Let's try a little brand & technology test. Name three upcoming phones that you are excited to see. And now name three laptops that you know of that will change the industry in the time before "back to school" shopping begins in July.
Okay, have you got those ideas/products in your mind?
Now let's pull the market a part and look at what's on it's way and how that matches up with what you know and what you anticipate about the evolving tech market.
RIM, Apple. What is it about the Android phones that are coming to the market that excite you? Is there a RIM product that can decrease the loss of market share of the BlackBerry platform? And then there's the iPhone 5. Here's what happens just before the release of a major Apple product release: the market goes bonkers over "new Apple concept" stories. And the other manufacturers have to sit and wait like the rest of us. Do you think HTC knows what's coming? Or Motorola? Or even the engineering team at Google's Android Mobile OS HQ?
Here's one of the better speculative design visions for the new iPhone 5. (My question is will it launch in time for GRADUATION? My guess is YES.)
What's about to happen with the iPhone 5 is bigger than design. It's bigger than SIRI. What's about to happen with the release of the iPhone 5, that did not happen with the "most successful ever" iPhone 4S. The coveted behavior that is about the hit the earth with the release of the new Apple iPhone is: the consumer product refresh. When the new "design" hits it's the design that's going to be bigger than SIRI+ or iOS 6, or iTunes 11. The consumer is going to fall in love with a NEW iPHONE and the entire industry knows it. And you can bet designers and engineers and visual artists are already mocking up "what if" prototypes of how they will compete and counter act the heat that's about to enter the market, once again, on Apple's side. That's a tough order.
Laptops/Notebooks: And computer manufacturers are in a similar breathless pause. The meh Ultrabook push from Intel has run its buzz, and after the dust has settled the Dell AIR-like XXX 13 is the only stand out product from the Winter CES. Why, where is everybody else? What's HP got on the books? Do the masters at ASUS and HTC have magic machines on the way?
What's about to happen in laptops is very similar to the iPhone scenario above. No matter who you listen to, and no matter what they are saying about Dell, HP, Toshiba, Sony, they are waiting to see what Apple does with the upcoming MacBook Pro "design" refresh. The sleek AIR has been the catch-up product of the last few years.
And rumor has it, that the new MBPs will have very AIR-LIKE lines. Features and design curves Dell/HP/Sony can only wonder about at the moment. Why? Because Apple has yet to show us WHAT'S NEXT IN LAPTOPS.
Think I'm just a fanboy blowing more undeserved air up Apples already inflated skirt?
A few things you're going to see on ALL LAPTOPS soon after Apple shows us the way.
1. Track pad surfaces that cover the entire palm rest area of the laptop. For gestures and drawing, ala iPad. (I don't think we're going to see a touchscreen/laptop hybrid from Apple yet, there's still too much to figure out.)
2. Thin design that is not measured in millimeters but in usability and comfort. Go put your hands on a Dell or HP in your local Best Buy. There's a feeling that Apple gets from their top-of-the-line products that no one but Sony can come close to.
3. The new high-end laptop. Put the fastest processor, the brightest screen, and the best battery in a laptop and you get a nice machine. Put those components in an Apple MPB and you can set your own price.
Apple's price point is the envy of every computer manufacturer in the world. Sure they don't sell to Enterprise customers like Dell does. Um, yeah, and they don't loose money on every laptop and try to make up the margin in services and support.
And what's coming in the new MBP refresh is a bit more meaningful than the cosmetic form factor change anticipated in the iPhone 5. What's going to happen with the new MPB line from Apple is a sold out production line for the first 3 months of release. Here's why. Many designers and developers are working on great machines that are moving on up on two-years old.
My computer, for example, is a fantastic beast. 2.4 mhz i5 chip, 8 gigs of ram (yes, I want MORE), and a 500 gig 7200 rpm hard drive. And I'm chomping at the bit for more power and more ram. Waiting in anticipation of Apple's new laptop line. And confident that Apple is going to change the entire game of mobile computers again. Netbooks/Ultrabooks are just ideas. Apples MacBook Pro is a standard by which all others will be judged.
Again, you think I'm pushing it a bit. But I'm not. Apple is. The things we take for granted now, larger trackpads and aluminum frames are what other manufacturers put in their BEST machine. Unfortunately everyone except Apple is selling mainly the GOOD (low end – low margin) machines, some BETTER machines, and only a few BEST (Apple-equivalent) machines. And sure I can understand how this would make you mad if you worked for Dell, or hated Apple, or were an Android fanatic.
You are about to see Apple put the bar a bit higher on everyone else's designs and functionality. Much like they have done with the iPad, the new iPhone and MacBook Pros will transform the industry, rekindle demand that is languishing for most manufacturers of consumer electronics, and show every consumer what the BEST of the BEST looks like.
If I had money, I'd keep putting it in AAPL. I don't. ;-(
It's gonna be a long summer and back-to-school season for every body else.
Reference: Sony revival plan: Cut 10,000 jobs; refocus on phones, TV, gaming (ZDNet)
Lest you think I repeat myself, here are some top Apple posts from uber.la:
- Apple Is Not Like Sony: What Does the US Do Really Really Well? (keep creativity in education in America)
- Don't Call It A MacBook Air Killer, But Do Complement Dell's Carbon Fiber Ass
- Why It Would Suck to be Dell or HP Right Now: Apple, the German Car of Consumer Electronics
- Last Summer's Back to School Showdown: Apple vs Dell: The Summer Promo Deals In Your Inbox
- Steve Jobs as Seen by Isaacson: And a Couple of Problems with the Bestselling Steve Jobs Bio
- Buying a New PC, and Wondering About Macs vs Windows
- Apple iPad2 vs Android vs Blackberry and the World
- The Next Interruptive Innovation from Apple's iPad Has Yet to Be Invented, But We're Working On It
Other posts to help you kick ass in social media:
- Twitter Death – Suspended Accounts: FEAR THIS "Your account is currently suspended"
- Twitter 101: Hashtag Discovery & Business: How-To Do Social Media Marketing Research
- How Social Media Can Change Your Business – Social Media Strategist Notebook
- Social + Media: Two Simple Words Combined (and the Skechers Social Media Showdown)
- My Dream for You; How Social Media Can Change Your Life – This Is What I Do
- Results of my 2012 Evolutionary Online Marketing Plan: Um, Excuse Me, Are You Listening?
- The Forced Evolution of Twitter
- The 7 Connective Practices of a Tribe – How To Build and Support Shared Plans
- Social Media Workflow: What's Your Daily Cadence for Sharing on Social Networks [infographic]
- Let's Talk About Your Evil Plan(tm) – Yeah, But What Else Are You Doing?
- The Quick Course in Online Marketing: Big Picture (Social Media, Search Engine, eMail, Content Marketing)
- New Web Design Standards: Flexible-Width and non-IE Browsers Abound
- 8 Steps Getting Social Media To 5 Goals & 2 Wins the [INFOGRAPHIC]
- ROI ROI ROI and Social Media; We Need to Have This Discussion Again
- Pinterest and the Power of Social Bookmarking: Tag Yourself (Web Design is Dead)
- Social Media MBA – The Reading List
Most people don't really enjoy being mean; they do it because they can't help it. (from Graham's Hierarchy of Disagreement)