Originally Posted by drblank
It will be interesting to see what market they go after. Are they going after the $1500 or less market or are they going after the $2,000 to $4,500 market? Or are they going after the $5000 on up market. B&O makes and does sell mega expensive TVs that are expensive because they get the cream of the crop panels, put fairly expensive electronics, but they are styled by designers that create electronic art. They may not make the best sounding stereo system, but some of their products are priced up there.
It's interesting that you mention Bang & Olufsen… When I first saw some of the post-Jobs' return products from Apple, like the G4 Cube or the G4 iMac, I immediately thought of B&O (I also knew right away that the clicky scrollwheel on the first iPod wasn't exactly an original concept, as I had seen it much earlier on a B&O phone). I also noticed that their pricetag discrepancy towards the competition was much less dramatic than that of B&O products, which I've indeed always found gorgeous and innovative, albeit obscenely over-priced.
This is a designer's thing; call us idealists (I beg to differ, and Apple is proof of that), but as designers, we kind of wish to put our work in the hands of as many people as possible. That's why, being a graphic designer (and an aspiring type designer), the kind of work I enjoy doing the most is information design and type design. I like thinking that I can bring some clarity and/or beauty to the world, and to the widest audience, not just to some rich elite (emphasis on rich, as you can be educated about design and still be rather poor, just ask some designers about that
. I'm not an industrial designer, but I once considered becoming one a few years before enrolling at my faculty, where I also met plenty of them, so I'm well aware that sentiment is also prevalent in that field.
And that's why Apple appeals so much to designers worldwide; it's the ultimate realization of an ideal, that of affordable (but not necessarily cheap!) design for the masses, much like a hybrid beast combining both B&O's and IKEA's design vocabulary with the latter's philosophy and production/distribution chain prowess, at prices between those practiced by Apple during their darkest years and those by their current competition. The end results are so spectactular that I find myself constantly yearning for more Jobses and Fadells to come and revolutionize other currently bland markets.
And that's also why we get irked to no end everytime some PC fanboi claims Macs and other Apple products are overpriced (even though some of them are actually even more affordable than the competition). Whenever I get that, I politely remind that if you want to point the finger at some company for blatant overpricing, you shoud point it at B&O instead… Apple products are produced with far more interesting manufacturing processes and end results (come on, jet-cut aluminim unibody or double-shot policarbonate enclosures? Laser-perforated see-through LED holes in aluminium? Name one B&O product that flaunts those), they use materials almost as noble as those found in B&O's (for now… Just wait for Liquidmetal to enter the scene) and, even though they are actually lagging behind or not even into some fields like domotics/home automation and, interestingly, media streaming (yes, B&O is also the true pioneer on that one, too), being the massive software development juggernaut they are, they can catch up quicker than the competition will take to react (just look at iOS)… And, guess what, you get all of that (a high level of industrial design polish and the promise of software updates and an ever-increasing integration between devices both present and future) for a fraction of the price!
IMHO, Loewe, B&O and their ilk are so royally screwed and probably wetting their collective pants right now (if not, they should, as we've seen this movie unfold three times in a row now with the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad)… Maybe B&O should consider aiming a bit “higher” still, for the Vertu niche, because they may be about to lose even some faithful customers to Apple, let alone potential ones. You heard it here first. Edited by Mainyehc - 5/14/12 at 10:45am