Tuesday, May 15, 2007

When Convergence Can Work

Al Ries and Laura Ries post a new video each month on their Ries Report web site. This month's video is about the iPhone and convergence.

In the video, Al Ries echoes his daughter's prediction that the iPhone will flop (after some initial success), saying it

  • Will not dominate the market.
  • Will not have a big market.
  • Will not be a success.
  • Will not make money for Apple.
One important nugget that stuck out was his statement that:

Convergence can work where convenience is a major issue.
People buy products with a singular purpose except when doing so creates a compelling problem. Mobile phones are an interesting case, because their users usually carry them everywhere. But some people also want to carry cameras, digital audio players, and computers everywhere, too. It would be a problem to carry all of these separate devices.

The convergence of these devices in a PDA phone thus solves a real problem for some people. The question is whether the seriousness of the problem outweighs the drawbacks of combining the devices into a single product.

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