Introducing! The new iPhone Disappointment!

No. This isn’t going to be one of those posts. It’s not going to be derisive about Apple at all. So if you came here for a good old fashioned “Steve Jobs wouldn’t have done that” beating, you might want to just click back or close this tab.

Even at the age of 39, I still enjoy visiting Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Why? Because, if you let your mind go, and your imagination wander, they’re amazing places. For a lot of grownups, if you look around either Disney park, you’ll see a bunch of concrete buildings, fake plants and lakes, and a shipload of stores. As Tim Berners-Lee used to tell his children, “Everything you don’t understand is magic.”

If you’re a magician and you hang around other magicians, I can only imagine magic could, well… lose it’s magic.

Among the technophiles I follow on Twitter, most were either in the “this is a disappointment” (net negative) or “I expected more” (net neutral) camp, though a fair amount were still positive about the changes. A little over a year ago, I wrote about my philosophy on the evolutionary/revolutionary cycles that the iPhone generally goes through. To that end, this year should have been a revolutionary cycle. And honestly it was. Stay with me for a second.

In the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi“, there is a brilliant dialog from, I believe, one of Jiro’s former apprentices. In his segment, he discusses how Jiro’s eldest son must not just meet Jiro’s standards when Jiro passes away or stops working there, but instead his son must work twice as hard or risk losing customers simply due to perception. That is possibly the case. But the core of the matter is, only Jiro’s most steadfast critics wouldn’t go there simply because Jiro is gone. But imagine Jiro’s son had started the restaurant, and Jiro had never been there? All of a sudden, the units of measure change.

Most consumers don’t intimately track iPhone evolution. Most consumers don’t intimately track phones. Most consumers don’t have the time or wherewithall to keep track of the megafoo and Near-Field bar. The reality is that this SNL Verizon video wasn’t comedy to any consumer that watched it. It was documentary.

Consumers don’t buy iPhones because they want the latest foo or bar. They buy iPhones because the device – the Apple ecosystem – is a known quantity that works for them. Apple has turned electronics into appliances. Rather foolproof appliances. Most consumers love that idea.

So while the geeks look at today’s iPhone and laugh at how technologically inadequate the iPhone 5 is, how Apple “dropped the ball” (again!), and how “Steve Jobs would never have released this!”, the reality is this “disappointing” device will sell in volumes and at price points that will school effectively every other phone produced this year. Because it just works. That it is thinner, lighter, faster, has better battery life, and a larger screen? Handy. Doesn’t matter. It’s the new iPhone. It will continue to keep the wind in Apple’s sales.

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