Verizon has released a teaser for it’s upcoming Droid phone and seems to have touched a raw nerve among iPhone users. Going by the comments over at YouTube, posts from Fake Steve Jobs and articles, the gloves are off.
Apple is the smaller player in the computing market and their ‘Get a Mac’ ads have successfully poked fun at the leader and even forced them to react with a ‘I am PC’ ads. With iPhone, the shoe is on the other foot, as it were for Apple. Even if it’s not the leader market share-wise, it is clearly occupied a dominant mind share and has been the target of potshots from competition. Those who don’t have an iPhone or don’t want one have justified their decision by focusing on what iPhone does NOT have. Ditto with Droid.
My two bits:
1. It’s alright for Verizon to take pot shots at iPhone. Naming a competitor in your ads is a bad thing only if your competitor is much smaller than you. In which case, you are giving credence to a smaller player who otherwise may not warrant that kind of attention. With ‘I am a PC’ campaign, Microsoft did just that, comparing itself with a brand that commanded less than 10% share in the US market. With this Droid ad, Verizon is forcing comparison with the leader.
2. The combative stance of the Droid ad is packaged neatly in a tongue-in-cheek tone of voice.
3. A simple enhancement in one feature or the other does not make an iPhone-beater. The fact is iPhone isn’t just a phone. It’s combination of App Store, integration across hardware, software & service gives it a huge head start compared to competition.
Anyway, there are enough people out there especially in India, who would love to hate Apple and iPhone. Despite it’s short comings, which are several, it’s going to be hard for competitors to offer as complete a package as the iPhone. Not to mention it’s aura – which can’t be matched by a 5mp camera in a phone.
Update: check out the parody.