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  1. #41  
    Quote Originally Posted by blackmagic01 View Post
    point is i don't think they are selling Mini Coopers. I think they made a Mercedes. it doesn't dominate the car market but it does well in the luxury car market. They are just selling car utility they sell a style, a level of quality, of status, etc. Smartphones are at this point a high end of the phone market. And i think just like mercedes they don't have to dominate all the products to be successful they just have to dominate the high end. Now can they do it forever, i don't know. But what sells iphones is more then just the phone, it's the ease of use, it's the minimalist design, it's media ecosystems (music, video, podcast downloads), its easy sync, it's got a cohesive look to even the Mac desktop OS. Like it's all grey and the icons even have a similar look. Point is i don't think Apple has to has to dominate marketshare to be very successful. I think they just have to satisfy those people they got that are part of that Apple system and way of doing things. Personally i think cause it's about more then phones their challenge is different then, like a Motorola, They have to be loyal to their apple style cause that's a large part of what keeps them afloat. Like they make Hyundais with all the features a similarly equipped Mercedes has but that Hyundai doesn't have the design and style and all that stuff that comes with buying a Mercedes.
    I like this analogy a lot.

    There's an important point to consider though: pricing. Not everyone can afford a Benz. Everyone who can afford a smartphone can afford an iPhone. I can't think of any other luxury products that compete on such a financially level playing field.
  2. #42  
    Apple does not sell products. What they sell you is an entry into an ecosystem. If someone purchases one of these "passes" but decides not to enter into the ecosystem, Apple wins because the passes aren't cheap. However, if someone buys one of these passes and plugs into the ecosystem, then Apple not only wins, they win BIG TIME!

    This, I believe, is the formula that makes Apple successful. It's not about the product, it's about plugging in. I also believe Google understands this with Android. The OS is a pass to get people plugged in. The trick is to make the pass such that they are beautiful when used independently but become powerful you plug in. Macs plug in via iTunes but what if they had to plug in for software as well rather than just music/vids? <-- Sound familiar?

    Palm focused on a product line and worried about the ecosystem later. It's what I believe McNamee didn't understand when he predicted a massive conversion from iPhone (1st Gen) to Palm Pre at the 2-year anniversary of those contracts. It's also why I believe Palm was so desperate to keep iTunes sync going - let's sell passes to Apple's ecosystem (it's also why I believe Apple shot those passes down by the way). As long as companies focus on products, I think it will be "almost" impossible to get the level of success that Apple has.
  3. #43  
    I think Blackmagic, nappy, and taharka, by aptly describing the roots of Apple's success, also simultaneously expose the weaknesses in many of the other "iPhone killer" contenders. It will be interesting to see if HP can create as compelling an ecosystem for their devices to carve out a piece of this pie.
  4. #44  
    Quote Originally Posted by nappy View Post
    I like this analogy a lot.

    There's an important point to consider though: pricing. Not everyone can afford a Benz. Everyone who can afford a smartphone can afford an iPhone. I can't think of any other luxury products that compete on such a financially level playing field.
    Absolutely. price matters for tons of people. but i totally disagree with the sentiment that everyone that can afford afford a smartphone can afford an iphone. At least in the big picture, that is more then the actual hardware. I got a pre specifically cause AT&T was too expensive. So it's about more then just the price of the phone. the cell service cost is an issue. i pay half the cost for service on sprint then i would on at&t and that mattered cause i was on a budget. It amounts to nearly six hundred bucks a a year. In a crap economy that matters. It happens with cars too. a Benz get's real expensive when you factor in the service costs. i don't for a minute believe the analogy is a perfect one to one. The car market now has tons of overlap between levels of cars. And vast ranges of luxury and even with Benz there are huge variation of luxury based on the price a customer is willing to pay.

    as for the playing field. though i characterized the iphone as a luxury item, i say that relative to the rest of cellphones. I don't actually think it's a luxury item. though i disagree with you that everyone can afford one, it's a hell of a lot more affordable to most people that want a phone then say a $7000 Cartier watch is to most watch buyers.

    But i think the last post i made was mostly trying to make the point Apple is a very unique animal. That there is a reason why even if they lost market share to android they will still be profitable, still sell phones, And why unlike the other phone makers they can live with only one phone (for a while), and why they feel they need to protect their image by making the hardware. The other guys, like palm, motorola, htc, samsung just probably can't function like that. Cause unlike apple they are just selling phones.
    Last edited by blackmagic01; 11/02/2010 at 10:34 PM.
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