A great editorial by Joshua Topolsky on Apple’s greater consumer electronics strategy, as revealed through its iPad 2 event the other day. About this bit, though:
But right now — in the tablet space at least — the problem for Motorola, Samsung, HP, RIM, and anyone else who is challenging Apple becomes infinitely more difficult. Almost any company could put together a more powerful or spec-heavy tablet, but all the horsepower in the world can’t help you if you don’t find a way to delight the average consumer.
I think Topolsky understates the scope of what makes Apple’s products and strategy so successful. It’s not merely a matter of delighting the average consumer; Apple’s retail stores are a huge part of bringing these new technologies and devices to the average consumer, allowing them to try them out, learn more about them from a friendly, helpful employee, and get help with the product should they ever need to (and people often do). That is something no other competitor is able to offer, because they don’t have their own retail chain. And those who tried (or are still trying) are failing with them for any number of reasons.
For all of the complaining some people do about the iOS’s lack of “true multi-tasking,” it’s perhaps ironic that Apple has been the only company this past decade that successfully multi-tasked a complete consumer electronics strategy.