A Note to Consumer Tech Companies

by: Leigh Drogen

Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) threw its hat into the ring of hopeful iPhone killers with the Aero, and all I can say is, good luck.

Well, actually I have a lot more to say.

I continue to be perplexed as to why Dell, Research In Motion (RIMM), Palm (PALM), Motorola (MOT), and a few others attempt to go up against the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone with similar products. Here’s why.

The iPhone has cemented itself as the premier smart phone. I don’t care if you believe that your Android phone has better technology, it doesn’t matter, the consumer doesn’t care. Apple has put a noose around the market, primarily because they had first mover advantage. Now you may want to yell, they weren’t the first movers. Technically you’d be right, the iPhone was certainly not the first smartphone, and the newest iteration certainly isn’t the first to have many of its premier features.

But you’d be missing a very important point which I’m about to make very easily. Apple also wasn’t the first company to build an MP3 player, but it was the first to perfect it. And that my friends is the difference, the same difference they made in the smartphone market. Apple understands how to build a UI better than any other company on the planet. They also understand how to sell products, plain and simple.

Apple has put a noose around the smartphone market because the Average Joe isn’t going to venture into other strange operating systems when they know how easy the iPhone OS is. People don’t like to change once they are comfortable with something, especially when the alternative isn’t radically different and amazing.

So back to my question, why are these companies attempting to enter this space with equal or inferior products? This isn’t a rhetorical question.

Who is going to buy this phone from Dell when they can buy an iPhone? Who is going to buy a Research In Motion Torch when they can buy an iPhone?

Are these companies producing these products to be loss leaders? Do they really believe they have a shot at taking market share?

Look, someone will unseat the iPhone at some point, but it won’t be with the same technology and a similar UI. Someone will unseat the iPhone with a radical new concept, and until then, they will all fail, and lose money doing so.

So my advice, stop wasting your money and come up with something novel instead.