Innovation, Technology, Thoughts

Letter to Steve Jobs

Hello Mr. Jobs,

This is my first letter to you. I am a true devotee of Apple like many others in this world. I hail from India and wanted to take this opportunity to write to you and share few of my thoughts on your strategy of Apply products for countries like India.

I do understand that since the beginning, Apple has produced only technologically superior products. However, when these technologically rich products do not reach people at the right time it is a waste. Also, if technology cannot be affordable, then there is no point in producing it, because in return, it would not give you any results in creating the technology which cannot be used by people.

As I understand, all of your products are technologically rich and also expensive. To add to this, you keep changing versions of your products too very soon and few of the features do not make sense at all, there by hitting hardly on your buyer.

Let us take an illustration of your iPod. When it was initially launched, it created a revolution. Music has been redefined. As Microsoft took a computer to a common man, iPod took music to every pair of ears. This is remarkable. The way music industry works has been redefined. Instead of buying the complete album, you provided opportunity for music lovers just to buy just the music they want to listen. Over the next few years, there were many new additions and enhancements to iPod so quickly that the first mover was completely dejected and unfortunately, there is no way I can upgrade an existing music system. Why do you do this? You may ask, is this the same way other music systems work? No, but as an Innovation organization, can’t you think differently? I do agree that there is something called “Product Life Cycle”. Every product has its end, just as it has its beginning. By being an Innovative organization, cannot Apple think something different to this life-cycle? Like we recycle our clothes and waste, I am sure there is a scope of recycling the product.

Another classic invention is your iPhone. The mobile phone industry was shaken with the launch. Your competitors started “innovating” more exhaustively, just to beat your phone. However, you again proved your point by bringing out updated versions too quickly into the market and there by hitting on middle-income people like me. I cannot afford Rs. 35,000 for a mobile phone once a year. Also, iPhone locks me with certain features which I really do not need. For example, the iPhone comes in two varients – 16GB / 32GB. I do not need a phone with so much memory. I have my iPod and I really do not want to throw it away because I paid a real good amount of money for that (Rs.13,000). Instead, why cannot be there an iPhone version which comes with standard memory and allow me to upgrade its memory when I need? This reduces the cost and does not confuse me – iPod for music and video, iPhone for mobile purposes and Mac. Is there a time Apple will reduce this confusion for us?

Is it by chance or by choice do you do this? Why do you also rate your products so exorbitantly and do not give us options of using what we want rather than forcing what you want to sell? It is my very strong belief that what ever is the product/service/innovation you bring out, if it cannot reach the middle of the pyramid, there is no big deal of it.

At the moment, Apple is catering only to the Top of the Pyramid and the upper top of middle of the pyramid. It is understandable that this is your business strategy, but with a little twist, you can take your Innovations to many more, there by changing the game of computing.

I am sure, the same is going to happen with iPad. The first buyers will be held at ransom when they realize how much has changed in an iPad in a very short time (At this point, iPad does not have multi-tasking and Camera and I am sure these will be included in 12-18 months of its availability in market).

Is there any thing you can do about this?

Appreciate your understanding..

Regards,

Hari

Was reading an interesting article on the same topic today ‘By Ignoring India, Apple is doing a big mistake‘.

7 thoughts on “Letter to Steve Jobs

  1. Agreed. On one hand is the users of Developed world who are overwhelmed with too many versions of a apple product. On the flip side, rest of the world has very little (or no) releases, that too at an exuberant price tag. There should be someway out Mr. Jobs, i’m hoping people satisfaction and their pleasure of using APPLE comes first for APPLE.

  2. hello hari,

    i understand your frustration. but when your building revolutionary products u need to build-churn-revise. its based on the japanese model of a wheel..

    concept -> engineering -> Customer -> Churn -> concept revision and so on.

    if they dont revise and leave a next version – again you’ll start to complain they are giving you a crappy product.

  3. @Harsha I am with you. However, how many times in a year or two can you change your car just because they have enhanced features?

    What I am referring to here is the Cost – Consumer and not the technology aspect.

    However, you have reminded me of the concept. P

    Probably I am so very obsessed that the cost factor is haunting me…

  4. Hari my friend,

    I agree with your direction. Also feel that competition also has an impact on decision making … I guess people are under pressure to keep something up their sleeve to counter a move. That said, I come from the school of thought that I will only buy what I require (and my desires are simple!) … does not matter who the brand is and will not succumb to the urge of always upgrading and loosing hard earned money 🙂

  5. Well it is not as if Apple is the only company that makes great products. With the technology locus changing rapidly towards Asia, I am sure one of the Korean companies will come up with a killer product in the future.

  6. Well, Its not easy Suresh. It took Apple two decades to be here. There are no signs of any other company as on date. If there were, we would have heard by now…

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