Something new and different seems to be visible on the horizon. No, it’s not Apple’s television service, or a Samsung smartwatch projector. It’s far more subtle than a new category of technology gadgets.
It’s technology gadget fatigue. A growing number (my anecdotal observations are probably as good as anyone else’s email surveys on the topic) of technology gadget users are ever more easily bored with riding on the train of incessant and constant new product upgrades.
Kick Me, I’m Bored, Bro
Somehow or another, a mere eight years after the iPhone launched and revolutionized the entire smartphone industry, and just five years after the iPad ushered in the Post-PC Era, new devices are getting the ho hum treatment from critics and customers alike.
Apple’s product line generates far more headlines and enthusiasm among the customer base, technorati elite, and market prognosticators than their product’s marketshare should allow. All of Apple’s products, according to Apple’s executives, are ‘amazing, incredible, magical‘ et al. When will we become completely de-sensitized to such rhetoric?
Humans appear to be very easily bored with incrementally improved gadgets while at the same time completely forgetting how far those devices have advanced in a few short years.
Take the iPhone. Critics laughed. Customers stood in line to buy. iPad? There’s no way to get 10 hours of battery life. It’s just a big iPhone without a phone. But for nearly 300-million iPad users, it changed how they use computers. Yet, sales are falling.
What’s going on?
I call it technology fatigue and it’s not at all unlike the syndrome afflicting many millions of people online who have become dissatisfied, bored, and at times, annoyed with social media sites. Facebook and Twitter, I’m looking at you. Our expectations for new products and services have increased to a point beyond the purveyors of modern tech to stimulate and excite the customer base.
What a new Mac, iPhone, iPad, or even Watch can do these days is nothing short of incredible, but no matter how many new features are crammed into ever thinner and lighter cases, we want to be wowed, excited, stimulated even more.
A perfect example of this affliction is Samsung’s recent sales swoon. Arguably, Samsung’s smartphone lineup is made up of excellent, cutting edge technology with high resolution screens, speedy processors, superb cameras, and so many features mashed up inside that some cry out ‘too much.’ Yet, Samsung’s quarterly profits have diminished for almost two years as Apple’s have increased, and now the Cupertino Mac maker is in complete control of industry profits.
When will Apple fall victim to technology fatigue?
I don’t know because Apple has a unique way of delivering disruptive innovation in spurts, the kind that galvanizes customers and the industry, and incremental innovation is driven somewhat slower than major competitors, yet continually the company improves their product line. The end result of which makes some products appear stale and outdated one day, but highly advanced state of the art the next day, and that, in turn generates a new round of customer enthusiasm which helps to overcome the technology fatigue that exists among competitor customer base.
Apple is much better at rallying the troops and leading them into a new product line, or upgraded products than any other technology gadget maker. How long before you fall victim to technology fatigue?