Sunday, November 29, 2009

When Less Is Less - BusinessWeek

See the full article for a timely appliance reality check

Aside from the iPhone-like Touch, iPods are another example of specialized devices whose era may be ending because they cannot maintain their edge of excellence. Many smartphones now equal the iPod as music players and are better at showing photos and videos. Adding a mediocre video camera to the iPod Nano just isn't enough.

The lesson is that for a specialized device to cut it against more versatile competition, it must hit a high bar for excellence. A decade ago, the PalmPilot crushed the Apple Newton: While it did less, it did it much better. Eventually the Palm, too, was vanquished as smartphones subsumed its functions. Someday e-book readers and cameras may go the way of the PDA and the dedicated word processor. But at least for now, they can depend on the loyalty of delighted users.

When Less Is Less - BusinessWeek

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