We at Into Forward are ready for the next big leap in Mobile consumer technology. Almost 10 years ago the iPhone was released by Apple which in turn reinvented the smart phone from many devices looking different to all devices looking like the same one. With the introduction of a large high definition screen which can be interacted with something simple like your finger rather than a stick or another device makes this new mobile phone better than before. Over the last few years it seems as though Apple has nowhere to go. Companies like Samsung and Microsoft have for years been playing catch up with Apple to try and keep up with mobile consumer technology as to not be left behind in the market. That’s not to say that these companies have not created innovations of their own, it’s more a case of Apple was the company that kicked on the mobile phone into a new era. Looking back quickly at another revolutionary product from Apple, the iPod was a device that allowed an equally important technology, MP3, to be as portable and as easy to use for the end consumer.
With the updates to the iPhone not really having a huge amount of impact on the look and feel of the device itself it feels as though there is nowhere to go in terms of innovation for this particular device. At this point we are thinking what is to come next? The big leap from phone to smart phone was huge. Equally the leap from smart phone to iPhone was massive. As a consumer we should demand more we should be challenging these companies to innovate at a much grander scale. It feels as though the shape and the size of these devices is changing by very small percentages every six months with no real big shift in the devices design or innovation as we’ve seen in previous years. With hundreds of millions of consumers invested in these types of brands they should expect more.
Going back to the original point, what is going to happen next? Are we going to see wearable technology replace the need for a handheld device in the near future? Our brand is going to continue to use the first and second releases of innovative products as a test bed to learn how to innovate further to increase sales? Looking at early wearable technology and seeing how success and failure were perceived by the consumer for these devices. In this instance early smart watches and other wearable devices were poor examples of what we see today. This is simply because Branson missed out on one critical element which was to make anything worn by a person on their wrist to be part of the same decision making process as clothing. The most important factor within clothing is not that it is functional but that it is beautiful. People pay money for what they want not what they need. Do you need £500 smart phone that allows you to see who is calling on your wrist rather than on the phone that you can simply take out of your pocket?
Moving off topic slightly when is the consumer going to understand that we need a consciousness change to reverse the industry back to one where products were not bought and thrown away but they were bought and fixed when there are issues with them. For example personal computers from 10 to 20 years ago were all able to be fixed and have replacement parts added to them to increase the memory for example or to replace the processor with the faster one. Nowadays brands are driving the consumer to replace their products every six months to a year with the sport or no innovation to justify the added expenditure on these new products. The large iPad released by Apple only 12 months ago is a prime example of this type of product. No parts can be replaced by the customer no upgrade the memory processor or battery or sold online law are readily available for the consumer to seek out such products.
With a price-tag of nearly £1000 or $1500 how come that cost be justified when a new product will be released creating £1000 investment obsolete within 12 months? Therefore to be able to justify such a high price for innovation, more innovation needs to exist. Where do you think handheld mobile consumer technology is going to go? Looking back at fashion again momentarily these types of trends go full circle every 10 to 20 years. Some clothing that was one in the 90s is now being worn again puffer jacket which was seen 30 years ago and now becoming fashionable again. Should we expect consumer handheld technology to do the same? Is the Nokia 30 to 10 with its changeable covers going to make a return? Or is it like most 18 devices become a classic? Is that now and opportunity for brands to package up old technology which is worth pennies to the end consumer with little or no value at all as retro therefore adding to the venue? If so how much is this going to be sold for? Could you justify $1000 for a device which he would’ve paid $50 for 30 years ago? We believe that whatever comes next is no longer going to be a handheld device. With giant strides being made in machine learning and virtual reality it almost seems as though the innovations that are being made by Apple and Samsung even the likes of Microsoft with mobile phones are already obsolete before they are released.
Do these companies continue to sell the latest fashions of an already outdated device simply because it isn’t easy place for them to generate additional revenue? The time is soon coming when people will become bored of that little or lack of innovation that has been created by these big companies. Someone with an innovative idea to change the direction of the market needs to step forward. The likes of Google and Apple do the absolute best innovate as much as humanly possible but are bound to the bureaucracy which limits their innovation. For us to realise that there are more innovative products out there is to demand more of industry as a whole. Will you veto the next release of the Apple iPhone? If so will you go to Kickstarter her or a similar website which enables small companies to break through bringing arguably greater innovation therefore a much greater quality of product for you? What do you think?