If you look into newspapers and websites of any journal from United States you won’t miss the word I-phone. Believe me, there are more than 100 articles that was written by technology experts, Apple lovers and others in this business.
Would it become a hit? Million dollar question. But it’s easy to answer. It’s going to be flop of this century. I knew that technology lovers and apple fans would hit at me. I love to get hit by the folks who’re fans of technology, convergence, and Ofcourse Apple.
History says that convergence won’t work in the market. Make no mistake, technologist love it, press love it but public think other way. Is it possible for anyone to think of having a system that could do printing, scanning, taking photocopies so on and so forth from single device? But intelligent people from different companies did that and eventually got failed.
When we think about printing, it’s only HP that’s coming to our mind. XEROX is better in photocopiers. This clearly states that divergence is here to stay and Ofcourse it’s only going to be winning bet. After so many millions and billions in advertising, still few companies love for another battle in convergence.
Apple with its I-phone is doing another mistake, which they did almost a decade before with Newton. For those ladies and gentlemen, who doesn’t know, Newton has been launched as hand held computer. It portrayed its handwritten recognition as key technology in its product. Today there is still palmtop, but there is no Newton. Newton got destroyed because of convergence. Its hand written recognition did lot of mistakes in recognizing and hell lot of funny stories has been written on it. Finally Apple winds up its plan and ended in wasting its precious time and money in the process creating successful convergence product.
I-pod is definitely not a first hard drive for music. But its first hard drive in the mind of people. Why it become instant success. Because it does only one thing in a perfect way- Digital Music. It had the capability of holding more music than any other MP3 players that could store music of just 2 CDs. Its classical example of divergence. It got enormous success because it is a specialist.
With I-phone I’d be able to watch movies, send email, listen to music and Ofcourse make calls. Which battery in this world could last longer by accepting all these functions combined in a single device? I think this is going to be huge task for the folks at apple to come up with realistic answer. Already BusinessWeek has come up with an article that I-Phone is not supporting few email clients. Make no mistakes there are much more to come.
There is another danger for Apple, where they might be getting into competition with focused competitors of Smart phone makers viz., Research in Motion (RIMM) and Palm. Apple is increasing its competitors which mean it is directly or indirectly creating enemies which are not good for its business. Well, you’d argue, if I’m in market, I’d be having enemies, but creating unnecessary enemies are not good for business.
Whatz the lesson for startups from Apple?
Ofcourse we always learn lessons from others or learn from our mistakes. From Apple launch of I-phone, start ups must know that they must be focused and must work as a specialist than a generalist.
If you’re in everything, it means you’re in nothing. Not only that, your business could unnecessarily attract more competition and it could add enemies in the industry. This is definitely not good for start ups.
Start ups must try to focus on a particular technology that should be new and unique rather than converging everything and does one-stop solution which had the history of failure than success in this market. Rational thinking should hold high than emotional thinking. This is one of the most important lessons from this launch.
Convergence stays in newspaper columns, Divergence stays in the market.
I-Pod – Greatest hit of 21st century. I-Phone – Greatest flop of 21st century.