Red is not a big color in women's fashions this season. One is more likely to see purples and pinks to go along with gray this fall. But there is always some red that appears for the holiday season. So perhaps there will be a batch of phones in holiday colors marketed as gifts for fragmentation fans.
That's an interesting point about women's fashion. I must admit that I don't pay attention to ruffles, sequins and beads! But I can imagine that if designers emphasize specific features and colors -- and you don't like those fashions -- it's much more difficult to find what you want.
My favorite color for many things is red -- sheets, furniture, etc. Sometimes red is in fashion and it's easy to find, sometimes it isn't.
So fragmentation = freedom of choice and the ability to think for oneself rather than following the crowd as Facebook would have us do. Actually, I would like to see more fragmentation in the fashion industry. While there are many pieces of clothing, all of them follow particular trends. That's why you'll see a lot of plaid, ruffles, sequins, beads, and narrow belts on women's clothes this year, as well as skirts on the short side. Hem lines, fabrics, trims, and accessory styles actually are fairly centralized. So whether you shop at upscale shops or at Target, you will notice much in common in the wares. Yes, there are choices, but those are limited to what designers and manufacturers believe will be popular for the season.
Yes, I understand that too many choices can overwhelm people. Picking a cellular phone certainly can be difficult because it comprises multiple variables ranging from price to style and including technology -- which can be the most daunting for many people.
Your comments about having too many choices actually making us less less happy and more confused is valid, from my perspective. Your comments about the confusion of choice being based on markets also holds true to me.
I wonder if the winners people who are, well, smarter -- either smart enough to figure out comparisons for themselves or smart enough to seek expert advice, such as reading PC World, PC Magazine, CNET, etc. for information about computers and other electronic devices as well as working/living within a circle of friends, family and co-workers who understand electronics.
Technology probably holds a special place in this confusion. As I noted, people aren't bemoaning fragmentation in fashion and foods. Most people aren't complaining about the huge number of home furnishings because there are so many couches, chairs, etc.
But technology requires a specific expertise that many people don't have or don't want to obtain.
You tap into some fascinating aspects of ‘consumer behavior’ in comparing the marketing strategies of Android and Apple platforms.
Two variables at play here I take particular interest in:
1. The relation between amount of choice and consumer satisfaction.
2. The relation between ‘closed’ technological platforms and ‘feelings of restriction’,and the relation thereof to consumer satisfaction.
In the context of these two things, however, something I felt this vblog overlooked is the issue of ‘too much choice’.
Platforms with too many choices, in certain markets, can have a negative effect on consumer satisfaction. This idea is effectively discussed by Barry Schwartz in his‘The Paradox of Choice’.
As Ilya Grigorik writes, “the sheer number of different products makes it impossible for us to weigh every option in a reasonable amount of time - you can no longer be sure that you're getting the best possible deal.”
On top of this, when there are more things to choose from, our expectations go up. When there are many choices we end up thinking that one of them should be perfect, or at least close to perfect.
In the context of cellular phones, the permutations become multiplied again when dealing with products that have interchangeable parts.
Grigorik articulates the paradox of choice in the context of cameras, and offers a solution:
“Imagine that all possible cameras and their 'utility', or the value for the money, is shown in this 3D-Plane. You want the best choice - that's the camera at the top of the biggest peak.
However, because there are so many different choices, and features, you might actually settle for a 'local optima'. This could happen for a number of reasons, one of which is time. Time is valuable, and sometimes we simply cannot afford to spend much of it to make our decisions. And that's the 'paradox', or the problem with too much choice - when we can't measure it all, we are always left with a feeling that we might have missed something big, something better. End result: we feel worse. Solution: experts, magazines, friends - anything or anyone that can provide a shortcut in our decision making process.
Imagine that all possible cameras and their 'utility', or the value for the money, is shown in this 3D-Plane. You want the best choice - that's the camera at the top of the biggest peak. However, because there are so many different choices, and features, you might actually settle for a 'local optima'. This could happen for a number of reasons, one of which is time. Time is valuable, and sometimes we simply cannot afford to spend much of it to make our decisions. And that's the 'paradox', or the problem with too much choice - when we can't measure it all, we are always left with a feeling that we might have missed something big, something better. End result: we feel worse. Solution: experts, magazines, friends - anything or anyone that can provide a shortcut in our decision making process.”
Where then does the issue of ‘restricted products’ fit in, such as Apple’s restriction on batteries or applications, for instance? We don’t like feeling as though the company has control over the product that we purchased, especially when that control leads to expensive repairs and forced use of their, and only their applications.
But I think the kind of unhappiness we get from this restriction in choice is of a different nature than restriction of choice more generally. Or, that if Apple provided many many options, all of which ‘closed’, we would still feel unhappy. Restriction of choice with regards to closed architecture is an orthogonal issue, to some degree.
Having more choice is inherently a good thing, but depending on the market context, only to a point. The 'long tail' works well for companies like Amazon, but having fewer choices for something like shampoo might have a positive effect on customer satisfaction and by extension, sales.
Whether or not Android platforms are inciting a ‘paradox of choice’ I am not sure. I would argue that to some degree they are, or at least they are heading in that direction, especially for those less technologically inclined. So it depends on the market, but the issue of ‘too much choice’ is something to keep in mind.
I'm glad you like the video. I thought it was time for some balance to all the wailing about fragmentation.
There are advantages to fewer choices -- after all, we don't much worry about being able to open spreadsheets and text documents because everyone can open Microsoft Excel and Word files. Of course, Microsoft's dominance has pretty much wiped out the market for other Office-type suites, except for Web products (where Microsoft is finally seeing the light).
Sure, choices of handsets and operating systems are confusing to many consumers. But most consumers wouldn't want to go back to the days of "you can have it in any color as long as it's black."
That has got to be the best assesment for diversity that I have ever heard. A smart phone is a smart phone - as long as it makes calls and people can check their mail and sports scores - most are happy.
I too share the concerns about Apple's quasi-fascist state. Besides, developers of iOS have been whinning since day one that Apple is difficult and opinionated about the kinds of applications it will allow on its phones.
One might think that they are trying to homogenize the smart phone experience. This sounds similar to Microsoft's vision of operating systems and IBM's master plan with mainframes.
Questions about fragmentation were also raised during the mid-development years of Linux.Legacy enterprises were fearful of the OS and bad mouthed even the smallest changes. Even vanguard Linux supporters like Red Hat decried the shatter effect on its... shall we say .. revenues?
Without fragmentation, you would not have Android, or Ubuntu, or Moblin, and the embedded device market would be paying for Windows and experiencing BSOD. <horror>
But I digress. I suspect that the hoi polloi are unaware of Linux. They really should be educated.
Businesses helped neighbors with Internet access and mobile device charge-ups during Sandra. Following that example, enterprises should consider preparing Internet disaster plans to help the public during disasters.
More than any other company, Research in Motion has been hurt by the runaway success of Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android systems. Though it is losing a significant share of the smartphone market, RIM has found a way to possibly stay afloat with "Mobile Fusion," its plan to expand its robust enterprise management functions to other devices.
A survey by JD Powers found that customer interest in product features is lessening as phones evolve. Rather than features, price is driving purchases, and that change could have a dramatic impact on how IT departments secure these devices.
Linux Journal recently released its 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards. As an Ubuntu convert in recent years, I was glad to see Ubuntu took the top spot for "Best Linux Distribution" (at 16 percent, edging out Debian, which took 14.1 percent).
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