Learn from the mistakes of the iPhone 3G S

Learn from the mistakes of the iPhone 3G S

iPhones3G S的错误学习

If you want to be a bad product manager, copy everything that Apple does. Everyone knows that Apple has some of the best products in the world, so you’d be a fool not to copy what they do. If you want to create a product as successful as the iPhone or the iPod, then just follow their lead.

如果你想成为一个糟糕的产品经理,就复制Apple做的一切。每个人都知道Apple拥有一些世界上最好的产品,因此不去复制他们所作的,你就成了一个傻瓜。如果你想创造一个和iPhone或者iPod一样成功的产品,那么只需跟随他们的领导。

If you want to be a good product manager, learn from the mistakes of Apple, including those related to the iPhone 3G S. Apple has produced some legendary products which have been wildly and there are many aspects of their product development process which product managers would be wise to understand and emulate. However, they are not perfect, as evidenced by less-than-stellar ideas like the Mac Mini and Apple TV, and slip-ups around launches of products like MobileMe. Their recently announced iPhone 3G S provides a few examples of why not to blindly follow Apple, and how to learn from their mistakes:

如果你想成为一个不错的产品经理,就向Apple的错误学习,包括那些和3G S有关的。Apple已经生产了一些具有传奇色彩但已经变得狂躁的产品,和产品经理可能理解并效仿的产品开发流程上的许多方面。然而,它们并不是完美的,像Mac Mini和Apple TV的想法以及MobileMe的产品发布的失误就是例证。他们近来推出的iPhone 3G S,就提供了为什么不能盲目追随Apple以及如何向他们的错误学习的案例。

  • Product naming: The name for the original iPhone made sense — a phone + iPod, from Apple = iPhone. The iPhone 3G was a good extension; while 3G is more of a technical term, it is common enough parlance for consumers to understand the difference from the original iPhone. The addition of 3G described the main feature and benefit of the new model — speed. However, if the difference between the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G was speed, then the difference between the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3G S is… more speed? Apple is unfortunately slipping away from their traditionally consumer-friendly naming scheme (e.g. MacBook vs. MacBook Pro) into the all-too-common tech-centric model numbers (e.g. TPS-8675309X). The lack of a clear differentiated name also will make it more confusing when the next version of the iPhone is released, and consumers have to differentiate between the different models when comparing versions, buying accessories, or seeking support. Apple unfortunately ran into this problem as well with the iPod, with new versions being unofficially being referred to as “generations” (e.g. “third-generation” iPod). This is not unlike the automobile industry, where a model name stays the same from year-to-year; however, unlike a car, Apple has been rather sly about naming each subsequent version and the differences between each “model year” are much less significant than the differences in an automobile from year to year. Since subsequent iPod models look physically similar, and since the software differences are not obvious at first glance, it takes some sleuthing to identify the type of iPod and whether a desired accessory is compatible. This has less of an impact on other Apple products like the iPod Mini, iPod Nano, and the various versions of the iPod Shuffle, since the visual differences between models is more obvious.

产品命名:最初iPhone名字的意义是-一部电话+iPod,来自于Apple,因此叫iPhone。iPhone3G是一个好的延伸;然而3G是一个技术术语,对于消费者去理解它和iPhone之间的不同,它是一种足够常见的说法。3G的加入描述出了新模式-速度-的特征和收益。然而,如果在最初的iPhone和iPhone3G的不同之处在于速度,那么在这两者之间的区别是……更快?Apple是不幸的,脱离了他们传统的消费者习惯的命名体制(例如MacBook 相对于. MacBook Pro)而进入到了太过于寻常的以技术为中心的产品型号中(例如TPS-8675309X)。这种缺乏清晰差异的命名也会使iPhone的下一个版本在发布的时候更加混乱,并且消费者也不得不在版本比较、购买配件或者寻求支持的时候去区分不同型号的差别。Apple不幸地遇到了这个和iPod一样的问题,新版本被非正式地称为“代”(例如“第三代”iPod)。这不像汽车行业,一个型号的名字同往年相比可以保持不变;然而,不像一辆汽车,Apple在后续版本的命名上一直是相当狡猾的,并且在每个“年度型号”两者之间的差异上要比来自汽车的年度命名的差异更不重要。自从后续的iPod型号在物理属性上更为类似,以及软件在第一眼上也不是能明显看出差异的,因此,它通过一些跟踪去定义iPod的类型和描述配件是否是兼容的。这在Apple的其它产品(例如iPod Mini,iPod Nano和iPod Shuffle的各类版本)上的影响就小多了,因为在型号之间的视觉上的不同更为明显。

  • Hardware vs. software: Apple announced a number of new exciting enhancements with the iPhone 3G S, including the ability to copy-and-paste, search your iPhone, use peer-to-peer apps, and tether the device to your computer for roaming desktop internet access (provided you are in a supported country, of course). The only problem with these enhancements? They do not require an iPhone 3G S, only the iPhone 3.0 software, which is available for free for any iPhone owner. Apple extols the virtues of the new model, yet does not disclose clearly which features are in the new software versus those only available in the new hardware. Want to record Voice Memos? Any iPhone will allow that. But you also Want to use Voice Control? You’ll need the iPhone 3G S. By not providing a clear comparison of which features are part of the new software release and which require the new iPhone device itself, Apple risks frustrating “legacy” iPhone owners and iPhone 3G S owners alike. Existing iPhone owners may feel duped to learn that an exciting new feature actually requires a new hardware purchase, and iPhone 3G S purchasers may be upset to learn after the fact that an older (and cheaper) model would have provided the functionality they were looking for. While it is possible that Apple made this line intentionally unclear to persuade more current iPhone owners to upgrade to the iPhone 3G S, this would not seem to fit with the Apple culture. Other electronics manufacturers may take this route, though it is likely that Apple will have enough upgraders without having to resort to bait-and-switch.

