“Twice as fast. Half the price,” proclaims a shiny placard in the doorway of my local Apple store. TV ads merrily send out the same message. Now as the owner of an iPhone 1.0, I was prepared for the fact that the new phones made me, in tech terms at least, obsolete. And that’s ok. In this day and age, that’s unavoidable. But ads that essentially tell early adopters that they should have held out for the newer version — “twice as fast!” — “half the price!” — seem both disrespectful and counter to received branding wisdom. Sure, tout the new qualities of the new phone. Talk up its speed and connectivity and apps and affordability. But by comparing and contrasting unfavorably with what it launched before, Apple elbows its core supporters in the ribs as it attempts to draw in new customers. We regularly talk about the need for companies to be transparent in their communications with their consumers, but this feels like a low blow from a corporation that knows better.
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