I have heard some grumbling recently from some of my friends about their iPhones and iPads. And I cannot say I’m surprised by this. I have held off on buying any of these devices, because they just don’t offer what I need, and their price doesn’t justify their (un)usefulness.
One of my friends bought an iPad. She did not have Internet access at her home, and thought the iPad would be great for keeping up on Facebook, playing Facebook-based games, and searching for information. She spent $800 for a top-end iPad with 3G, plus accessories, and signed up for the data plan that went with it. She said for the first couple weeks, it was a fun device to play with, but she realized almost immediately that it would not play online games she liked because of issues with Java and Flash. Imagine that. What she bought it for (primarily Facebook gaming) is something the iPad won’t do. She now has an investment in a product that will never be for her what it needs to be, and she is frustrated. It’s an awful lot of money to have plunked down on a device that can’t deliver.
Then there’s my friend who just upgraded her iPhone to the latest operating system. She was very excited to think she could finally multi-task with the device, something she’d really been wanting it to do. Turns out multi-tasking is not really possible with the apps she wants to multi-task (Rhapsody, for one), and her final verdict was, “well, 4.0 is not worse than 3.1.” She wishes she’d held out for a Droid. She’s admittedly an Apple fan-girl, or at least she was up until this point, but now she’s just frustrated and disappointed. The iPhone had such potential, but it didn’t seem to evolve the way it needed to.
A mutual friend of ours put it rather well, I think. Apple comes out with a “wow” device that, in its time-frame, is something new and different and nifty. But after that, they fail to grow the product and/or software beyond its initial wow release. This is why the the Android devices are moving ahead and taking over the market; they took the basic premise that Apple started with, and developed it to its potential and then some. Apple is happy to just rest on its laurels, locked into its contracts and failing to fully develop a product, so that they can just come out with the Next Big Thing. There’s no denying that Apple made the world pay attention to the potential of MP3 players with the iPod, and that they made the world pay attention to the potential of smart phones with the iPhone. With the iPad, they’ve made the world reconsider the tablet; but in all honesty, I’ve seen tablets with more functionality and overall usefulness. And this is par for the course for Apple.
It makes you wonder what market share they could have if they simply developed the potential of their products fully.