I’ve been asked to write this blog as part of my job as an online peer tutor here at Douglas College. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a pretty good deal. Basically, I’m getting paid to write my thoughts on just about anything and everything.
So what should my first post be about? Well, seeing as how I live in a consumeristic culture, I thought Apple’s new iPhone would be a fitting subject.
For those of you who haven’t heard yet (Oh my god, you haven’t heard? Where have you been for the past 3 days??), it’s a mobile phone that plays music, takes photos, plays videos, and oh yeah, can be used as a normal mobile phone. So what’s the big deal, you ask?
The big deal is that it’s an APPLE phone. Apple has made a name for itself as an innovator of creatively-designed products (iPod, iMac) that have managed to tap into niches that other companies didn’t know were even there. Apple is trying to do the same thing with its iPhone.
The problem with this is that Apple’s previous products have been more than just gimmicks. The iPod was backed by a clean, simple interface and software that was programmed intelligently with the user in mind. The iMac was a breakthrough in home computer design that saved space yet still looked cool. The iPhone on the other hand doesn’t really offer anything out of the ordinary, once you look past it’s nifty touch screen. It doesn’t offer any features that other phones don’t already have. Sure, it’s cool to look at but is it anything more than that?
Apple is entering a market segment that is fraught with peril. The average person changes his or her phone on a regular basis, with the interval between phones growing shorter and shorter. I’m sure the iPhone cost huge money for Apple to develop. Are they going to be able to recoup these costs when consumers are always looking for the next hottest thing? I think companies have learnt from the way masses of people gravitated towards the iPod in the early days. They’re going to be quick to jump on Apple’s multiple touch screen, making Apple’s iPhone stand out a whole lot less in a very crowded market.