dia is a budge

Topics: IPhone, Apple Inc., ITunes Store Pages: 8 (2236 words) Published: November 3, 2014
So what does it all mean?

If (in football terms) we are now entering the second quarter of the age of mobile computing, it helps to see the continuum of connected devices from the perspective of their means of mobility; namely, whether they are wear-able, pocket-able, bag-able or portable.

Similarly, the diverse set of device input methods that Apple embraces — from physical buttons, keyboards and mice to multi-touch and tilt — provides a window into the types of use cases and workflows that they are optimizing around.

Further, when you see how Apple has used its vertical integration of the iPod media player and the iTunes marketplace across all of its devices to create a billing relationship with 160 million consumers vis-à-vis simplified discovery, purchase and distribution, it provides a window into how they’ve facilitated a market segmentation approach that is simultaneously harmonious and discrete.

In the harmonious bucket is the way that iOS-based Apps and their corresponding “ecosystem surround” directly overlay on top of iTunes and the iPod media player. This approach is no doubt a business school study of how companies can marry strategy and tactics across product lines and product lifecycles.

Ironically, it is the holistic approach that has given Apple the ability to be judicious in its implementation of differentiating hardware components at the display, phone, camera and video capture level.

Want the best build quality device that Apple makes? Get the iPhone 4. How do we know this? While the iPod Touch has recently received iPhone 4 pixie dust, in the form of a camera, HD video recording and a retina screen, the build quality is a step below the iPhone 4, which feels like a jewel box forged by a craftsman.

To be sure, the iPod Touch is beautiful and solid, but its screen is slightly diminished in effect, and the camera is intentionally hobbled. In other words, while Steve Jobs himself may refer to the iPod Touch as the “iPhone without the phone,” in truth, the functional segmentation keeps it a step below the iPhone.

Now, this is completely logical when you consider how much more expensive the iPhone is. Pricing (and margins) that are hidden from the customer via carrier subsidies.

That is also why recent analyst data that suggests that the iPad is “cannibalizing” low-end MacBook sales — versus simply swallowing the low-end Windows PC and netbook segments for lunch — is dubious at best. If you own an iPad and a Mac, you know two things:

The iPad targets a set of “jobs” that are not dependent upon keyboards and mice, but there are plenty of jobs for which a tablet is an unsatisfying replacement for a traditional computer; Apple doesn’t make low-end MacBooks, or similarly hobbled devices, for which an iPad would represent a practical alternative. But then again, as I’ve stated before, Apple is a rare bird, pursuing non-linear, high-orchestration, high-leverage strategies. Exactly the type of complex storyline that is easily dismissed by simple-minded analysts, investors, competitors, media and the like.

Keep that in mind the next time you come across a story citing “Apple” and “inevitable” in the same context.

Related:

Five reasons iPhone vs Android isn’t Mac vs Windows
Open “ish”: The meaning of open, according to Google
Holy Sh-t! Apple’s Halo Effect

So what does it all mean?

If (in football terms) we are now entering the second quarter of the age of mobile computing, it helps to see the continuum of connected devices from the perspective of their means of mobility; namely, whether they are wear-able, pocket-able, bag-able or portable.

Similarly, the diverse set of device input methods that Apple embraces — from physical buttons, keyboards and mice to multi-touch and tilt — provides a window into the types of use cases and workflows that they are optimizing around.

Further, when you see how Apple has used its vertical integration of the iPod media player and...
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