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Can iPhone be disrupted?

Ben Thompson (stratechery.com) argues that iPhone evades low end theory of Disruption, because it has superior user experience that cannot be measured - so there is no way how consumer can compare iPhone to other phones. This is wrong, but not in straight way. User experience cannot be measured, but its parts can.

User experience:

iPhone, I think, has best marks in all of above points, that is why it is being superior regarding other phones. There is not much phones that can match iPhone exterior build. In 2010 Samsung Galaxy S has similar case, and similar quality of user interface, that is why Galaxy S was such a success, even it was called as iPhone by people, eventually Samsung was sued by Apple, and Apple changed chassis in IPhone 4. That is why Windows Phones sold badly - they had most boring interface (one colour icons) compared to other phones at the start. Now Xiaomi is in position to offer cheaper phone, with similar user interface and exterior to iPhone - and they are getting market share from Samsung in China. They offer good enough product in lower price. Samsung was not good enough.

So Apple is not in blind spot in Disruption theory, just its competitors are not good enough. Apple wants to be in business similar to bags - maybe Watch will them let do that, but having one (now two) iPhones is not helping either. Users prefer cheaper 16GB iPhone than pay $100 more 64GB one. This is not the case for bags. Why 5C was selling not that good compared to 5S? The only difference in user experience was only the case (and less speed than 5S, but, according to Ben Thompson customers do not see this)

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Consoles are similar, XBox 360, and PS3 were more powerful than PCs, and they can be connected easier to TV sets. This changed somehow now: PCs are better for gaming, and tablets, and phones are good enough for playing. Thanks to Steam, and streaming, low cost PC can be connected to TV, and gets game stream from more powerful PC in different room.

(02 February, 2015)

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