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Apple’s smallest mistake

  • By Alan Knott-Craig
  • November 2, 2012

I notice the iPhone5 charger has a new connector… Well done guys. You’re officially on the Nokia path.


I remember the 90’s. Mustard jeans. U2. Everyone had a Nokia. And one of the reasons that everyone stayed with Nokia (other than user experience), was the fact that you knew you could charge your phone anywhere. Everyone had a Nokia charger, so charging your phone was never a panic.


And then one day, Nokia started releasing phones with a slightly different connector. Overnight, they irritated millions of people and lost one of their greatest network effects… i.e.: People bought Nokias because there were already so many compatible chargers in the world.


And why did Nokia do this? Because they wanted to make more money. A new connector meant customers must buy more accessories, and accessories have the highest profit margins in the game. The analysts were happy for a couple years with the boost in profits, but then along came Apple and BOOM! No more Nokia.


Maybe the “connector” network effect would not have held back the iOS wave for long, but why take a chance?


Short term profits, long term demise.


PS:  It’s true that Apple have introduced an adaptor. R240. Another accessory, more profit. Well played ninjas, well played.

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