Marketing vs Delivering
The iPhone was announced two years ago in January 2007, and it was released a few months later on June 29 to huge lines in Apple and AT&T stores following weeks and months of anticipation and news article after news article. True to their modus operandi, there was hype. Apple-sized hype.
Has it changed the world? Well, as far as designing phones, maybe. See: Android/G1, BlackBerry Storm, Palm Pre. Before the iPhone, there were music phones, touchscreen phones, web browsers on phones. But no doubt that anything that came after January 2007 had to at least be held up once or twice to the new benchmark, the iPhone.
Was it worth all that hype? Were all those people who pre-ordered something they’ve never seen complete nutsos? Ok, you know my answer. But here’s what I think is really incredible: for all the mad hype, the buzz, and the Apple marketing machine, it’s amazing to me that Apple has delivered to not just match, but to far exceed all that hype.
A major iPhone software update, OS 3.0, was released this month bringing many improvements to the iPhone for free. It’s a significant release, not just because of the features it includes, but because it resolves the remaining major critiques of the original iPhone. Missing features like cut & paste, search, MMS, and tethering now round out the capabilities of the iPhone. And as the two-year contracts attached to those first iPhones are now expiring, a quick look back reminds me of how much has changed.
The original iPhone did not have copy/paste, search, push notifications, notes syncing, Find My iPhone, chat, Exchange support, Chinese handwriting recognition, or parental controls. And it didn’t have the App Store. iPhone OS 2.0 brought the ability to download games, Yelp, internet radio, banking, twitter, AIM… an endless list of apps. In one year, more than 1 billion apps have been downloaded. I can now place stock trades on my phone more easily and quicker that I can on my computer- unthinkable in 2007.
Apple delivered a pretty outstanding phone, but they continued to deliver feature after feature over the next two years. It’s pretty safe to say that people who bought an iPhone got more than they paid for, and definitely more than they expected. It’s amazing what seamless software updates can bring. And, nowadays, even cameras and cars get software updates. But I’d be hard pressed to think of another phone, or anything else that can be bought for that matter, that continues to exceed expectations far beyond the point of sale like the iPhone. Apple promises the world and continues to over deliver. Amazing.
Jean-Louis Gassée describes 3.0 as the “Real 1.0”
The original iPhone:
iPhone OS 3.0 features, tips, and tricks