Over the last decade, as Apple has entered and dominated markets beyond computers, their competitors have attempted to compete via spec sheet. The strategy has been simple: find what feature consumers must want that the iPod, iPhone, MacBook or iPad lack, then supply it.
How does the competition determine a “missing” feature? They look to what Apple removed, and assume it was a mistake; that in fact everybody wants it. I expect the design meetings asked questions like this:
- “Who wouldn’t want a card slot to add more storage?”
- “Who wouldn’t want a replaceable battery?”
- “Who wouldn’t want an FM radio?”
- “Who wouldn’t want Flash?”
- “Who wouldn’t want a hardware keyboard on their phone?”
In every case, new devices were cranked out touting these “advantages”, and failed to make a dent in Apple’s growth or popularity.
This is because what Apple supplied in exchange for the alleged deficiencies more than made up for them. To the point where many were not even considered deficiencies at all (most people never added storage, or carried an extra battery, and so on).
The good news is that the competition is mostly in line with Apple now. Apple’s changes are more or less given as norms, and this silly strategy is no longer attempted.
Wait, what’s that I just heard from tablet design rooms everywhere?
- “Who wouldn’t want a physical keyboard dock?”