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Friday, January 30, 2015

The secret of Apple's success

Mark Bridge writes:

What’s the secret of Apple’s success? That’s the question I was asked earlier this week by LBC radio during a report on Apple’s impressive iPhone sales and its record quarterly results.

Much of the answer, I said, was down to usability and design. Apple has taken existing features – both software and hardware – and has made them better. After all, the iPod wasn’t the first MP3 player. The iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone... and wasn’t even the first touchscreen smartphone. But for many people, that’s the perception.

And, perhaps just as importantly, Apple doesn’t get involved with products it can’t improve.

Here are six reasons I think Apple is doing so well at the moment.

Apple makes products that are easy to use. Yet they’re not dumbed-down. An Apple iPhone is pretty intuitive for new users but is smart enough to appeal to ‘power users’ as well. Some people will argue they don’t have enough control over an iPhone’s settings, but for most people that’s not a problem.

Apple makes products that are easy to choose. If you want an Apple mobile phone, you buy an iPhone. Yes, there are different memory sizes and different screen sizes – and you can always buy one of the previous versions – but for many consumers there’s only really one model.

Apple makes products that people want. Every so often there’s a celebrity who endorses a rival product and yet they’re seen using an iPhone when they need to go online. The staff at Apple love them too: they use them all the time. That’s how prototypes get lost in bars. And don’t underrate the effect of Apple’s advertising. Visit the Apple website and it’s showing you the amazing things you can do with Apple products. It’s not trying to sell you a phone.

Apple controls the sales process. Okay, not entirely – you can buy an iPhone from your mobile network or from an independent retailer – but buying from an Apple Store gives customers an all-Apple experience. There’s hands-on contact with the products, there’s no pressure, there are well-informed staff – and it’s all glowing white, rather like a high-tech version of heaven. On top of that, Apple runs its own App Store and iTunes, too. Buying your device, filling it up with content, downloading apps, customising it to suit your taste: it’s all under Apple’s umbrella. No, not an iUmbrella.

Apple makes premium products. In an industry where average smartphone selling prices keep falling because more and more low-cost devices are being produced for developing markets, Apple is sticking with premium. And you can end up paying quite a lot more for a phone that’s a little bit better. A bigger iPhone screen doesn’t cost Apple £80 more but that’s what it costs customers. The same goes for memory, too. Extra profit from customers who don’t mind paying extra for a top-spec handset.

Apple spends a lot of time and money on research and development. Goodness knows which version of iPhone they’re working on now. But I bet it’s not just iPhone 7.

Mark Bridge is one of the team at The Fonecast. He doesn’t have an iPhone, Not yet, anyway.
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Opinion Articles

Predictions for 2016: Network Function Virtualisation, 4G throttling and video calling

Mark Windle, head of marketing at OpenCloud, predicts that this year’s reduction in the number of traditional telecoms operators in some countries will provide an opportunity for other operators to innovate and capture market share in 2016.

He says next year will be a year of rapid change for telecoms… whether it’s MVNO disruption, competitive tariff pricing or simply defence from the ‘dark art’ of hacking.

Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: No rating
Kapture review: the audio-recording wristband

Kapture review: the audio-recording wristband

A 'recording watch' that links to your smartphone

Mark Bridge writes:

The most memorable moments in life often go unrecorded. You don't have your camera in your hands. Your finger is still hovering over the 'pause' button on your audio recorder. Or you were simply too busy experiencing whatever was happening. It's all about the one that got away.

That's where Kapture can help.

Author: The Fonecast
4 Comments
Article rating: 4.0
Making mobile websites work better

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Device detection and responsive design explained

Mark Bridge writes:

James Rosewell shows me a colourful roll of paper that's the width of an iPhone but well over three metres long. When I look closer, I can see it's a printed copy of the Wall Street Journal's mobile website. That's a lot of scrolling to do... and a pretty unfriendly user experience for anyone reading the news online. Why does it work so badly?

Author: The Fonecast
1 Comments
Article rating: 3.8

Podcast transcript: O2 counts on 3, Microsoft counts to 10 and Apple counts its profits

Here’s an edited transcript of our new monthly podcast, broadcast on 30th January 2015.

[Iain Graham]: Hello, it's Friday 30th January 2015. Welcome to this month's edition of The Fonecast. That’s right, you heard correctly: we’ve temporarily moved to a monthly format. If you’d like to join 51Degrees in sponsoring the podcast and returning us to weekly programmes, please get in touch via our website. Now, on with the show.

Author: The Fonecast
0 Comments
Article rating: 5.0

The secret of Apple's success

Mark Bridge writes:

What’s the secret of Apple’s success? That’s the question I was asked earlier this week by LBC radio during a report on Apple’s impressive iPhone sales and its record quarterly results.

So here are six reasons I think Apple is doing so well at the moment.

Author: The Fonecast
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Recent Podcasts

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Later in the programme, the team anticipates some of the topics that will be hitting the headlines during 2016.

Author: The Fonecast
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Podcast from Mobile World Congress 2015

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Author: The Fonecast
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A month of mobile: O2 counts on 3, Microsoft counts to 10 and Apple counts its profits

Podcast - 30th January 2015

We're back with a month of mobile industry news, including takeover talks and takeover rumours. O2 and Three are said to be discussing a merger... but is there any truth in the suggestions that BlackBerry could be up for grabs?

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Author: The Fonecast
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