Apple and iPhone Covers
iPhone cover is a very interesting business since the rise of smart phone trend.
The original idea of phone covers was to protect the expensive smart phones from scratches, because they are expensive comparing to the standard Nokia and Motorola, but later become a fashion statement to differentiate form everyone else’s same iPhone.
From Niche to Mass
I remember when the iPhone first arrived, the product and brand experience are nicely crafted so people are proud of to show off to everyone. And users hold it with care, protect the screen with protection layers and sleek covers for the back… it was a sensational experience together with the stunning iOS & iTune system. (Apple still doing it well today, but many brand is catching up)
Apple’s iPhone once a niche product that belongs to certain affluent users or die-heart creatives, has become a mass product brand. Because it is so successful that everyone want a piece of it, even it costs someone a month of salary!
Status icon becomes functional hardware
This become a strange phenomena that once a status icon become merely a functional hardware, that people need to cover it up with cheap plastic phone covers, so to differentiate form the other users?!
And Ironically, the efforts of engineers to make the iPhone slimmer & lighter becomes so un-relavent that some people will fill the saved thickness with 3 time thicker iPhone covers and battery packs etc….
Now that, Apple is likely to launch lower tier models with cheap plastic casing, it will further drive the Apple’s brand to even mass market. It makes total sense from the business growth perspective, but it will certainly drive the brand toward commodity, and soon Apple will become household brand like Walmart – a mass brand people use but not love.