Apple Changed the Game. Again.

In an interesting read from our friends at 9to5Mac, Nokia CEO Stephan Elop speaks candidly about Nokia’s position in the smartphone market. I won’t quote the whole article but at one point Elop comments, “The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don’t have a product that is close to their experience.“. They go on to surmise that a partnership with Microsoft or Google may be in the works.

I remember the iPod being released in 2001 and for the next number of years all you heard about was “iPod killer”. If you look in the stores now you can buy half a dozen or more iterations of an iPod and yes – there are a handful of “low-end” MP3 players – but nothing that comes close to the iPod in experience and design.

Four years after the iPhone is released and the landscape is eerily similar. Sure, “Android” as a platform is widespread but the OS is installed in how many different handsets? 20? 50? I’m not talking about installed base here either – I’m talking about user experience. No other company has come out with one product that provides a consistent, high-end user experience across the board.

Can you imagine if Apple followed HTC’s hardware plan for example (no, I’m not slamming HTC here)? Suddenly in the Apple store there would be 23 different handsets – some only available in Canada, some in the U.S., different footprints, different colours, different OS flavours. This phone is marketed towards teens, and this phone is marketed towards college kids and this phone is marketed towards dogs. It would certainly be a different experience and I don’t think the iPhone would be the leader it is today with that approach.

And that, my friends, is why the biggest phone company in the world still doesn’t have a phone to compete with the iPhone user experience. What’s the old saying? Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door?

Behold Apple’s mousetrap.


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