My Blackberry user friends have all chuckled when I complain about my iPhone woes, and clearly I’m not the only one (see Apple’s discussion: forum: iPhone 3G Reception Problems? You’re Not Alone and C-NET’s coverage roundup here) . This makes my Blackberry friends happy, turns out their not-so-sexy phone is coming out to be a good tried-and-true reliable: the Volvo of the mobile world?* But iPhone owners seem to have an unusually high level of forgiveness for this phone.
In the midst of Apple’s stock dive and rumors of Jobs’ heart attack, I’m yet to find an iPhone owner that really dislikes their phone and has returned it. Yes, I’ve seen a few pictures of smashed iPhones, but for the most part they seem to be treated with the love and care of a fine jewel, or a hot-princess girlfriend (or boyfriend) that we feel lucky to have in spite of the obvious short-comings. The general consensus is that the keyboard is not nearly as usable as the Blackberry, but then the general response is: “you’ll get used to it.” As for the dropped calls, people respond with a resigned tone “yes, I still drop calls, but it’s no so bad anymore… but I the app store is great!”
There is no doubt that iPhone challengers are coming out fast, and there’s definitely opportunities to bust iPhone’s pedestal. But make no mistake, this is not a rational space anymore. Yes, we want a functional phone, but the race is turning more about the phsychological love-obsession for these gadgets than the actual functionality. Therefore we should pay attention (once again) to brand cults. Check this insightful graph from Alex Wipperfürth How Cults Seduce and What Marketing Can Learn From Them*. Sound familiar?
As for me, I’m giving my iPhone another 10 days or so, sort of an ultimatum with the dropped calls. Apple suggested I turn off the 3G unless I’m using the internet. So, I am trying to show my commitment by paying for a few apps and giving it a real chance.
* Volvo comparison came from Philip Miner, and I found the article thanks to Brand Autopsy
Also posted on digitalecologist.com