Could Apple Benefit from iPhone Leak?
Recently, I wrote an article in regards to the police investigation surrounding the finding and sale of the iPhone prototype to Gizmodo. In said article, I briefly discussed the series of events which ultimately lead to pictures and technical specifications for the fourth generation iPhone to be released to the masses. More importantly however, I discussed the possibility of the leaks being harmful to Apple.
Having said this, it’s important to realize that Apple is a huge and wildly successful company, and a great deal of their success is a result of the implementation of highly thought-out technological and marketing strategy. Because of this, it’s a safe statement that Apple had not released information about the fourth generation iPhone for a reason. This information is what is referred to as a trade secret, and is something that could be used by Apple’s competitors to better prepare a competing product to go onto the market at the same time or before the release of the fourth generation iPhone.
While Apple’s competitors were exposed to this new information following the publications by Gizmodo, there is an even more important group that has access to this knowledge as well; Apple’s current and prospective customers. You see, after the images and technical specifications of the iPhone prototype surfaced on the internet, there was a great surplus of bloggers and opinion-holding people that were all too happy to share their opinions on every aspect of the prototype, from the new features down to the cosmetic design of the phone.
Apple is getting a lot of constructive criticism in regards to the new iPhone. With this in mind, all Apple needs to do is crawl the internet for blog posts and comments regarding the highly-publicized device, and they will be able to gain a whole lot of insight as to what everyday people like you and me think of the new phone, and more importantly what can be done to make it better and more appealing to customers. This can ultimately lead to a huge success for Apple.
Many of you may be wondering; but isn’t that what testing groups are for? Indeed, test groups serve the purpose of getting feedback and criticism on a product. However, it is important to realize that even the most diversified testing group doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of everyone who might use a product. Furthermore, the Internet is a much larger and more collective group, and has the ability to provide more insight than even the most well-designed testing group.
Now, with the leak of iPhone 4G-related information, Apple has the possibility to gain more and more insight as to the opinions of a much greater user-pool, and can ultimately re-design their product to make it more desirable to a greater consensus of people. At the same time, Apple’s competitors can take the same approach as well, and build competing products using the opinions and insight gained from criticism of the iPhone prototype, all while learning from Apple’s successes and mistakes with the product. The bottom line is, there’s a lot of consumer-perspective insight that can be gained from opinions formed after the release of iPhone prototype photographs and specifications. And, at this point, I feel that it’s not a matter of if someone will take advantage of this insight, but rather who.