Surely it can’t just be about the products. There are many other consumer electronics companies with great design and rich features. So what makes hundreds of people – probably take a day holiday from work – stand in a queue for hours just for a new phone?
I have been a vocal advocate of all things Apple for a number of years. That said, I don’t buy into this “must have day it is released” philosophy that keeps Apple on the front pages.
I think we are all still a bit in awe of the company, its products and its success. All since it simplified personal music players at a time when every other tech company was talking up more and more formats, features, memory, processor speed etc. This must be where the attraction lies, technology for the technophobe and geek alike, only in limited numbers (at least on launch).
Accessibility to the internet, to information, entertainment and the people who are important to us has never been easier. The iPad and the iPhone put this power in our pockets, or a small bag. The combination of design and simple, reliable technology that provides non-stop access to the services we now demand has been the secret sauce behind the company’s success. It is the epitome of less is more.
As a gently cynical PR person, I can’t help but also think that the introverted, highly controlled communications strategy has also been important, kind of a real world Willy Wonka for the consumer electronics market. Yet there are chinks that seem to be appearing in this particular piece of armour.
Apple needs to be careful not to get too big for its boots. It is still just one of many technology companies out there offering these types of product. The left hand gaff is a potential landmine for what has been an impenetrable tank rolling over its competitors as it sees fit, given the power of social networking platforms today.
Don’t get me wrong, iPhone 4 is just a wobble. iPad has been hugely successful and the phones will sort themselves out over the coming few months. Having said that, right now the company needs to work hard to ensure its mystique remains. Prototype products being sold to bloggers, fundamental usability issues appearing on day of launch and a change in tone to one of arrogance will leave a lingering uncertainty in the mouth of later adopters and could build to a sense that Apple rotten to the core.