Friday, July 16, 2010

Leading Edge vs Bleeding Edge

I heard part of the press conference given my Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, this morning about the iPhone 4 problem of dropping calls. A few things stuck out for me. Firstly, Jobs admitted that the iPhone 4was not perfect. Good for him for admitted that. Secondly, he minimized the problem by saying that the iPhone 4 dropped just one more call, on average than its predecessor. Granted one more call is not a lot but on a phone that is supposed to be an improvements, it is not acceptable. Thirdly, that the fix is so simple and the problem so obvious, why was not not found and fixed before it was released?

Hold phone like this ...  
not like this ....

But the thing I was most surprised to see was Jobs' attitude about the problem. He definitely did not think it was a big thing which certainly did not deserve the media hype. He certainly did not have the "I feel your pain" attitude. It was more like he was pacifying his whining clients. Watch it and decide for yourself.

Well, I think the whining is justified and it is a big deal. When you are shelling out hundreds of dollars for a phone or sign a long term with a carrier and you are stuck with a phone that is not perfect and, in some ways, not as good as the one you can now get at Walmart for $99.00, it deserves to get the attention it got from the public, Consumer Reports and the stock market. Jobs obviously lives in his ivy tower and, although he is able to change phone at a whim, the general public can not.

The other moral to this story is for the consumer, especially when you are buying technology. Never, never, never buy version one of any product. Just like you should never buy the first model year of a new car, never buy the first release of a technology product. First of all, you save yourself standing out in the large line-ups and secondly, let the product be fully tested by the masses to find the bugs that product testing did not. It's better to be on the bleeding edge rather than on the leading edge.

Next time, Mr. Jobs, release a phone that is properly tested - as in, make a few test calls holding the phone in your hand - and release a product that is perfect.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a very good example of bleeding technology. I like how you mentioned how it seem to be an issue that was not really important to Steve Jobs but yet, it was very important to the consumers of the product, which is a very important factor in the development of the Iphone 4.