The iPhone is not the most powerful smartphone in the market. It’s not the one with the fastest chip or the one with a hierarchical file system, or the one with a removable battery. It is however, the most successful and most coveted smartphone. Why is that? Simplicity and beauty.
The iPod was released in 2001. It wasn’t the first MP3 player, nor was it the most advanced. It was however, simple and beautiful (back in 2001). As you know by now, the iPod has been the most successful and most beautiful MP3 device in history. It became a cultural icon. It didn’t hold the most songs, the quality of sound wasn’t the best and the earbuds were pretty crappy.
Why did it succeed? Simplicity. The iPod was marketed with a specific goal in mind. Music! All commercials were about silhouettes dancing to the beat of some really cool music. All you were able to see was the white earbuds and a person dancing. This is what people wanted from their devices. Music. The majority of people don’t care about RAM, or WMV or MP3 or removable batteries. They just care about music and accessing it in a simple device. You shouldn’t have to be a chemist to work your digital music player. Apple succeeded in this.
Back to the iPhone
The iPhone’s approach is not very different than the iPod. Ghz or RAM or removable batteries or building kittens in your phone are not front and center or even mentioned. All Apple does is show you an experience. If you watch every single iPhone commercial you see a phone, a finger and a touch. Simple. A touch does everything you want in the iPhone. Apple doesn’t want people to worry about file structure or complicated widgets or killing multitasking apps. They just want you to touch and be on your way.
For geeks, this is a threat. Geeks want to play with their devices and jailbreak them and fiddle with files and folders and push their devices to their limits. That’s all good and dandy. But for 95% of people all they want is a device that can behave in a simple way. The iPhone has succeeded in the respect. Go look at Apple’s iPhone page and the page of all other smartphones. Front and center in iPhones page is the high quality photos of a gorgeous device and the experience that comes with it. No specs, no gory details.
The iPad borrows this formula as well. Have you seen iPad’s commercials? Look at the latest one? Doesn’t it touch the heart? It’s emotional, it’s… experience. All in a simple package.
This is why the iPhone has been the leader in smartphones. You get a device that is powerful, but yet simple. People shouldn’t have to worry about opening a latch to change their batteries. People shouldn’t worry about a complicated file system, or worry about saving documents. All you need is a finger and a will to touch what you want to accomplish. It doesn’t get simpler than that. Simplicity has always been Apple’s DNA. It has worked for them for quite sometime. It will continue to work for them in the future. Apple is not going after the geeky 5% market. They are going for the 95% market that is made up of moms, teens, adults and simple people. They are the ones that Apple wants… and the ones that Apple gets.