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Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by wheeeelan, Oct 21, 2013.
Apple have been making tech products fashion accessories long before Cook was CEO.
Fact. The white earbuds/earpods and the brushed metal casing with the glowing Apple logo come to mind...both are almost as much a fashion statement as they are useful electronics.
Is there genius in Tim Cook's fashion strategy?
You are right on the money with your thoughts. Because I live in an emerging South American country I see a lot of Samsung ads and products being shown and used here and I don't think those who purchase them are the least bit concerned or interested in the materials and operation ("The iPhone is about the materials, the software is something beautiful to look at.") They can get an inexpensive entry into a revolutionary phone world by purchasing a cheap looking and feeling Samsung product similar to the Blackberry product. Adios Samsung
I hope you know that most tech is sold based on advertisements which make them look "cool". The MacBook Air could fit perfectly in an envelope, Samsung got rockstars to promote the Samsung Galaxy Note, and so on.
If you don't have the fashion thing down, your product won't sell period. I mean, you might move a couple thousand units, but you're going to have a product that has basically flopped otherwise.
Why? Well (this is what I personally think), because we live in a world where the people who matter most when it comes to smartphones and computers, which are business users, don't have a choice these days. It's not a BYOD industry anymore, it's use these iPhones/specific Android phones/or Blackberries, and these specific ThinkPads, when you could easily bring your own PDA for organization on your own terms.
So they don't have that sector anymore. Because you can't really get a company to switch without discounts and other stuff thrown at them. You're losing money trying to get more marketshare that isn't worth it because you're going to be in the budget cut of most of those companies in the following year, and they're going to go back to the cheaper and most effective tools.
Consumers eat up "cool". It's "cool" that you can draw pictures and write stuff on the Galaxy Note. It's "cool" that the iPhone 5C comes in different colors and wallpapers to match. It's "cool" that the Moto can be customized in different combinations. It's "cool" that the iPad can run a game with mind-blowing graphics. It "sucks" that you can run Microsoft Office on a Surface RT/Pro. It "sucks" that the only thing people seem to be doing with the Surface RT/Pro is using it as a picture frame.
Good communication sells, bad communication fails.
People will compare based on spec because it's objective they do this with all products.
Apple has never sold on Spec they have always sold on lifestyle on how their product fits it.
Beauty/Art is subjective I the post iPhone 4/4s looks quite silly and the iPad mini is the only one that looks proportional.
Most adults i.e. out of college with a job, life, and kids realize that more performance is no longer necessary which is why you see the focus of advertising slowly changing and PC sales declining people just don't need more performance and they know it.
Tech is not nor has it been for 5 to 8 years fun, now it's boring monotony it's 15% faster it magic. There is no more Power v x86, Apple v everybody else everyones crap is the same with a different wrapper. iJunk/Tab junk is played out now just like the PC market.
You mean like it is now? How many people do you know bought the iPhone because of the tech specs and rather because somebody else they know has one and they like the look of it?
Nobody. Because if they went by tech specs they've have probably got an Android.
No they wouldnt. Compare any 3.5-4" Android handset to an IPhone. Miles ahead.
Whatever, it was just an example. I really don't wanna go down the iPhone v Android handset road yet again.
All I'm saying is, those who are tech conscious are most likely to go with the product that has an open OS and is available in various sizes, configurations and with expandability. The iPhone has none of these, it's just a single product (or two now it seems).
An "Open OS" that is closed and walled off from updates, lagging 4months to never behind in staying current with standards compatibility and security. Thats not a plus.
I my industry and peers I find many tech minded people are too busy with the rest of life (career, home, hobbies, family) to deal with the ******** around rooting and finding custom roms.
Its still just a single product. The second one this year is merely last years cost dropped. Same thing just with a minor twist they've done for years.
That's also incredibly subjective (have you even owned an Android phone?), but I'ma leave it there. The last thing this forum needs is another debate like this.
