Originally Posted by melgross
I don't quite understand your post. I sort of get the point you're making, but it's too convoluted.
Also, with the iPods, battery life is almost better than the competition, and is alsways better than Apple's specs. You can see that in all the reviews.
A phone is more difficult. But then, I have always plugged my phones in every night. I don't see the big deal with that. Anything else is laziness.
I don't understand your last sentence at all. Are you comparing the cell companies to Apple? If so, don't! Apple is NOT a cell company, in case you haven't noticed.
With the iPod, Apple helped commoditize that market. If they made some mistakes along the way it really didn't hurt them because they were the market leader, they were good at sticking to the core of what the product was supposed to do, and lastly were likely to magically "discover" the importance of that feature the next round.
iPod battery life might be the best it has ever been, but it does not change the fact that Apple has taken bad press over it and somewhere along the line it still might help with that tipping point that seems to occur when a market leader suddenly becomes a market follower.
You plug your phone in every night and good for you. Do you ever go somewhere on the weekend, visit some friends and family or even enjoy a nice holiday weekend somewhere without desiring to cart along a phone charger? Many people expect to be able to do this and it is a reasonable market expectation that is being met by companies other than Apple.
You note the great battery life of the iPod and I will toss in another similar example from an "Apple-ish" company, Nintendo. I have always been amazed at how long the batteries go in the Nintendo DS/GBA. People do not mind trading slightly lower performance for phenomenal battery life, but Apple isn't providing that here. Your expectation is to plug in daily. If I take my phone off the charger Friday morning, I don't want to have to think about it until Sunday night when I'll be pondering the weekly grind. That is a very reasonable expectation for a cellphone.
You note that Apple is not a cell provider. They are also not a content provider of movies or music, nor are they an ISP. The point was that with the iPod, they helped tie together a process that was too cumbersome for most. With the iPhone they have less power due to the network and also appear to be offering fewer services due to not being able to tie it together with iTunes.
My phone has turn by turn GPS offered by Verizon. They make it as easy to use as my attempting to add something to my iPod via iTunes. Other phones on the AT&T network offer GPS built in or through AT&T. The app is either on the phone or downloaded directly to the phone via the cell network. Apple does not offer this yet even though their network provider does. Perhaps it will be offered once the application store is up but the point is that before Apple was a solution competing against a bunch of overly open, confusing, and conflicting solutions. If you bought your tune from Walmart online you still had to move it from a desktop to whatever application you used to manage your music or perhaps load it directly onto your MP3 player. It was more flexible but more confusing to the average consumer and Apple exploited that very well.
However it is not this way in the cell market. AT&T will offer to make AT&T Navigator run on any phone on their network that a company offering equipment will allow. It will be downloadable, installable and usable in a manner that is closed, but not confusing, much in the manner Apple had previously exploited with the iPod. This is true with games, music content, etc.
So to summarize, Apple is not leading a market while commoditizing it. It is already commoditized. Apple is not competing against a bunch of overly open solution providers utilizing the same network who end up crafting an overly convoluted and complicated solution which the consumer rejects while Apple offers an easy to use all in one solution. Instead Apple is competing against phone companies and network providers who insure the solutions are more limited, but also easily accessible and understandable the same ground Apple previously exploited. AT&T, Verizon, all of them insure that you can easily with the press of a button or two, get what you want on your phone. It may be for a small fee, but that is exactly what Apple was exploiting so well. You'll pay a little more for convenience is pretty much the Apple motto.