Would you prefer a brief taste of something? Or, would you prefer to sit down to a sumptuous meal? The implication is obvious. A brief taste does not a good meal make. I have a few examples.
Fold vs. Fold
Makers of modern technology gadgets tend to understand the battle between form vs. function. Some products look great but do not work as well as they look. Take the MacBook and MacBook Air and MacBook Pro keyboards. Those butterfly design keyboards helped to make each notebook as slim as possible but at what cost?
Tens of thousands of Mac customers with defective keyboards were sacrificed so a few millimeters of height could make the devices ever thinner and lighter. Form won over function.
We saw the same thing with iPhone models for the past few years. Form defeated function. iPhones got thinner and thinner, and that beautiful form sacrificed a pragmatic battery life. Apple’s former chief honcho, Jonny Ive, left the company and what do we have now?
Slightly thicker and heavier iPhones– not so thick and heavy that customers are complaining about the change– but much longer battery life, which customers always put high on the list of improvements they wanted Apple to make.
See how that worked?
Samsung has a similar problem with Galaxy Fold. The first Fold folded because the fold cracked. You might think a company would have battle-tested the hardware before it shipped, but that isn’t Samsung’s way. First out the door trumps dependability. Bragging rights are more important than dependability.
Apple’s main competitor in the premium smartphone space does not seem to have learned the lesson. Maybe Apple has. After a few years of degrading iPhone camera and photo performance, the latest models again top the charts. Function– three cameras– works better than form; if you have the right software to match.
A taste of the future works well in concept videos, so kudos to Microsoft for the upcoming Surface Neo and Surface Duo notebook and smartphone. What we want more than just a taste is the whole meal, the whole enchilada, so maybe Apple has learned a lesson, too.
Form does not trump function. A taste is not a meal.