I bought my first iPhone about three years ago. It was a 2G phone. They were the best phone on the market at the time and it was a wonderful experience to use it on a day to day basis. Needless to say I became a fan and convinced many of my friends to buy the phone for themselves.
I have however upgraded my iPhone three times since then and every time I get a little less impressed and a little more bored by the latest iPhone technology.
I believe that this experience I have is not unique. I think many people, when they upgrade their iPhone will feel the same. What makes the iPhone great on a technical aspect could become its customer experience downfall. I am talking about the ever-so-smooth back-up and restore function between iTunes and the iPhone.
Let me explain. When you get your new iPhone you follow this simple process:
- Back-up your old phone to iTunes
- Take your sim card out the old iPhone and slide it into your new iPhone
- Ask iTunes to restore the new phone from the old back-up
- The iPhone is then restored to the new iPhone exactly the way you had it on your old iPhone. Personal setting and all.
This is seriously a fantastic feature because managing my data as an iPhone user has become so easy and there is almost no risk in losing information. In addition the setup time of my new iPhone is an hour or so instead of a few days as I come to grips with a new phone and it’s new logic.
Great experience! Or is it? You see now that my new phone feels and looks the same as my old iPhone I lose the ‘new iPhone’ feeling very quickly. Which make the validation of my new iPhone more difficult to justify. I know it is a higher spec’d, faster, leaner and meaner machine but it Los and feels the same. In fact the upgrade experience can almost seem a bit boring.
My suggestion to Apple would be simple. Find a way to create an exciting upgrade experience to a new iPhone. Not everyone cares (in fact most don’t care) about the technology, they care about how it feels! The feeling comes from the experience of change and the elation of a validated purchase due to the perceived value I am receiving.
Something needs to change in the upgrade. A newer interface, a sexier iPhone design, a new Colour. In other words, with the world getting saturated with iPhones it’s getting harder to stand apart from my peers and colleagues with my new iPhone because it looks, feels and is exactly the same phone as theirs. I think Apple could take a lesson from the cup cake business and customise their user experience a bit more.