Friday, 04 February 2011 19:12

Dating Apple Featured

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LevoniThinSkinJPG_09In business it is often said that you need to have a thick skin to survive.  Now that may be true when you are dealing with vendors, manufacturers and even consumers but for your products sometimes thin is better.  We had the chance to talk to Troy Rutt at True Power about their new ThinSkin product for the iPhone 4.

These are Precision Cut Films (Decals) that you can put on your new iPhone to personalize it. This is not a new concept, but it is a new slant on an old idea. Instead of just coloring the back of your iToy these wrap around the steel bezel and add a touch of color that is visible even when you are using a case. Not a bad idea really if you if you want to make your iPhone stand out from the rest.

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But looking at this product got us thinking about when we had our iPhone 4 (that short and annoying two months). When the iPhone 4 hit the market there was, of course the mad rush of people wanting one.  The Apple stores were flooded and Steve Job’s new toy sold out. We decided to wait and pick one up from AT&T. By the time the new phone was there Antenna gate was in full swing, but Apple was still not admitting anything. We entered the store and were treated to a line about needing a case or our new phones would not be covered under warranty.


Now this struck me as odd, normally when a new iDevice hits the streets your accessory choices are VERY limited. All you can get are parts that are Apple branded; you just do not get third party choices.  Yet here we saw non-Apple products, namely Body Glove openly for sale. What made things even more odd for me was that I had just been told by another iPhone accessory maker that they always had to wait on Apple for a green light. I saw this as a chance to ask a few questions;

Was Apple as controlling with their accessories as they are with their OS, hardware and also the developers that work so hard to submit products to them?

Troy’s answer did not surprise me, but it had me laughing. He said quite plainly “Working with Apple is like dating that really hot crazy girl. On the one had you are with her because she is hot, but you have to remember she is crazy too”

This summed things up quite well for me, but I needed a little more information; so I will break down the rest of the answers in some familiar formats.

You make non-refundable reservations for a nice restaurant (which you were told was her favorite) complete with limo only to be told by your girlfriend she really hates that type of food (Which you should have known).

Troy described a situation where he spent a considerable sum of money to research and develop a product to Apple’s specification only to be told (after completion) “yeah you probably will want to stop working on that”. This is at a point where the product is finished the development phase and is waiting on final approval. Where do you do from there? I know if I did something like that I would be highly annoyed.

Despite working hard to show the crazy hot girl how much you care and what you can do for her she runs off with that guy you hated from high school.

While I do not have a direct example here we have heard of times where Apple has chosen one company over another, almost arbitrarily, even ones with long term relationships.

Working with Apple can be exciting; if a company is chosen they can take off due to the exposure that Apple gives them. And if they get an Apple product of the year they can make a company a great deal of money. For the other guys they get to wonder what they did wrong. After all according to Troy and others Apple tests all of these products to make sure they work and meet the style requirements setup by Apple (which are often not much more than 20 something kids that do not know the real technical aspect of the products).  If this is true then how can anything but a great product make it out?

The answer is, only Apple knows. Still the lure of potential gain will always bring in innovative people to the Apple accessory market. But the controlling nature of Apple seems to be working to drive those same people to mediocrity or to simply expand out into other arenas.


Read 4380 times Last modified on Friday, 04 February 2011 19:48

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