iPhone Success: One Crucial Element
- June 25, 2020
- 0 Comments
Fun Friday post here, quoting from the Monday Note… : In the Monday Note, Jean-Louis Gassée reminds us of a critical factor in the success of the iPhone, which, 14 years on, most of us have likely forgotten…
Much has been said about the original iPhone’s success factors: an innovative multi-touch interface, a never-seen-before combination of cell phone, iPod and Internet “navigator”. All good, but missing one crucial element: removing the carrier’s control on the iPhone’s features and content.
This is so true. And I can’t imagine someone other than Steve Jobs being stubborn enough and having enough conviction, to make this happen:
More specifically, we owe Steve Jobs an enormous debt of gratitude for breaking the carriers’ backs (to avoid a more colorful phrase).
I mean, maybe others can be imagined, but we don’t really have to. Steve and Apple did it. they held firm when the temptation could have been to give a little, and a little more, to the carriers in exchange for distribution.
Carriers were no less imperious in their treatment of handset makers. They ran the show, never letting anyone forget the Hollywood “Content is King, but Distribution is King Kong” adage. Life was orderly, everyone in the cell phone ecosystem knew their place.
By all accounts, AT&T wasn’t even allowed to see the phone until everyone else did… and we can see what the other path looks like at the same time, by just looking at how carriers manage Android devices (hint: not well).