donderdag 13 september 2012

The threat of self-destructing marketing techniques

Yesterday, September 12 (2012), Apple launched the Iphone 5. As usual, a true hype engulfed the online world. People were expecting the phone, which explains the drop in sales of the Iphone 4S during previous months. Apple fans had hoped for a phone that would, once again, revolutionize the way we communicate. High expectations are great... if they can be met that is. Although the Iphone 5 comes with some new features and runs on operating system iOS6, not one of these high-tech gadgets convinced me of the truly 'innovative' spirit of this device. Therefore, I predict that Apple will lose ground in the smartphone market. Hopes that the new phone will 'juice the U.S. market' (as some news sites claimed, cf. are - in my opinion - also idle. Samsung's Galaxy S3 easily stands the test of the new competitor. 
Iphone 5 (Front, Side, Rear)
Once upon a time, in a not too distant past, people wondered when a company would start making an 'Iphone killer'. Reading between the lines, one would easily deduct that the Iphone was considered the only 'smartphone' truly worthy of its name. Things have starting to change. These days, one may rightfully ask when somebody will make the 'Galaxy S3 killer'. To cut things short: as an Apple fan - which I am - the Iphone 5 is a disappointment. The only reason why I'm sticking to Iphone is because of its 'eco-system'. I have bought way too many apps and music to switch over to an Android phone. Secondly, I still believe Apple is a beautiful innovating company focused on the future. They must not however forget that it takes both time and ingenuity to present something that may truly be called innovative. 

Investment made by Forrest Gump
I therefore think Apple is becoming the victim of its own success. People expect a ground-breaking (r)evolution every time they predict the company to launch a new product. Maybe customer's expectations are too high, but the hype seems to have created illusory hopes that tech-revolutions are only a 'normal' and 'foreseeable' next step in the future of our beloved 'fruit company' (quote: Forrest Gump).

If the Iphone looks like this Apple may be screwed
Much to my dismay I would recommend people to wait for the next truly innovative phone. The Iphone 5 just does not qualify this time. If you already have invested in Apple products (Apps, Music, Films) I would advise buying/keeping the Iphone 4S. For technology freaks looking for a real innovation I would at least consider the HTC One X or the Samsung Galaxy S3. To Apple I would advise - although this sounds rather arrogant, I'm aware of that - to take enough time to develop something truly original. Because in the end, being innovation centered is what got the company on top to start with. Besides, it's not a nice feeling to admit that Henry Blodget, journalist at Business Insider was right months ago:
How the Iphone 5 looks like

 To be honest, I have seen Iphone 5 concepts that looked more promising than what the "most valuable company ever" eventually delivered. Whether the Iphone 5 will turn out to be a success commercially remains to be seen. We do however need to keep in mind that many people have postponed their intention of buying a new Iphone. So in any case, I do not expect sales to drop immediately. But in the long run, Apple will almost certainly continue to lose ground.

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