If you're into tech you've rooted and played with your phone and don't much care when your "pickabrand" releases their updated version. If your on a nexus it's in the play store.
Different strokes for different folks.
It's funny how you mention Apple never sold on spec, then later mention there is no more PowerPC versus x86. Apple does have a history of focus on specifications. It is why they called their systems Super Computers, mentioned Megahertz Myth, and showed how fast their systems were as compared to their competitors.
I think Apple is still there, but they take a slightly different approach with their performance focus.
If that is the case, why did you add this to your post?
I would argue that true tech savvy individuals see benefits to both platforms, and will likely have both in their households.
As I said, it was just an example. A tech conscious person could choose anything, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Samsung whatever suits them. I was simply pointing out that Apple has succeeded in selling their tech products to people who really couldn't care less what's powering it hardware or software wise, mainly by making it attractive in a more fashionable sense. And they've been doing this for years now, it isn't a Tim Cook thing.
I admit, my post perhaps wasn't clear enough. I hope I've made my point understandable.
You're right I never really considered it a spec. but it is...
Your argument is flawed in my opinion because ultimately you miss the real focus : Design.
Design is not fashion, neither it is technology. It's more about function, real life usage scenario, relation between a user and his device.
Design can make some beautiful and even "fashionable" stuff, but it's simply that Design see function in everything, there is a "user-device" relationship, in the way the OS work yes, in softwares and stuff, but also in the feeling of the device, the way it look, the sounds it makes, the weight, etc. All of this from a design perspective matter in the sense that these are informations and sensations the user get from the device.
It's a common misconception that Design is a synonym for "fashion and style". Head of one important Montreal School of Design said once in an interview that "fashion designers" (the ones that do fashions shows) aren't real designers, in the sense that they are really only interested in pure aesthetics and style, no function at all, so they really are artists (which is totally acceptable) and we should call them that. Real designers in clothing would be peoples to design clothes for some specific functions and trying to find original solutions for these kind of problems, like sport clothes, mountain hiking boots, etc.
So basically my point is that Apple is a design company, which is not fashion.
Good thread OP
But your fashion strategy = continuation of Apple's branding as a luxury hardware device. Apple's success as a luxury brand over the years is why Microsoft had to rebrand itself as a devices company and start making their own premium hardware - their OEM's were still turning out cheap plastic boxes competing on margin that couldn't compete with Apple.
This strategy is nothing new, existed when Jobs was still here, and if anything Tim Cook has disrupted it.
Factors that allowed Apple hardware to be branded as premium in the past
- Predictable annual release cycle that made Apple product announcements an event and the product guaranteed premium for the following year. Cook ruined this.
- Little product commoditization (IE only a few colors, configurations, etc to choose from, take it or leave it - kinda like how you wanna buy an LV wallet, you only got like 3 patterns to choose from). Cook has now added colors, penetrated the midrange market in different sectors, cheaper models (5C) etc.
- Reputation for quality. Starting with the maps failure all the way to iOS 7 both reliability and design quality have dropped.
Also the whole thing about the lowest common denominator, there's another layer, which is software. Even though it aims to be a luxury hardware device, Apple's software strategy IS to cater to the lowest common denominator and operate on razor thin margins (or take a loss to fuel hardware sales). That's why they've created an ARM app ecosystem with budget pricepoints and extinguished the value of their software IP (OSX = cheap/free, first party apps = sold below market value, Pro software = pricedropped or screwed with to cater to the common denominator while ditching the pro user).
Apple is basically the reverse of old school Microsoft. Old school Microsoft kept software at a premium but let it run on cheap OEM hardware. They created an x86 software ecosystem with huge valuable software suites but it ran off pieces of plastic that died after 6 months and BSOD'd. Apple sells hardware at a premium but saddles it with cheap software solutions. This has worked because computer hardware this good barely existed before. But now the software side is starting to suck.