Why was Apple iPhone 1 unique?

Apple iPhone 1

In our training we often use the example of Apple iPhone 1 as a unique product. It is also a good example of a Nexus brand strategy in which brand becomes unique by combining non unique values.

Apple iPhone 1 was launched on 29 Jun 2007 and was unique because it combined 10 already existing elsewhere values in a single product, making them work well together:

1) Mobile phone;
2) Large screen;
3) Multi-touch, no keyboard;
4) iPod features;
5) iTunes software;
6) Third party web apps;
7) Sync feature;
8) OSX;
9) Sensors;
10) Design.

See Apple original press release.
See Steve Jobs presentation.

IPhone 1 uniqueness was hard to maintain long term, because these values were surpassed by competitors within few years.

The big leap in establishing Apple iPhone longer uniqueness was launch of iStore a year later on 10 July 2008, for which OSX use in iPhone 1 was intended. This allowed Apple to engage its development community skills which were hard to match.

What can be learned from iPhone 1 and iStore?

– Long term uniqueness in global mobile phone competition is achieved through complex combination of many technology, management, marketing, and community skills. So technology is not sufficient to position a product which appears to be technological.

– Such uniqueness requires years of planning and it includes many experts and suppliers that all contribute to the final vision. This is the management skill both on Apple side, but also on supplier side as well.

Written by: Nikola Tosic
Publishing date: 2 Oct 2016