14 September 2013

Analogy -- $1 DVD and the iPhone 5C/ 5S

Analogy: People like buying $1 DVD from Bali. Why? Because it's cheap. They would complain if they were to spend another dollar. That's gonna hurt the image of Marvel Studios, right?

Apple announced the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C this week. I have read articles and saw interviews of business commentators, market/ share analysts, tech journalists, PR/ communication consultants, and industry professionals who actually implement smartphone and digital strategies for banks, focusing on different angles -- mostly about the pricing and the innovation. I have also read comments on news sites and LinkedIn. After long conversations with my dear friend about Apple, I have come to a conclusion, people are not so much different from fans who bitch about everything and hate everything.

Sure, there are truths in what these so-called experts speak of -- "the state of innovation of Apple"; "the new iPhone sucks"; "the new iPhone is lame"; "seriously Apple, what are you thinking"; "the stock is embarrassing"; "it's not cheap enough"; "it's gonna hurt the Apple brand"; "is Apple going to be like Nokia or Kodak"; "Samsung never fail". Some people (including professional working people) posted comments on news articles or on LinkedIn have the intelligence of a teaspoon. Some are professionally listed as 'business or communications consultants who can help you to do shit', but they fail to provide constructive comments like professionals and adults should. How am I supposed to trust you to implement tech strategies when you don't even believe in learning or digging deep into knowing what you are talking about before you open your month? And then, there are those who I know for a fact have not used any Apple products before (I've seen the devices they use) and they come out and talk about Apple's state of innovation like they know what they are talking about. Last but not least, sales people at phone shops would actually tell you "...from what I can see, the only thing that changes is the colour." WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? 

Aren't we all educated? Aren't we all trained to do research? Aren't we all think of ourselves as 'not stupid' if so why do we say stupid things? If we are indeed arrogant, make sure we are damn great in what we do. Knowing 40% of the stuff you're talking is not knowing, it's stupid. Knowing 66% of the stuff you're talking about is not knowing, it's stupid. If you do indeed know 100% of the stuff you are talking about, you wouldn't even talk about 12% of the stuff you are talking about.

I've always said, if you have used an Apple product and if your own experience tells you that this is not for you, fine, I understand! But if you talk about Apple products without the first hand experience, that's fine too, but keep your opinions to yourselves and don't get paid to voice your so-called professional opinions in the media. 

There are those (ex-employees) who say Apple is not longer an innovative company. In my experience, you only bad-month a company if you leave the company on a bad term. If you have truly achieved something amazing with a company and then leave for another adventure, you will still show respect. To me, I am not seeing respect here. Sure, you may say this is the truth, but I think you are wrong. 

Moving on...

I get the business perspectives -- Apple is a business, it is about the profits, the shares, the competitions, the marketing and the brand, the consumers -- but to me, Apple is all about designing the user-experience before you realise you are going to need it. It's about integration. I can't help but feeling sad sometimes because I think Apple is still the "...crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes..." who get bullied by others who simply don't want to understand them. I think haters are still waiting for the right moment to bring Apple down. When they do, they are going to kick them and laugh.

On the bright side, there are smart articles with substance. There are those who come out and clarify C is for colourful, not cheap. It is cheaper, but not cheap. There are those who focus on the innovation of the TouchID (which I love by the way) and the payment ecosystem; there are those who dig deep and forward-thinking enough to talk about something really innovative about the new iPhone, and look at the bigger picture. These people remind us, "Apple has a track record of adding features to iPhone that are not new, but are better designed, developed and implemented than others..." @rbaguley

To me, what makes the iPhone so awesome is that they have updated features without telling you what they are. When you discover them while doing things, it's like you've found Easter eggs. My mother and some of my friends use Samsung. Half the time is war at the dinner table -- Who has a better phone? Who gives a shit? My own experience tells me my iPhone is the one for me. The more I use it, the more I appreciate the design of it. I have to use my mum's Samsung because she can't work things out sometimes. It is just not the same, things are not logical at all. The Sumsung feels clumsy and the user-experience is not there. If you like it, good for you. 

The world is moving so fast and consumers expect cool game-changing things every time there is a new product in the marketing. But I really don't mind companies like Apple to stick to their own pace and control their design. If they make a mistake, just admit it and keep going. I really appreciate the mini updates every now and then because that reflects our everyday's changing needs. Nokia manufactured phones, sold them, the end. Apple's iPhone is organic and it changes with you. They may not have game-changing wow things everything time, but to me, as an example, what Apple is doing with TouchID is the shape of things to come. This alone is potentially so big, people don't even get it. Please, don't talk crap when you don't even understand the inner beauty of the design.

Moving on again...

Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think Apple has ever come out and said iPhone 5C was going to be 'cheap', the media just ran with the rumors, their opinions and expectations. Apple goes to China to build a presence in a very competitive smartphone devices market to hopefully prevent the production of fake stuff and compete with the mid-range priced Samsung phones. You should know that the Chinese are rich. Half the population there will be going for the gold iPhone anyway. Consumers will always bitch about pricing, people even bargain when they go to the market to buy veggies over there. What on earth would you think they were going to like the pricing? I think the analysts, commentators and media just fail themselves -- OMG I was wrong? 

Apple has this new line of products to compete with the mid-range smartphones, but I do not believe the functions and the capabilities are anything less. I do not believe the quality of the 5C has been compromised. I do not believe the 5C was designed to treat people like second-class citizen by giving them 12% of the moment. You get what you pay for. The iOS7 is the Jarvis to Iron Man, no way that would come with a cheap price tag. If you want cheap stuff, buy yourself something else. If buying $1 DVD from Bali makes you happy, go ahead.

I believe Apple is finding its way through this cruel world of competition where everything is about being cheap and quality along with it. If the marketing sells, people will buy it -- the concept and the product. But what they don't see is the actual innovation, the idea, the philosophy, the integration, the design, the user-experience and the Easter eggs. Apple is shaping the future in ways you cannot even begin to process. Apple is not going to give up. They control the design, the experience, and the innovation.

"I've always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do." 
~ Steve Jobs, BusinessWeek (12 October, 2004)

This is still very much alive at Apple.

As for the iPhone 5S, I am going to GOLD.

As for all you Apple haters out there, I don't give a shit about you, but I'll give you a finger. 

Who am I? I have been a heavy Apple product user for over 13 years. Apple products are relible and never let me down when it counts. It saves my life, my face and my career more than I care to admit. I am currently using four Apple devices. I use PC everyday at work, and I feel the pain because it's dumb. I use my mum's Samsung sometimes because she can't work it out. I am an Apple fan and a user, and I am proud of it.

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