硬件VS软件:Apple宣布在iPhone 3G S中有若干新的令人兴奋的增强,包括进行复制黏贴,搜索iPhone,点对点使用和连通这个设备到你的计算机去漫游桌面的互联网接入的能力(当然,需要地区的支持)。这种增强唯一的问题是?对于iPhone拥有者来说,他们不需要一台iPhone 3G S,只需要iPhone 3G S的软件,这种免费才是有用的。Apple赞美新型号的优点,然而,他们并没有清晰地公开在新软件中的哪一个特点只是针对新硬件有用的。想要记录声音备忘录吗?任何iPhone都是可以的。但是你也想用声音控制吗?那么,你就需要iPhone 3G S了。不去提供清晰的针对哪一个特征是发布的新软件中的部分,哪一个是需要新的iPhone设备本身的,Apple会冒令人沮丧的“遗留”iPhone拥有者和iPhone 3G S拥有者一样的风险的。现有的iPhone拥有者在了解了一个令人激动的新特征事实上需要购买一个新的硬件后,或许会感觉上当了,同时,iPhone 3G S的购买者或许在了解到老的(和便宜的)型号已经提供了他们正在寻找的功能后会感到不舒服。也许是这种可能,Apple故意模糊两者的界线,从而使更多当前的iPhone的拥有者去升级到iPhone 3G S,这看上起和Apple的文化并不相应。其它的电子设备厂商或许以此为路线,尽管看上去Apple会有足够的升级,而不是不得不采取诱导购买的方法。

  • Focus and Benefits: The iPhone 3G S is “The fastest, most powerful iPhone yet.” Great — how does that help me? If someone has yet to buy an iPhone, what benefits in the new iPhone will persuade them to purchase one? What segments is Apple trying to attract with this new model, and what features and benefits will win those customers over? Are there hoards of consumers out there who have been delaying an iPhone purchase simply because the device doesn’t start up apps quickly enough? The iPhone 3G S and associated iPhone 3.0 software seems to be more of a list of fulfilled feature requests than a focused strategy. Some features appeal to power users (e.g. 3 megapixel camera) while some appeal to those needing assistive technology (e.g. new Accessibility features) while some appeal to business users and those concerned about privacy (e.g. Find My iPhone and Remote Wipe). With a product like the iPhone, which is used so universally by so many different types of users, it would be hard to include something for everyone, which is all the more reason to focus on specific segments or personas. For example, to better penetrate the corporate market, features which provide additional security, auditing, IT oversight, and better enterprise integration should be added.

焦点和收益:iPhone 3G S是“最快的,还是最有力的iPhone”。了不起-那会如何帮助我呢?如果某些人持币待购iPhone,那么在新iPhone中的什么收益会说服他们购买一台呢?Apple用新型号试图进入哪个细分,以及什么特征和收益会赢得那些客户呢?一直延迟购买iPhone的消费者仅仅是因为这个设备应用的启动不够足够快吗?iPhone 3G S和相关的iPhone3.0软件看上去要比一个充满了特征的列表更需要一个焦点战略。一些特征要对高级用户有吸引力(例如300万像素的相机),而一些则对需要助理技术(例如新的接入特征)的有吸引力,一些则对商业用户有吸引力,因为他们关注隐私(例如发现我的iPhone和远程清理)。像iPhone这样的产品,会被如此不同类型的用户如此广泛的使用,去适应每个人的一切肯定是困难的,这就有更多的理由去关注特定的细分和人群。例如,更好地去渗透到企业级市场,提供额外的安全、审核、IT监管、和更好的企业集成,这些特征应该被加入进去。

Will these flaws have a serious impact on sales of the iPhone 3G S? Not likely. Apple is such a marketing powerhouse and cultural icon that the success of the 3G S will be more about the product itself than its positioning or communication around the launch. And, despite these issues, the iPhone 3G S appears to be a reasonable improvement to an already dominant product. However, even the mighty Apple is not perfect, and product managers who ask and are asked “Why can’t we just do what Apple does?” should learn from the successes and missteps of the iPhone 3G S (and should also learn why you can’t innovate like Apple). No product is perfect, and product managers and product development teams should take any opportunity to learn from the successes and failures of others.

这些缺陷会严重影响iPhone 3G S的销售吗?不一定。Apple是如此具备营销活力和一种文化象征,3G的成功将多于产品自身和它的定位或者围绕发布的沟通。并且,尽管有这些争论,iPhone 3G S也是对现有领域产品的一种合理的改进。然而,即使Apple或许还不是完美的,那些要求和被要求“为什么我们不能做的和Apple一样”的产品经理应该向iPhone 3G S的成功和错误学习(以及也应该学习为什么你不能像Apple一样创新)。没有一个产品是完美的,产品经理和产品开发团队应该获得从其它产品中学习成功和失败的机会。

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