h a l f b a k e r y
This ain't rocket surgery.
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Working in Tech Support for a major US cellphone
carrier, I find myself frequently put in the position of
having to explain the many differences between
Android, Blackberry, IOS, and Windows Phone 7
smartphones to my customers who, from the
commercials shown on television, really don't seem
understand that there ARE actual differences in
capability between these operating systems.
I've had many iPhone users tell me that if they knew
from the beginning that you can't backup any of your
data (can't, in fact, even store contacts on your SIM
card), or in fact even activate the device, without
plugging into a computer and syncing with iTunes they
would have never bought one. Several didn't even
what iTunes was when I asked if they had synced with
it, and became extremely frustrated when I explained
to them that they have to keep their software
on a regular basis (which can only be done through
iTunes) or we (the carrier) can't provide ongoing
troubleshooting support for it.
I see AT&T's advertisements for iPhones showing a
dozen neat things you can do on them (ie, 'there's an
app for that'). I see the EXACT SAME capabilities being
advertised by Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless
their Android, Blackberry, and Windows phones.
The ones I always seem to see are turn-by-turn GPS
map systems, social networking, and syncing music
between your phone and computer. These are things
that EVERY SINGLE SMARTPHONE can do! So when
people see commercials for an Apple iPhone, Motorola
Droid X, Blackberry Torch, and HTC Surround, they
the exact same capabilities (with maybe a few
cosmetic hardware differences) on display and
they're going to go with the iPhone because it has
already established itself in these roles.
Customers don't seem to realize that things such as
external memory card slots, applying after-market
files as ringtones, third-party (non-Market) app
download capability, and Google's myriad cloud
are not universal to the smartphone genre of devices.
I think that if smartphone manufacturers such as HTC,
Motorola, and Samsung ran an ad campaign
the advantages of their Android operating system over
rival OS's, as opposed to trying to showcase how
their device is to the iPhone, they would see a huge
leap in sales.
In short, my idea is to change the direction of their
campaigns from "see how well we've managed to
emulate the iPhone" to "see how many ways in which
we are better than
||If i had myself cracked the marketing problem, i
wouldn't be in penury, but i'm thinking this wouldn't
work and i don't know why. I think it's because
people like what they see the iPhone as capable of
doing and if a competing device's other capacities
were advertised instead, there wouldn't be enough
attention span left to make it look like an iPhone,
but i'm not sure that's why. This is intriguing. I feel
almost sure it wouldn't work even though it sounds
sensible and i can't pinpoint why i think that.
||My take on it is that Apple have done for the touchscreen smartphone what Hoover did for the vacuum cleaner, Coke did for the cola-beverage, Aspirin did for acetylsalicylic acid, blah blah, Sellotape, blah blah Frisbee, blah blah Tarmac, Taser, Tippex etc.
|| If you create/dominate/market a product niche successfully enough, you get to lead and control what the perception is over that product niche.
|| This isn't about technology (not totally anyway) it's about a well constructed, tightly controlled, targeted, vetically integrated and funded marketing strategy designed to exactly do this.
|| Until Android (Microsoft have attempted to do this, only 5 years too late) start opening glossy "Android Stores", start doing "keynotes" (the fact that we all know what a "keynote" even is is an example of the domination of the market in this area) accidentally "leaving" new models around in San Fransisco bars, and getting control of their hardware (see the recent Motorola move suggesting they are starting to do this) they're not going to have the same total-market presence that it's taken Apple the last 10 years to build up.
||By pointing out what their device CAN do, they are
implicitly pointing out what it CANNOT do as well,
potentially giving customers a reason not to buy.
|| [21Quest]: (caps added) //if they knew from the
beginning that you can't ... THEY WOULD HAVE NEVER
||Further to z_t's anno, I would say that , specifically, its about selling things to people who don't understand them (and probably don't want to understand them). That's why the marketers concentrate on the "Ooh, shiny!" aspect rather than bothering to go into any real detail about their products.
||Then invest in shinier materials and craftsmen who can polish
them to their maximum potential.
||The problem my idea is meant to address is actually
exacerbated by Apple's blatantly false advertising. I see
iPhone and iPad commercials all the time saying "If you
don't have an iPhone, you can't do X", with X being
something that many other smartphones actually CAN
do, such as storing a library of ebooks or syncing your
music player with a computer wirelessly. They
frequently show iPads displaying interactive 3D anatomy
diagrams, which is a basic function of the Google Body
app, which is available on all Android tablets running
3.0 or higher.
|| I would love to see a commercial that starts off with a
scene from one of those iPhone commercials, then the
screen freezes and a big red X appears across it. Then a
Google representative walks across the screen holding
an Android phone and says "Actually, I don't have an
iPhone and I can do all of those things" then shows
exactly how they can be done on his platform plus one
or two other things that the iPhone CAN'T do, such as
out-of-box activation without plugging into a computer
and inserting a MicroSD card with 32 gigabytes of music,
pictures and PDFs stored on it.
|| Then his buddy comes walking up with another Android
device, and they swap MicroSD cards to trade some
music files without having to repurchase them through
||<obligatory stereotypical marketing joke>Two
charities have set up booths near an door to a big
Catholic church. The booths are right next to each
other. One has a big Star of David on the booth,
the other, a beautiful painted Jesus.
|| The donation jar at the Star Of David booth is
pitifully empty. On the other hand, there are
several donation jars at the Jesus booth that are
completely full, and the last one is near
|| One passer by sees the situation, shakes his head,
stops by the booth with the Jesus, drops a buck,
then turns to the booth with the Star of David,
shakes his head again and says: why would you set
up your booth here? Maybe you need to set up by
|| He leaves. As he does, the
person behind the Jesus booth turns to his right
and says, "Moshe, they want to teach us about
marketing"<End of obligatory stereotypical
|| Eventually there would be a better device. An
Android Amazon device might give them a run for
their money. But for the most part, the iPhone is
more polished, and has a nice religious following.
Tough to beat that.
|| I think the idea has a tough time standing on its
own, and feels ranty.
||It's an ad campaign... just like the category says.
||I have several complaints about my Android phone that seem like basic ergonomic fails.
||One other commercial could demonstrate a busy,
overtasked iPhone user dropping his phone on the
sidewalk and crying out "NOOOO! I didn't have a chance
to sync with iTunes and backup my data! I have a spare
iPhone in my briefcase but I can't even activate it until I
|| Then it shows an identical scene featuring an Android
user, who says "oh darn, I'm going to have to
reconfigure my display preferences!" He then retrieves
the still-intact MicroSD card and SIM card, then inserts
them into a spare phone from his briefcase, activates it
in 2 minutes, and goes on about his business.
||[21 Quest] What you are suggesting is very similar to the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads but in reverse.
||When I read the title, thought it might be something about the
ads that pop up on the side bars of almost every site.
Imagination kept to hipnotoad.
|| Life would be simpler if decision making was removed...