Love and Logic and iPhones

When I first became a parent I was given a copy of Love and Logic, a parenting book. I recommend it. It is a lot of common sense stuff that should be obvious about parenting, but for some reason isn’t.
Among the many ideas in there is the idea of giving children a choice. For instance, if we were to tell our daughter “you must wear this shirt” we may get some resistance depending upon whether she liked the shirt or not. But if we give her two choices of shirts to wear, she is thrilled at the chance to make a choice, even though it is a small one. Sometimes the second shirt we pick is one we know she doesn’t like anyway. You get the idea.
I’ve found this lesson to be even more valuable in business. Give a client or customer choices instead of only one option. This isn’t a big secret. I’m sure that companies that give you silver, gold and platinum packages are doing the same thing. Cars have all those options and colors. Give the customer the choice between a coupe and a sedan and they may make that choice rather than the one between your brand and another.
So take a look at the iPhone in the U.S. Up until now, there hasn’t been a choice. If you wanted an iPhone, you had to use AT&T.
Now there are many legitimate reasons why people said no to this. For instance, if there was no AT&T coverage in your area it didn’t matter how badly you wanted an iPhone. It just wasn’t going to work.
But I think a lot of us just didn’t like the fact that Apple didn’t give us a choice. You must choose AT&T, they said. “No!” we threw a tantrum and walked away. Well, most of us threw a tantrum and then gave in, myself included.
But now we’ve got a choice. Sure there will be people switching from AT&T to Verizon. Sure, there will be new iPhone users who couldn’t get an iPhone before because of where they lived. But there will also be a group of people who will get an iPhone for the first time now that Apple has offered them a choice. Whether they choose Verizon or AT&T, they won’t feel forced into the decision. And it was that lack of choice that was holding them back. I guess we’re big boys and girls now.
So my prediction is that adding Verizon as a carrier for the iPhone will increase iPhone sales. That’s not much of a prediction. Everyone says that. But I don’t think it will hurt AT&T sales either. Maybe a bit at first, but anyone that wants to switch will do so by the middle of this year. After that, Verizon, AT&T and Apple will all benefit from us having a choice. Smart parenting… I mean business.

Comments: 3 Responses to “Love and Logic and iPhones”

    1/26/11 @ 6:50 pm

    Even now as an iMac, iPhone and Shuffle owner, I’ve always felt Apple was rather restrictive about offering customers choice.

    If you wanted an Apple computer you had to take the monitor/screen they gave you as it was an all-in-one design. You wanted an iPhone? Say hello to AT&T. And perish the idea of an Apple OS on anything but an Apple machine.

    I’ll grant you it probably means fewer issues problems considering how they are able to lock-down everything, but I confess it kept me away from them for some time because I didn’t like feeling pushed into the Apple “Our way or the highway” motif.

    1/27/11 @ 10:58 am

    i loVe my MAC

    1/27/11 @ 11:48 am

    I stopped by a Verizon “retail” store yesterday 1) because it was new, and 2) because I had some questions about my account if I bought an iPhone in a few weeks. I was amazed at how hard the salesman tried to sell me an Android. I think Verizon stores are really worried about being stuck with a lot of Android stock once the iPhone reaches their stores. (He didn’t convince me; I still want an iPhone.)

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