Steve’s Way

I was reading tweets on my iPhone when I saw it. The breaking news. My jaw literally dropped as I pulled the phone closer to my face and triple-read the tweet.

Steve Jobs was gone.

I was having a conversation with my friend yesterday on G+. Here’s how it went.

Friend:

It amazes me how apple have done so well in this market. Obviously, they started this particular markets race and all the current incessant wars on which is a better phone.

“Apple does not really care about customers feedback. Its Jobs way. ” Research, Design, Create and Sell. If it fails, I will deal with it.” Bring on the next round and foray onwards!. Simply Amazing and it works….

You have to say the way they introduced face-time in iphone 4 was a marketing genius!! …. Cough

Its funny how people thought it was awesome and something new! However, It’s a known fact that it was not a new technology. We have had its capabilities for years and all of a sudden, call it Face-Time….. and poof!!!…. Bob’s your uncle!!!. Maybe, they were just taking their time to tweak it!

It was a function which could have easily been introduced into the iphone 3 itself or when 3G was up and about. You either love apple products or you don’t. It is one of those things I have noticed. It is the markets way of luring you. It is their way of keeping you in their market. Simply, it is the apple’s way

However, with this market being more competitive Apple will soon need to stop doing this in order to maintain their lead?

Perhaps not…? We shall see…. ”

What do you think?

My reply:

I think Apple does care about what its customers think. The fact that they changed the iPad mute switch to allow for an orientation lock option shows that it does listen to feedback, especially if it’s loud enough. But mostly you’re right. Apple designs and sells only what it really believes in and endorses.

And although it’s true that video-calling has been around for a long time, it took Apple’s clout and reputation to make it something so widely used. Video-calling was a niche area at best. I know I never really used it coz most of the phones I had over the years didn’t really have front-facing cameras. The fragmentation of the mobile market meant that not every phone would have a front-facing camera, so if you had one, you were lucky if you even got to use the function because chances were that most of your friends didn’t have one.

Could the feature have been added to the iPhone 3G or 3GS? Perhaps, but I doubt the existing components would have made the experience something Apple would be proud of. Apple has a history of releasing features that other phones have had before, some for a long time. But one of the reasons it’s so successful is that it has a reputation of only releasing those features when it is 100% sure that those features are a joy to use, and not just something you add because you want a long feature list that sounds cool on paper but is subpar in actual real-life usage. So they made sure FaceTime was gonna be great before they even mentioned it. And it took them four iPhones to get to that point.

Another reason why Apple was able to make FaceTime such a big hit was because it first made sure that the first-gen iPhone was a breakthrough device that millions of people and their friends would adore and use continually. The iPhone 3G and 3GS further cemented the iPhone’s reputation as an insanely popular device. It wasn’t until the iPhone 4 that a front-facing camera was added, and by that point, Apple had already secured a market of millions and millions of users which guaranteed that FaceTime would have a ready user-base.

Coz let’s face it — if you have a phone that can do video calls, it’s only awesome if your friends do too. And since the iPhone has become so ubiquitous, chances are that even though FaceTime is iPhone-only, it will probably still be an awesome experience for you because you will have quite a few friends who have iPhones as well.

Does Apple hold back features that could be introduced earlier? I wouldn’t be surprised. I’m gonna play devil’s advocate and say that it is probably a part of their marketing strategy. But the history of Apple and Steve Jobs shows that they are relentless when it comes to products. They make sure the experience is one that is a cut above the rest. If holding back a feature or two because those features are not yet up to scratch ensures that the product as a whole shines brighter, then so be it.

Ultimately, Apple designs gadgets that are gorgeous to look at and to own. The gadgets don’t just look good, they function well. But the major point to be made here goes beyond just function. Usability is what it’s all about. I love my iPhone. I love my MacBook Air. I love them because I enjoy using them. I enjoy all the little details, animations, functions, flows of apps and all that. Everything flows well together. I love Apple products not only because they look great and work well, but because its the experience of using them that is so rewarding. Apple consistently puts so much consideration and engineering thought into even the smallest details to make sure that their customers fall in love with their products.

That, I believe, is Apple’s way.”

Never have my Apple devices felt more personal than at this moment. Steve Jobs’ iconic vision exists in them all and my life today would be profoundly different were it not for him.

Without a doubt, Apple is the company it is today because of Steve Jobs. Beauty in design, function, usability and experience. The capability of a piece of technology to be loved in its entirety.

It was, and is, Steve’s way.

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