For decades, Apple was perceived a premium brand with premium products. Products that just worked – with price tags fanatics aspired to. Ironically, Apple’s most successful products – the iPhone and iPad – have completely removed the brand cache.
At a glance – I can tell if a laptop is the latest MacBook Air. There’s still some value – if only in status – of having a the latest Apple laptop. Over the years Apple’s product designers have done a fantastic job of differentiating each generation from the next. Switching up curves and edges, black with silver, sparse with sparser. With each change, wallets were joyfully opened.
Unfortunately, all the iOS products look nearly identical. So nearly exactly alike that the significant only difference between the new and the old iPad is weight and thickness. Apple as status symbol is gone.
If a $117 iPhone 4 from WalMart can be mistaken for a $399 iPhone 4S at a glance – there’s little reason social reason to pay an additional $300. Conversely, everyone will have a $117 iPhone 4.
The existence Android only makes it worse. Android, like Microsoft Windows never was a premium product. Without a great deal of spit and polish – it will never be a premium product – no matter the sexy hardware around it.
This means there’s a significant void in the status symbol gadget market.
Today, I only see one thing likely to fill that void:
The absence of a gadgets.
We may have quickly reached the point we signal our status by our realtime dis-connection.
Additional point: Cricket offers pre-paid, unlimited iPhone for $55/mn