Tuesday, June 23, 2009

iPhone and Features

Apple announces that 1 million iPhone 3GS have been sold in 3 days, easily beating "analyst" predictions. Considering the current economic climate, that is no mean feat.

Lots of pundits have weighed in on the iPhone, and as usual, the naysayers have been focusing on the lack of features in comparison with other smartphones. We've been down this road before. I've only been saying this for the trillionth time.

It's NOT the features. It's how Apple designs its products to get things done. It's the HOW, not the WHAT. That's its competitive advantage. You can have the fanciest shit on the planet but if no one knows how to get to it or is used only by Bob and his dog, said feature might as well not exist.

Here, have a look at these stats from Flickr, a Yahoo-owned photo sharing site.

According to Flickr:

These graphs show the number of Flickr members who have uploaded at least one photo or video with a particular camera on a given day over the last year.

The graphs are "normalized", which is a fancy way of saying that they automatically correct for the fact that more people join Flickr each day: the graph moving up or down indicates a change in the camera's popularity relative to all other cameras used by Flickr members.

The graphs are only accurate to the extent that we can automatically detect the camera used to take the photo or shoot the video (about 2/3rds of the time). That is not usually possible with cameraphones, therefore they are under-represented.

The iPhone line is clearly heading into orbit. Hell, the iPhone is even threatening to displace the "Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi" in the "Most Popular Cameras in the Flickr Community" category! This is a proper DSLR with more features than any existing smartphone! Why is this happening? As a smartphone maker, can you pack more features than this DSLR in your next smartphone offering? Do you still think "features" are the most important criterion in judging the success of a product?