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The Apple Turns Sour

Apple iPhone 4

Apple iPhone 4

The much awaited Apple iPhone 4 has disappointed the fans of Apple. The gadget, that promised users various functionalities like multi tasking, appears to be a preliminary prototype of what was originally promised. The model is shoddy, and has many mistakes and glitches in operation which is not expected from an apple product. And the company’s entire attitude is the icing on the cake. The consumer friendly apple has now turned into a stubborn, defiant organisation whose CEO – Steve Jobs, is defending their mistakes and is turning a stubborn ear to customer complaints.

Problems with Apple iPhone 4

To start with, the Apple iPhone 4 has issues with signals. If your hand covers the spot which has the micro antenna, you will lose the signal altogether. Given the multitude of activities done by people while talking on the phone – walking, climbing buses and trains, shopping, working and so on, it is quite possible that your finger may accidentally go over that area. The company’s response to this is shocking. Instead of working on better model, they are asking people not to place their fingers there. This is usually the response given by Central government owned companies in India in the 70s. This kind of behaviour is not acceptable from the global giant, especially when it charges a whopping $200 USD for the product.

The other problems are varied. Some of the phones develop a yellow blotch that doesn’t go away quickly when you use the touch screen. The battery gets gobbled down if you try multitasking. Some of the much hyped applications don’t work well, and the reversed volume buttons has everyone feeling irritated. The video chat program crashes most of the time you try to use it. The iOS4 platform for iPhone and iPad devices has bombed too. It hogs up a huge chunk of battery life. Apple must realise that its customers are busy people who don’t have the time to go rushing off to charge their mobiles every few hours.

What could be the reason for these disasters? Apple is a company that is renowned for its meticulousness and its attention to design. It appears that to cash in quickly on the consumer market for mobiles and to compete with its arch rivals – Microsoft and Google, it has in a great flurry, delivered a product that has disappointed its customers. Apple seems to have forgotten that for a company to sustain itself, it is vital that it never lets its customers down. It’s not just Apple alone. There are others too.

Importance of product design

Companies these days, in the flurry of competition are forgetting the basics of business. While marketing certainly is an important function, the importance of product design and quality is now higher that it was before. People now want value for money products. There is a lot of variety in the market for every possible thing, and thus customers will not take well to product glitches. Take the BCCI for example. In the process of cashing in on the T20 format, it has ended up in over marketing itself. It is not able to provide the basic thing that its viewers look for –  entertainment. It is losing its focus on cricket, and giving too much importance to useless politics and unnecessary amounts of advertising.

In the past, Ford had committed this very same rookie mistake with one if its models. In the flurry of entering the big car market, it completely ignored product design, which led it to lose a lot of money. Financial companies before the subprime crisis of the US completely ignored the product design when it sold financial products in a fast moving market. This led to the downfall of the US and the bankruptcy of several important institutions.

Thus, in order to succeed, companies must always remember the value of product design. It is not feasible to lose focus in the face of competition. The turtle did have the point – Slow and steady, does win the race.

About Anindita Chatterjee

Career and Education: I am currently PGDM 2nd year student (operations) from K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and research, Mumbai. I had a prior work experience of almost 2 years at Verizon Data Services India, Hyderabad, where I served as a server administrator. My work involved troubleshooting all kinds of OS and Hardware problems with Windows 2003 servers. My graduation consists of BE in IT from CBIT, Hyderabad. Social: Born in Mumbai to Bengali parents, raised in Hyderabad, studying now in Mumbai, I am pretty much the PAN Indian. I love making friends and meeting new people, although I wouldn’t really call myself a social butterfly. I love writing, and am a voracious reader – be it fiction or non-fiction. I think that one of the biggest comforts in life is being able to curl up on the couch with a great, exciting new book after a day’s work. I also enjoy all kinds of music, and I am a complete movie buff. I realise that there are grey areas in most issues, but I do call a spade a spade, when it’s glaringly obvious. I believe in God, but I’m not religious. I feel that it’s important to focus on the purpose rather than the medium used to achieve the purpose.

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