Horace Deidu at asymco had a question he hoped Tim Cook would answer at D11:
Why is the iPhone not sold as a portfolio product? Meaning, why, after six years, is there no iPhone product range being updated on a regular basis. Having a portfolio strategy is not only followed by every phone vendor but also by Apple for all its other product lines, including the iPad, which came after the iPhone. In other words, please explain why the iPhone is anomalous from a product portfolio point of view.
Which is a good question, Tim spoke to this point:
Think about the evolution of the iPod over time. The shuffle didn’t have the same functionality as other products. It was a really good product, but it played a different role — it was great for some customers it was strikingly different than other iPods. The mini played a different role than the classic did. ..
…and I found Horace’s follow-up interesting:
The comparison to iPod is not entirely appropriate because as a music player, the iPod had a relatively small set of jobs to do. It was hired for exercise, escapism, isolation, etc. It was not hired for apps and services which extend the medium itself. In other words it was not a computer. As a computer, the iPhone has a near infinite set of jobs to be done and it’s the hundreds of thousands of apps which help it perform them.
Though, doesn’t the iPod Touch fill nearly all the same “infinite” jobs in that point? The biggest one missing being cellular communication (messaging, voice calls) in a device one always carries (not a separate phone vs. computer).
It seems through services (iMessage, FaceTime) Apple is starting to pull the mobile world away from the carrier ties allowing (potentially) easier and more market penetration… right? Then they’re just selling devices (like iPods) like they’ve always been doing. Worth noting, it appears the same appears to be happening with Google via Hangouts (messaging, calls).
The same is also happening with the ‘app’-ification of television producers and distributors, right?