I don’t mean to add fat to the already saturated iPhone discussion, but a snippet from a recent Pathfinder article got me thinking about the real “innovation” that the iPhone is bringing to the table:
Why does this phone elicit responses like Alice’s [...]? Which I fully admit I shared as all the Mac addicts read the real time blogs from Macworld while Jobs was unveiling it. Oh yeah, it is cool!
But what it makes such a big splash is a study in contrasts, and how the competition failed to develop and market something that people can feel affection for.
Feel affection for. I couldn’t agree more. What truly puts the iPhone (and basically all of Apple’s products) ahead of the curve is its ability — even from just a video of someone else using it — to draw a truly visceral, pleasurable reaction from people.
I’ve long insisted that Apple does not sell hardware, or software. Yes, those are the tangible products that stock the shelves. But what Apple really sells is user experience, and that is why the iPhone is getting so much passionate discussion. It’s not about the touchscreen technology or the digital keyboard — although these technologies are certainly impressive. What’s really exciting and innovative about the iPhone is the emotion it elicits. It sparks the imagination. It moves with your touch. There is a real sense of “feeling” the digital space in a way that most people have only seen in the movies.
Anyone can develop technology. It takes a special kind of vision to turn that technology into an experience.