Tuesday, 17 March 2009

The genius of iPhone 3.0 - Extending the iPhone life cycle.

I woke up this morning with a sense of apprehension as well as excitement to find out what Apple had in store for us iPhone users with their next 3.0 update. Looking on Twitter Search I could see the excitement from iPhone users about this latest update that includes things like cut & paste, stereo bluetooth, MMS and in app itunes purchases. I won't go into the nuts and bolts of the update because I am sure that people with first hand access to the update will be echoing the features throughout the blogosphere. If you want a read about the features, you can look here and here.

The reason why I am blogging about the update is because of the pure genius of Apple and it's marketing. The iPhone by no stretch of the imagination a sub standard product. It is wonderful piece of hardware. The multi-touch screen revolutionised the way people interacted with ad hoc buttons and has created an whole new breed of sans stylus devices. It is however not one that is revolutionary, at least from a technology standpoint. Aside from multi-touch, most of the features have been around for years. Also when you look at the functionality of OS v1 & even OS v2 they are really basic features. If you compare OS v3 with any mid range Nokia or Motorola device you'll see that basically Apple have delivered an update of features that have been available for years on other devices.

If you read between the lines of what the iPhone community are expressing, it is actually relief rather than awe. People who are locked into a 2 year contract or have forked out full price for an iPhone are now on par with what they had before they switched and for the first time can brag about more than just sexy design and fart noises.

From a marketing standpoint, this is brilliant in that it offers to the market what it needs to make it the number one device in the world...but no more. If you look at what is going on in the mobile market, the major up and coming device player is going to HTC and a combination of Windows Mobile and Android devices they will be launching. This update is not a question of developing an OS that is new but it is about launch timing. Do you think for a second that Apple was incapable of developing a phone OS with cut & paste?

Another example of this inspired marketing strategy is the timing of the iPhone 3G launch. It came out almost exactly a year after the original iPhone. 3G is a feature that is not only standard in most new mobile phones but is not really ground breaking technology. As a result it probably extended the iPhone's product life cycle by another year. Successive updates are now doing the same thing and if you look at Nokia products, the life cycle for each model is really no more than a year. With the addition of the ability to purchase components and features within applications, the iPhone has created a whole new buzz in the developer community that will drive the demand for iPhone and iPhone apps fro at least until 2010. 

The iPhone has essentially turned Apple into the McDonald's of the mobile device market. You know you can get a burger made with better ingredients, that tastes much better and is healthier for you but at the end of the day, I'm still queuing up for a happy meal just because I can get limited edition Hello Kitty toy.

Posted via email from Dedric's posterous

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