I’ve probably seen that Samsung commercial a dozen times over the last few days. The one that makes a pretty good mockery of people waiting in line for the iPhone 5. The one that makes a really good point about all the things that still, STILL, aren’t available for iPhone users, that we could have on the Galaxy S3.
The commercial makes perfectly valid points, and yet Apple will still sell a bajillion iPhones over the next few weeks. Is it because it’s a better phone that the Galaxy or other Andriod devices? No, not really. Is it because people are just completely under Steve Jobs’ charismatic influence, even from the grave? Well, maybe.
Or is it because no matter the limitations of the iPhone, when I turn it on, everything just works. When I install an app, 90% of the time, it will just work, and it will do the one thing I want that app to do on my phone.
Let me tell you a story. Today, I spent more time than I care to admit trying to scan some documents. I have a multifunction device in my home office. It’s wireless. My laptop can print to it all day long without ever losing any connection to it. I could not, however, use it to scan. The scan function did not see any computer to save the file to on the wireless network. Likewise, my laptop could not connect to a scanner, yes the very same device that it could print to easily. I had to find a USB cable and connect it to my laptop and install it as a new device before I could scan the 5 pages I needed to scan. This is not how people want to work.
This would be the antithesis of an iPhone or iPad. When I open up one of those devices, I can immediately start doing what I want to do with it, and if I can’t, I take it to the Apple store and let them figure it out. So yeah, it has limitations, but users never have to spend as much time getting it to do what they want to do as they do with other devices. Thus, the appeal.
When technology gets in the way of us doing what we need to do, it loses favor, regardless of how much “better” that technology might be. Apple has been successful in the past because their technology didn’t get in the way. Let’s see if that holds true for the iPhone 5, or other new devices. If the Maps on iOS6 are any indication, they may be in for some rough days.