Why would you buy an iPhone? It’s all about the Magic !!

Arun Chakravarthy September 27, 2012
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Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called “The Pledge”. The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he’ll ask you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course…it probably isn’t. The second act is called “The Turn”. The magician takes the ‘ordinary’ something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn’t clap yet. Because making something disappear isn’t enough; you have to bring it back. That’s why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call “The Prestige”.

- Christopher Nolan’s 2006 film, The Prestige


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At the Macworld Conference & Expo 2007 keynote address by Steve Jobs, you probably didn’t realize this trick. Watch the initial few minutes of this video if you haven’t.  Steve Jobs took something ordinary, a phone, did some extraordinary things to it, and then made it reappear in an impressive and magnificent appearance and style. Isn’t that a great trick, in fact i would call it ‘mind blowing’.

Clearly this is the story of iPhone and certainly Apple was really good at this trick. But then, Elvis has left the building, they don’t have their magician any more. The real problem here is that people started to get tired of seeing it again and again.  But it’s all clearly a perception issue.

Let me explain it to you.

To some, this trick may seem boring now, but for Jobs folks, it’s the other way around “we are getting better at this trick.” If this wasn’t the case look at the mobile market right now. There are only two companies who are making any penny out of smartphones –  Apple and Samsung, the company Apple won a billion dollar from for copying their design. So clearly no one else has mastered this trick or even got closer to pulling it off.

So why isn’t the trick working any more? Everyone feels that with Steve Jobs no longer around, the ‘prestige’ part of the trick is now missing.

I don’t think this is really the case. All mobile manufacturing companies focus on the ‘prestige’ part – the part where they make their phones reappear in an impressive and magnificent appearance and style. And Apple is certainly the one and only company concentrating on the most important part of the trick ‘the turn’ – where they make the ordinary extraordinary.

If you’ve noticed the iPhone 5 video on Apple’s homepage, their executives are talking about what went into making iPhone 5 the best thing to happen to iPhone. They are the only ones who use two 29-megapixel cameras during the chassis manufacturing process to match together the exact inlet out of 725 unique options. They are the only ones who would spend years working on redesigning earphones. They’re the only ones who would stuff in technology and features into a device without losing its great look and feel.

When people say they don’t like the new iPhone what they actually mean is that Apple didn’t make the new device look different from its previous version. But the fact is that Apple went out of its way to make sure that wasn’t the case. Just listen to John Ive in this video.



“When you think about your iPhone, it’s probably the object that you use most in your life. It’s the product that you have with you all the time. With this unique relationship that people have with their iPhone, we take changing it really seriously. We don’t just want to make a new phone. We want to make a much better phone.”

Apple will not accept change just because that’s how the mobile market worked till date. You think they should only because it’s easy for you to access value by visual newness.

Clearly their magic was never on The Prestige but in The Turn. That’s why you will buy an iPhone 6, 7, 8 or even beyond.


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