Revolutionary Measures

Apple, Antennagate and brand

The new Apple iPhone
Image by Victor Svensson via Flickr

The public and media storm about the iPhone 4’s antenna issues is an object lesson about changing brand perceptions and how companies need to evolve.

Like most companies, Apple has created some duff products in its time. And many of them have been down to design winning out over substance. The perfect example is the round mouse shipped with the iMac and Power Macs. Design wise it looked gorgeous and fitted in completely with the style of the product. However it was virtually impossible to use, leading to a storm of complaints and forcing customers to buy replacements.

But at the time it didn’t really matter. Macs were a niche product and users (mostly designers) weren’t going to defect to Windows over the issue.

Roll forward to the iPhone 4 and again a gorgeous design compromises the ability to actually use the product. But rather than just affecting a relatively small number of Apple fanatics, we’re talking about millions of mass market consumers. Big difference, hence Apple’s eventual issue of protective cases and heartfelt apologies.

But it took a while for Steve Jobs to stand up and admit the mistake (sort of). As it moves more and more into the mainstream Apple will need to learn to react faster if its brand is going to retain its lustre and appeal. Oh, and checking that the antenna works before shipping would also be a good idea…………

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July 22, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,

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