the 6 or 6 Plus and comes with Apple Pay built in, so if you’re grabbing a coffee in between recording sessions you can “simply tap the guitar head on a reader and pay via Apple Pay,” according to the firm.
The guitar body is shaped like Apple’s recognisable logo, with the leaf of the apple acting as a handle to carry the instrument.
One of the reasons Apple may be moving into this new market is so help solve a problem in the musical instrument sector that is threatening the traditional manufacturing process of guitars.
According to MI Pro, wood-based instruments of all kinds will cease to be built as of 2021 due to new wood sourcing laws.
The iStrum will play just like a regular guitar, and the firm promises that anyone will be able to use it.
iOS users will get extra benefits from using the iStrum, including the ability to sync it with their iPhone or iWatch. Strummers will know when they are playing wrong chords or notes by way of an intense vibration.
This is a really interesting move by Apple and good news for its tech retailer partners, who will now be able to add a musical instrument range to their usual smartphone, laptop and desktop offerings by the firm.
It won’t be long until John Lewis’ in-store music playlist will be swapped for a full-length album of repugnant noodlings by Steve Vai on his garish lime-green signature iStrum – which will set super fans back a whopping £12.50.
Cliff Cloth from Garter told PCR that a musical instrument range is a sensible next step for the tech manufacturer: “Apple has already proved it’s a big player in the music industry with the success of the iPod, iTunes and Apple Music. It makes total sense that it would continue to completely shaft the industry by not only destroying music retail, but now music instrument retail.”
Not everyone agrees that Apple’s foray into the music instrument market will cause panic amongst retailers.
“This is great news. I’ve been trying to shift a load of the Samsung Galaxy Flying G’s that came out last year, but no one wants a guitar that constantly interrupts the player with Android operating system updates,” said Ron Trousers, owner of Esteedee.
“We get a lot of hipsters in here so I’m sure the iStrum will sell really well.”
Industry analyst, Terry Flannel, told MI Pro: “Not only will the iStrum modernise the industry it will also save it from being totally decimated when all them big wood trees are all run out. Without it, the industry would be bollocksed.”
Meanwhile, MI Pro editor, Daniel Gumble, commented: “It’s all about tech, yeah? Digital. The future; aluminium guitars yeah? It’s great you can only buy it online – the industry has been crying out for more digital buying platforms. When was the last time you saw anyone buy a guitar from a real shop?”
Phil Pilchard of Shop Music added: “Wooden guitars are for old people.”
Only time will tell if the Apple iStrum will take away business from traditional music instrument retailers, who may not be as knowledgeable about Apple’s OS and products as tech retailers, or possibly unite the two industry.