How Apple makes you buy what you don’t need
So it’s true, X marks the spot. After 3 years of consecutive criticism’s of minor incremental changes, the bold unexpected step finally has been taken and Apple literally shakes it’s money maker. The once most valuable company in history of the planet found a genius way to ensure a large number of current iPhone users will shell out $1000 for a phone consequently generating more money for the company than it’s ever made.
Make no mistake, this was a masterstroke by the ultimate masters of “idea theft”. Steve jobs is quoted as saying “good artists copy, great artists steal” and this is exactly what apple have always done. But this is not a write up about Apple’s philosophy of watching an innovation trend before using the power of perceived originality to own it. This is about how the company made the entire world see the value of a $1000 phone.
An imagination: hatching the profit egg
It was October 2013; a mere 2 years had passed by following the death of Steve Jobs and all media - mainstream and social was abuzz with how Apple was going to keep innovating and setting the pace of disruption across industries. Many questioned the ability of Tim Cook to step out of Steve’s shadow and into his own light. How was Apple going to keep it’s lead and continue to dominate the global tech scene?
At the height of the reported tensions within the company regarding Apple's supposed lack of trust in its own destiny and by extension it’s leadership, a clandestine meeting took place in of all places a Garage in an isolated town within the icy mountains of Minnesota. 5 people were in attendance; all key drivers of Apple's future. They devised a plan, risky at the time of inception but with hindsight, it was intensely brilliant.
The iPhone would be redesigned, new features would be added and Steve Job’s name, his legacy, his vision and dreams would be invoked in perpetuity. User’s will experience nostalgia and they would believe again and more than ever before. It was decided, the iPhone was to be recycled annually until something comes up.
Through consistency of language, Users will be made to believe in their own potential and the company would use its creativity and wealth of knowledge in customer psychology to launch a charm offensive across all media. The very same media that accused Apple of stagnancy would sing its praise. After all there were tens of Billions in the bank and Apple could afford to outspend all its rivals. After all when money moves, the song always changes.
Apple profits soared. The strategy had worked…for a while.
When the song changes
After the release of the iPhone 7 and later on iPhone 7s, marginal increments no longer made sense to the user. The media again picked up on this. History was repeating itself, Apple had indeed plateaued. Surely the tricks of old wouldn't work a second time or would they?
The $1000 Trick
A few months ago when rumours and leaks surfaced of the possibility of 3 new iPhones and some of their features, most people couldn't figure out why. Why 3 phones? That was until the recent Apple event at the aptly named “Steve Jobs Theater”. The building is reported as a beacon of world class innovation, it was built and named to reel people in and then win them over. Get into their heads, get into their hearts and their wallets won't be an issue. Apple are masters of this.
So, here the trick; blink and you’ll miss it. Three iPhones but only one actually matters. The iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus are smart but sensible incremental design featuring already popular and user anticipated features. With this devices, Apple were essentially copying; they were being “good artist’s”. Basically the two iPhones 8’s are products of common sense and Apple knows this. They created this phones to divert attention to the one they want you to buy, they placed and insanely logical price gap between both classes of phones and this further helps the users choice.
Apple created a set of phones linked to the immediate past (iPhone 7) , they essentially killed a generation (I’m certain there will be no iPhone 9) and then seductively ask the user to experience the future today!
They always knew the show stealer, the heart stopper. They know the one you will buy, its . the same one we will all buy — the iPhone X. If Apple had released just the iPhone X (a physical ripoff of the essential phone), many of us would have still questioned their depth of innovation and boldness but Apple are the smartest company ever. They’ve redefined many industries most especially marketing. Steve Jobs once said “customers don’t know what they want until we’ve shown them”. Two phones were developed, built and produced just to force the users to convince themselves on why the iPhone X made sense and it’s worked.
The iPhone X will be Apple's most successful iPhone to date and it will take less than a year. $1000 is a lot of money but at the days end, we will all spend that much on one device, the iPhone X.