Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Apple iTree

(This blog may or may not be relevant by the time this is posted to the internet. The products mentioned in the blog will probably be already out of date.)

Dear Steve Jobs,
First, let me say that I like your work. I like Apple. I like your products--the simplicity, the functionality, the sleek design. I own a couple—-a laptop, two iPods, and some smaller peripherals. I’m a repeat customer, and I’m mostly pleased.

That being said, I am frustrated. Why? Because five minutes after I buy one of your Apple products, I feel that the new product is obsolete. The joy and excitement I had for owning this cool, new, top-of-the-line Apple product disappears. It happens every time. And do you want to know why? It’s because you release a newer, slimmer, faster model right after I’ve broken the seal on the shrink-wrap.

I have to hand it to you. Your company seems to know what you’re doing. I am still satisfied with the product, but just disappointed that it isn’t top of the line anymore. I keep coming back to Apple. Nothing is wrong with my product-—it still functions well, looks good, and does what I bought it to do. It just isn’t as... new. All of your upgrades are significant enough to diminish the last version, but not large enough for me to trash it. You seem to be walking this thin line of almost pissing me off and getting me excited for the next generation of Apple gizmo.

For example, I bought an iPod Photo almost two years ago. It was the first iPod with a color screen, and I paid extra for that feature. I had what others didn’t have—-a color screen. And I was happy. For about three months. Because then the iPod Video came out. All the new iPod Videos have color screens now, and they are slimmer, and they play video, and they cost less. Well, shit! I wish I had known that three months ago!

Another issue are my laptops--12” G4 Powerbook at home, 15” G4 Powerbook at work. They are pimped out with software and ramm. They are good computers, but not great anymore. They aren’t a G5, or even an MacPro Intel Duo. I don’t even know what version of OSX we’re on anymore...Panther, Cheetah, Orca, Grizzly? My laptops suit me fine. They get the job done. But Apple has me wanting the newer, faster laptops.

What prompted me to write this blog is the latest fiasco. I just bought an iPod Nano last month. I was psyched. This is my first mp3 player upgrade in two years. The Nano is so small, lightweight, and just plain cool. My old iPod Photo feels like a brick compared to the Nano. But gosh darnit, what’s this? What’s this new commercial? New Nanos?!?! That have brighter screens, longer battery life, and double the storage capacity for no extra cost? And they come in five or six different color choices?

Apple just shat on me again.

This is my diagram describing Apple’s product strategy. I call it “The Apple iTree.” At the bottom of the iTree stands me and all the other Apple customers. Notice my hand picking a product off the the iTree. Within arm’s reach grows a 4GB iPod Nano. Unbeknownst to me, halfway up the tree, barely out of sight and barely reachable grows an 8GB Nano in five new colors. Soon it will grow closer to the customers. It makes my 4GB Apple not as sweet (get it? sweet? like fruit? it's a pun. i'm sorry). Lastly, at the top of the tree, way out of sight, is the new 15GB iPod Electron (or some other cool name that suggest it’s small size). Right now it's just a prototype, but just wait, because the iPod Electron is going to blow the socks off of the Nano.

1 comment:

JJ said...

I got an 8 GB ipod nano for my birthday last week...it was only $250 :-) But if it makes you feel any better...its just the black one...no cool color!