No, this isn’t a missive on how presidential candidates should behave, though it might be more courageous for some to stop throwing mud and explain exactly ‘how’ some of those promises will get done. Yes, this is a look at Apple’s latest move to reshape the smartphone industry and how it compares to a certain competitor who makes and sells and discontinues more products in a year than Apple has produced cumulatively since incarnation in 1976.
Say goodbye to the headphone jack in iPhone 7. It’s gone. A footnote to a history that dates back to the 1800s. Yes. It’s that old. Why did Apple remove the headphone jack? After all, if they took a vote of all iPhone users– nearing a billion– removing something so beloved would lose badly. Apple did exactly the same thing back in 1998 when it introduced the iMac without a floppy disk drive. Oh, the humanity! But look around. What do you not see on modern computers these days?
Apple is making this change in baby steps, though, by including a Lightning-to-headphone jack converter with every iPhone 7, so the courage touted by the company’s executives, is restrained by pragmatism. Apple will sell plenty of $159 AirPods, plenty of wireless Beats headphones and earbuds, and the market for wireless ear gear will explode in the next few years. Wireless is the future. Apple knows it and made the appropriate changes to a flagship product to bring the future to us, whether we like it or not.
Disruptive? Yes, and twofold. Disruptive to users who don’t appreciate the missing headphone jack and are not ready to go full on wireless and who don’t appreciate yet another dongle to get us to the future. And, disruptive to the industry because every copycat smartphone maker will make the shift in that direction. Wireless earbuds and headphones (to be fair, Apple isn’t the first to do this, but has a lot more to risk with the huge iPhone user base).
Yes, this is courage marketing at its finest, but compare and contrast Apple’s laser-like approach to new products and features to Samsung. All of Apple’s products would fit on your kitchen table. There’s a good chance that your garage wouldn’t hold all of Samsung’s products.
The company’s marketing methodology more resembles a geek throwing mud against the wall to see what sticks. What else does Samsung make besides exploding batteries?
- Windows PCs
- Computer displays
- Virtual Reality gear
One might think that Samsung’s executives know what they’re doing, and since the company is the only really profitable maker of Android devices, maybe that’s correct. But the Korean company’s methodology is entirely different than Apple. It’s laser focus interoperability vs. throw mud against the wall.
Alright, with that said, I see an opportunity for Samsung that extends far beyond Apple’s capability, at least in its current form. Look at the list of Samsung products for the home– washers, dryers, televisions, refrigerators, et al. Add a few others, including security, and home monitoring options, and Samsung could bring all those products together in one whopping home management system, if it could only figure out how to integrate the software and the hardware into a cohesive, useful, user-friendly system.
Hey. Wait. That’s what Apple does. Would you buy an Apple branded washer, dryer, refrigerator, microwave, or vacuum cleaner?