Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Because My Dad Can Use It ...

I was reading this story over on Engadget about the popularity of different cellphone makers. Coming in way ahead of the pack is Apple with their iPhone followed closely by Blackberry maker RIM. Check out the story and the cool graph.

I was trying to figure out how Apple, who has just released their very first cell phone, was able to storm to first place in customer satisfaction. Of course as an avid Mac user I'm not surprised, but nevertheless it is still quite remarkable that Apple could hit such a big home run with their first phone.

After pondering the question for a bit, I remembered a conversation I had with my dad recently. He was kvelling about his new iPhone and all the fun things he's doing with it. Now my dad is a smart guy, and he's fairly technologically savvy for someone of his generation, but the iPhone has a lot of features that I thought he simply wouldn't use or wouldn't bother with. However, my dad rattled of all the things he was doing with his phone as if they were no big deal.

And that is the reason for Apple's iPhone success. They built a very capable phone, but designed it such a way so that people can actually use it. They built a phone that my dad can use.

On the other hand my job has given me a very fancy Nokia smart phone that probably has a lot of features that the iPhone doesn't. But the thing is so wonky* and difficult to use that I don't use any of the special features and to be honest I can barely make phone calls with it.

Back in July when I was in the states, I went to the Apple store to play with the iPhone. From the moment I picked it up I was able to understand it and make it work. It really is the classic example of the Apple slogan - it just works.

*Not the proper use of the word wonky.

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