Monday, January 15, 2007

iDesign

I'm not quite sure how Jobs does it, but the hype around the iPhones is phenomenal, taking the wind out of the rest of the industry's rather lacklustre unveilings at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

Obviously, I haven't got my grubby little hands on an iPhone yet (I expect it will be some time coming in the UK), but to me it again reflects on truism - Apple is in the design and fashion business, not the technology business. Take a look at the features - I've had them all and much, much more on my Orange phone for the past two years (I have an SPV M5000); no keyboard, so pretty useless as a business tool, no 3G, so useless for downloading or streaming (no TV on iPhones yet, then..); lousy battery life; a modest hard drive; high cost.

But it's shiny and nice and will impress people at parties, so it's bound to be a hit.

The PC market is no difference - I recently bought a $400 box that does all I can ask of it - browses, shows TV, edits video and pictures, etc.. So where the value add ? Design - as Apple have proved by keeping the prices for their computers consistently over 50% higher than competitor PCs with similar specs.

The same lesson seems to be true of the PC TV market - it's not what it does, how it does it, how functional it is, just how pretty it appears on screen that often takes a priority. Vista and The Venice Project are two cases in point.

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