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My Advice to Apple

By Saturday 30 March 2013Technology, Thinking
Apple-logo Since The Death of Steve Jobs, Apple seem to have lost their way. The iPhone 5 was disappointing and in my iPhone 5 Review I wrote about the disappointments and missed opportunities. I’m no technology whizz; just a customer who wants Apple to build on it’s success. So Apple this post is addressed exclusively to you. Let’s start with the iPhone shall we?

Your next iPhone release should be an iPhone 6. Forget the ‘S’ models unless you are going add something new; something more than a bit of unnoticeable Speed. No more rehashing of the previous model.

On a hardware front you need to take advantage of new technology including Wireless Charging. You need to improve the features that customers want such as a bigger screen width. In the iPhone 5 Launch Key Notes Presentation you made a point about keeping it the same width as the iPhone 4 so that it could be operated by one hand; but is this really what customers want? It seemed strange that all your competitors have widened the width of their smart phones but you haven’t.

The great thing with all your devices is that the hardware and software work in synergy. But software wise you’re to slow at making the changes customers want. Think back to the copy/paste feature, it took you far too long to add it in an update.

You need to loosen your control on the App Store, especially when it comes to your competitors Apps. When you delayed the Google Maps App and made the shambolic Apple Maps App, customers were left frustrated at not having a decent Maps App. We live in a world of convenience; so inconveniencing customers is a good way to loose them. Some customers saw it as a cynical attempt to control which software they use and taking away customers choice is another sure way to make them switch to your competitors.

We understand the need to update hardware; but let’s never have a repeat of the Lightening Connector fiasco. Support your existing customers by providing an adapter free of charge; as charging £25 for a tiny connector was seen by many as an exploitation of your customer base. Give accessory developers early access to the iPhone 6; so that when it launches customers can buy compatible accessories such as cases, speaker/dock devices, car handsfree kits, etc. It’s now several months since the iPhone 5 launch and there still aren’t many accessories around for it.

A really good way to emphasise value for money would be to put product packages together. So buy the iPhone 6 and get the latest iPad for a reduced price if bought together. For the iMac you could put a reduced price Time Capsule and so on. This would encourage your customers to spend more and give them an added sense of value for money.

imac-2012 Take the new iMac as a good example. You’ve slimmed it down, made it lighter and added loads of great features. My iMac (Part 1) is the the older version. It’s become everything I use technology for: I write on it, play music, view photos, watch DVDs/TV on it and surf the web. I won’t be upgrading as you’ve removed the DVD player and I watch DVD’s on my iMac daily. You’ve assumed that I want to download or stream all the films, TV and other media. Most people won’t spend the price of an iMac that doesn’t meet their requirements. They’d choose a different machine instead.

The key message is that you need to ask and listen to your customers. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the iPhone 6, iPod Touch, iPad, etc. you need to do market research for them all. You need to find out what customers want and need, rather than assuming you know what we want. You need to make sure your products are value for money; otherwise you’ll price yourself out of the markets.

Wishing you luck,

A Customer

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