A lot has been written about the new iPhones just introduced by Apple. Interestingly, there’s apparently just two types of people. Those who love it. And those who don’t. I was asking myself why. And how come there’re so widely different opinions about these phones.
I think the simple answer is that there’s people who understand Apple. And those who don’t. It’s a cultural thing. It’s about core values. And what they mean to those designing and building those phones.
One group looks at numbers. Such as in MB, GB, Mhz and all these things. Or such as SD card slots, USB support and so on. They measure in number of features. Display resolution. Speed. Size. They enjoy how much of the advanced features are exposed to them. The depth and breadth of granularity in all the settings and apps. And they look at market share as an indicator of success, and indicator of how good a device is.
And then there’s people who enjoy what they can do with a device. And how easy it is to do. People who don’t care how much memory a phone has, how many features it has, what the display resolution is. As long as it does what they expect. And they value design. Beauty. Simplicity.
You can’t change those people. You can’t mix terminology or what kind of detail you talk about. As soon as you cross the border to talk to someone on that other side, and you don’t adjust to matching terminology and topic, they get bored or upset or just think you’re in idiot and laugh at you. They just don’t get it. They think there is disagreement. While it’s simply a cultural mismatch.
I recently watched Samsung’s keynote for the new Note 3 and the Gear. What stuck with me is how often, during that keynote, they did two things. One, they mentioned a feature, then talked about something else, came back later to talk about it again. Really stupid. It was so hard to follow. So distracting. Second, I was amazed at how often they said the word “feature” during that keynote. To me the entire keynote perfectly illustrated Samsung’s culture. A feature-driven, crunch-as-much-in-as-technically-possible mentality.
Apple on the other hand focuses on a few things. They mention technology only when it really matters (e.g. when they talk about the new 64-bit architecture of the A7 chip). For the most part, they talk about what they did, and what it enables the customer to do. And they present the keynote without clownery, straight forward, authentic.
What I’ve seen over the past couple days is that each company, with their unique culture, matches to a group of journalists/customers. At the end, those people loving features, and stuff they can measure, will really enjoy the products built by companies who embrace that same culture. People who love experience, simplicity etc. love what Apple introduces.
The only group of people I’m worried about are those who need simplicity and fall into the trap of Samsung’s marketing, which tries to copy that of Apple. They are actually lying about who they are, and people end up buying the wrong product. These guys need to be protected. And it’s those people I will try to help get a product that’s ultimately better for them.