Neil Katz for The Huffington Post:
”If anyone but Apple released a major new product whose most unique selling point was a new accessory plug, consumers would jump ship faster than rats on the Titanic.”
Was the only upgrade to the iPhone 5 a new plug? Didn’t they add something else to the product? Every year it seems the refrain from tech blogs is more clear: they are disappointed in the latest iPhone.
I’ve been brewing on this for quite a while. My brother-in-law came up to our house last Friday and started a conversation about the iPhone. What did he say? ‘So, it sounds like the iPhone is a disappointment. huh?’ I didn’t know what to say, so I asked him what about the new iPhone was a disappointment. He told me he was just repeating what he had heard on the radio.
Why are the major tech blogs telling the radio broadcasters and TV news anchors that mass-market users like my brother-in-law listen to that the most successful iPhone yet is a disappointment? I have found three theories – preferences, leaks, competition.
In economics ‘different preferences’ is always a last resort explanation. We don’t want to assume that tech bloggers have a different preference than the millions of individuals that bought the iPhone 5 for many reasons.
First, that would make them a bad source of information on which products to buy. Also, and truly, it’s not a defensible solution. ‘Oh they just don’t like the same things as me.’ — not very scientific.
John Gruber seems to think it’s a preference difference:
Niceness is my explanation. The bored-by-the-iPhone tech press/industry experts surely value niceness, but they do not hold it in the same top-tier regard that Apple does. They are not equipped to devote an amount of attention to niceness commensurate with the amount of effort Apple puts into it. Apple can speak of micron-level precision and the computer-aided selection of the best-fitting of 725 identical-to-the-naked-eye components, but there is no benchmark, no tech spec, to measure nice. But you can feel it.
I don’t buy it. Millions of people around the world love the iPhone because it’s so nice, but it’s not a ‘feature’ that is important to the tech bloggers?
We have small differences in preference. Some people prefer the ability to tweak their device; they’ll want a Nexus. Some people prefer a phone bigger than their television; they’ll want a Note. But I think everyone will agree that they want a finely-crafted high-quality ‘nice’ cell phone.
There has to be something else.