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Posted by Thomas Husson on October 4, 2011
My colleague Charlie Golvin and I took the time to step back from the flow of news following Apple’s announcement today. Here below is our take from a consumer product strategy perspective.
Apple’s product strategists face an ongoing paradox: maintaining premium leadership with an annual product renewal while tapping the rapidly mainstreaming global smartphone market.
Today, Apple’s product strategists revealed their newest premium smartphone: the iPhone 4S. Just like the 3GS at its introduction, the 4S relies on a leap in processing power and a new interaction paradigm but eschews technology upgrades upon which product strategists building Android-based devices rely today, such as LTE and behemoth screens.
Apple’s new iPhone lineup provides a complete portfolio of products, from the premium 4S in memory configurations up to 64 GB, to the 8 GB iPhone 4 which will allow all of Apple’s carrier customers (including new partners Sprint and KDDI in Japan) to offer a mid-tier iPhone. Apple’s product strategists have opted to add an entry-level option for its GSM-based carrier partners by maintaining the 8 GB iPhone 3GS.
With the iPhone 4S, have Apple’s product strategists designed a product that will maintain Apple’s leadership in the high-end smartphone battle? Forrester believes so — even though Apple chose not to include features that its competitors use to command a premium position, including:
Instead, the iPhone 4S is a much-accelerated version of the iPhone 4 that, combined with the new version of iOS, improves many aspects of the experience including photos, communication, and battery life — the total Apple experience. This is not so much about the product and technology features but mainly about the ability to develop a new service ecosystem and to maintain desire for an emotional brand experience.
What do you think of Apple’s announcement today? Are Apple products really better? Let us know your comments by joining our discussion here.