Spare a thought for your Apple store assistant. A few years ago if someone wanted an iPhone phone, they offered them an iPhone. If someone wanted an iPad, they offered them an iPad. Even if someone wanted a computer the choice pretty much boiled down to desktop or laptop.
Now it’s all different. The emergence of Apple’s latest iPad and iPhone derivatives confirms, if confirmation were needed, that the simple, clear, clutter-free Jobs period is well and truly over.
The Apple store assistant now has to compare and contrast products with very little between them.
The Apple site even employs a comparison mechanism to help decipher the differences between available iPads and iPhones.
Steve jobs must be looking down from his iCloud in sad bewilderment.
For a company that became so incredibly successful through it’s unequaled marketing, it seems odd they would choose to create so many derivatives and run the risk of diluting the iPhone and iPad brands that became instantly synonymous with the markets they themselves created.
This is the company that founded itself by introducing amazing products no one knew they wanted. Even the products that failed (Newton, Cube,) paved the way for products that eventually defined entire verticals.
I’ve no doubt the iPad and iPhone derivatives will sell but I do wonder at the costs associated with manufacturing and supporting such an extensive product line. The logistics alone must be mind-boggling.
Which brings me on to the Apple Watch. It’s here that I really struggle. Effectively a tiny strap-on tablet device, the Apple Watch seems to bring little to the party other than some health-related apps and a way to send doodles to other Apple Watch users. In other words, not much more than a typical phone provides.
What do I gain by replacing my relatively individual automatic watch (which never needs charging) with a generic Apple Watch? Is this a product no-one knew they needed? Has Apple taken an existing concept and redefined, reimagined, reinvented, redesigned it to become so much better? In years to come will we wonder how we ever managed without it? I’m not so sure.
For now, I’ll bide my time. Using my old Seiko. After all, if the array of iPhones and iPads is anything to go by, they’ll soon be myriad Apple Watches to choose from. And one of them is bound to deliver something truly distinguishing, right?