While we’re on the subject of complexity, a pretty grim ‘early warning’ appeared in the weekend’s New York Times for Apple. The author recounted terrible service experiences he had had with the iconic iPod, which I can share. My beloved husband bought me a video iPod for Christmas and I can’t get it to synchronize the way the manual says it should. I’ve called twice, been emailed, tried all the suggested remedies and am on the verge of sending it back.
Meanwhile, mp3 players are starting to catch up in functionality, creating a big opportunity.Although nobody yet has cracked ‘cool’ the way Apple has, the battle is forming on two fronts. On the one hand, more and more of the attributes that gave Apple its wow factor can be replicated with more pedestrian players. On the other, Apple’s failure to properly support a mass-market consumer product with excellent service is going to create rage, making an opening for an aggressive new entrant. This is problem when you have made your name on the basis of a superior customer experience. I mean, people expect poor service from many providers in the information business. We thought Apple was going to be different. A customer scorned will look elsewhere.