Jony Ive, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design have recently criticised a certain value proposition of a competing manufacturer. He did not specifically mention the name of the manufacturer but we can pretty much guess who it is based on what Jony Ive have described;
Their value proposition was, ‘Make it whatever you want’. You can choose whatever colour you want. And I believe that’s abdicating your responsibility as a designer.
That was what Jony Ive said to New Yorker magazine during an interview. Obviously from what we can gather and anyone else that is well versed in the mobile industry for that matter should pick up the referred manufacturer immediately; Motorola and its Motomaker. Since this magazine is public and the interview also went public the guy that is currently running Motorola, Rick Osterloh released a statement that just counters Ive’s statement. Rick Osterloh said;
Our belief is that the end user should be directly involved in the process of designing products. We’re making the entire product line accessible. And frankly, we’re taking a directly opposite approach to them [Apple].
We do see a real dichotomy in this marketplace, where you’ve got people like Apple making so much money and charging such outrageous prices. We think that’s not the future. We believe the future is in offering similar experiences and great consumer choice at accessible prices. The mobile phone industry’s greatest failure is also its greatest opportunity: to make really good, affordable devices for people who don’t want to spend a lot of money. A great smartphone, and a great mobile internet experience, shouldn’t be an expensive luxury. It should be a simple choice for everyone.
Of course while defending his own branding and their mildly successful Motomaker Rick Osterloh fired back with the next few statements. Calling the iPhone’s pricing outrageous may not be overtly accusing especially when you actually compare the price gap between Motorola’s offering and Apple’s. Furthermore with so much options to choose from to design a phone that is truly yours is, we think awesome. Apple only offers their iPhone with three colours but do remember that the upcoming Apple wearable device is going to host multiple customisation options as well.
As for what works for the industry, it is hard to justify Motorola’s customisation options and relatively low price point for their premium features. Sure, we consumers love it and would appreciate any manufacturer that are willing to venture into that; the more options, the cheaper, the better. Apple’s premium pricing strategy may not see ideal for the vastly growing industry but it does seem that it is still the way to go as Apple continues to post profits and a big contribution to their profit numbers are the Apple iPhones.