A couple of observations coming out of the Apple announcement the other day.
Apple really missed on the pricing for the new iPad Mini. The $329 price point for the 16GB flavor of the new “must have” iPad Mini feels too expensive especially when compared to the tablets of competitors Amazon and Google that each start at ~$200. You could even see Apple trying to justify that price point by having Phil Schiller make a very rare but overt “point, counter point” (Jane, you ignorant slut) comparison of the iPad Mini to the Google Nexus. As soon as he started in with that comparison, I had a feeling that the pricing was going to be expensive relative to the competition. His comparison was basically trying justify the benefits of the iPad Mini ahead of revealing the price, so to ease the pain. I never thought the iPad mini was going to come in at $200, but I was thinking somewhere in the $249-$299 range. If they came in at that range, I think that would have sealed the deal for the Tablet marketplace. Now, I think there is still a window for others to play in.
Secondly, I think Apple did some damage to their brand with how they have handled the “new” iPad (i.e iPad 3 and iPad 4). Releasing an updated version of their iPad on Tuesday, just six months after they released the “new” iPad (3rd Gen) is not going over well. Beyond a Twitter storm, a site called CouponCodes4U.comran a flash poll on their site (granted, not exactly scientific but still…) that conlcuded:
Forty-one percent of the respondents, who all stated that they owned at least one Apple product, said they had bought the third generation iPad. Of these, 83% said they felt “cheated” by the announcement of the fourth gen tablet.
Not the kind of feedback I’d want around a product release.
And personally, I purchased a “new” iPad in late August, just about 2 months before the Tuesday’s announcement, because my iPad 1st Gen died but also because I didn’t think an another upgrade would be happening until early 2013. I have called Apple and even went to my local store to plead my case and to no avail.
For a company that takes such efforts to make sure things are done pixel perfect, you would think they would manage things like this a bit more effectively.
Another huge growth quarter for Google’s Android mobile OS. According to a recent market share release from the research firm IDC, Android’s market share in Q2 grew to 68% while Apple’s iOS grew 26% to capture 17% of the market. On the other side of the spectrum, Blackberry’s installed base fell a massive 41% to under 5% of the market, while Nokia’s one’s eponymous Symbian OS dropped 60% to 4.4% of the market. Sadly, Windows Phone OS begged for the scraps and was bundled in the “Other” category that represented 6% of the market.
Now it should be noted that these numbers represent the installed base and do not reflect revenue or any financial numbers. When you look at it by that metric, which in my mind is the real number that needs to be highlighted, then Apple is clearly crushing everyone including Android. And I have to say that it feels like the iPhone has a much larger share/footprint and social impact on the market than what these numbers indicate.
Kim’s core hypothesis is that when you compare Microsoft to Google and Apple (the “big three”), Microsoft is perceived as outdated, slow, corporate, conservative, while its only positive brand assets are its gaming (XBox) and Kinect. Compare this to Apple’s brand that is centered on design and engineering, and Google’s that is focused on the search engine and “don’t be evil”.
From a visual design perspective, he addressed this gap by taking the “traditional” old school, antiquated view of a (four paned) window and looked at it through a different lens. He thought about it through a more hip, urban perspective and visualized how people look at windows on an angle while looking at a skyscraper from the ground and used that as the core element of the “new” brand concept.
The other day while at a local mall, I was surprised to see the Microsoft Store had opened up. And the thing that completely dominated the experience was the gaming consoles – XBox, Kinect, etc. The PC’s, phones and peripherals that Microsoft “owns” were taking up space in the store and were complete afterthoughts to the customers. To me, that spoke volumes.
I remember when Steve first hired us, he said: ‘I hired you because you’ve done very good large buildings, and you’ve done great houses.’ If you’re doing houses, then you’re thinking about the subtleties of a building.’
As is legend now, Jobs’ laser focus on the user experience within Apple’s products also extended all the way to the retail experience, to the point where Jobs perceived retail as simply an extension of the overall Apple product line.
There have always existed disputes among the competing parties, divergent opinions, while the fans of each brand were convinced that theirs was the best product. Last, but not least, the rivals have even conducted ad campaigns against the competing brands. This project mostly approaches the visual “conversations” between the company logos and the ways that they influence each other, hence the name of the project, Brandversations. It is a parallel between the modern and the old, some of the slogans dating back to the 40s and 50s.
Yes, I am a heretic for displaying the one above. :)
In the tech world, there has been quite a flurry and the abundance of jokes and head scratching about Apple’s epic struggle to bring to market a white version of their popular iPhone. So today it was announced that the White iPhone is finally here!! So Techcrunch led off their article with this great piece of snark…made me laugh:
Apple has just announced the availability of the white iPhone. Unlike the black iPhone, it is able to reflect all colors of the visible spectrum, thereby making it white.