If you’ve used an iPhone or iPad you’ll probably have remarked (to yourself, at least) about how easy it was to get started. Successful as these things have been, they don’t really do anything you couldn’t do before – you’ve been able to listen to music, watch video, browse the web, play games, reply to your email and yes, even make phone calls from mobile phones for many years. I think I could first get e-mail on the move sometime around 1995 – a dozen years before the iPhone was launched.
So why have they been so successful? I suspect you know the answer. All that stuff that you could do, maybe did do, was much easier to achieve. And better. I’ll give you a couple of examples: the multitouch interface made it easy for people to scoot around their photos, emails and especially websites, without wishing they’d filed their fingernails to a sharp point. You only have to look at how young children instinctively touch a computer display (and are disappointed if it doesn’t respond) to see what a success that has been. Another example is Apple’s ‘visual voicemail’ feature – you no longer have to grind through dozens of voicemails from people you don’t want to speak to, in order to discover the one you care about – great for time-poor users (that’s everyone, right?).
AN INTEGRATED SOLUTION
Apple have achieved this level of quality (and, in the process harvested most of the profit available in the smartphone business) because they make the hardware, design the software, own the download stores, train the sales and support staff and manage their timetable to deliver. They control the whole process, which means they can work on the detail to get it all right, and refuse to launch something until they think it’s great. However you regard the company (as I write, it is the world’s most valuable business in market-cap terms) and whatever you think of their projects, they provide an integrated solution that many people love.
Of course you can do the same thing (and have been able to do for years) with many other phones or tablets. But you have to know where to look to find the right software, come up with a way to get your media on the device, work out a way to backup and upgrade when the need comes and generally rely on a lot of third party, here-today software. You’ll need first-rate geek skills and quite a lot of time. If you have that, it could all work out OK for you.
Our customers like integrated solutions. They want the technology in their life to work well, in a straightforward way, for ever. So we install reliable, best-practice, future-ready infrastructure using the best equipment for the budget. We create simple, reliable interfaces so they (and their families) can easily do what is needed – watch a movie, control the blinds, set the alarm, save energy – whatever they want to do. We never recommend fancy new gadgets just for the sake if it.
We’re certainly not Apple, but we get all our business from recommendation, and we’re working hard to do things as well as we possibly can. In an integrated way.