Kevin Carty, VP Classic Exhibits
Fuji Me Once. Shame on You.
I have long admired the folks in Cupertino for their innovative thoughts, ideas, product aesthetics, design intuitiveness, etc. Apple is a model in many ways of how marketing and product development should be.
When Apple is attacked by other brands and other brand lovers, I, like others, defend it. Sometimes it’s as simple as using the old phrase, “Look at the scoreboard baby!” meaning the facts don’t lie. Just look at the number of iPhones and iPads sold compared to other brands. The numbers don’t lie. It’s much more than the delectable taste of their Kool-Aid that draws its legion of followers and converts to evangelize their love for Apple. It’s their technology-driven solutions, designed purely for consumers, which match their every need as if the developers were thinking the same thoughts.
I am proud of my Kool-Aid stained upper lip and the following gripe will not change that.
In business, I agree that Apple may not be the best solution for all. Yes, I said it my fellow fruit basket dwellers. But, it’s true. I can defend the business applicability of Apple when needed, but that is not my point in writing this blog post. I only bring it up because the iPad (all generations) have become integral to trade shows and events — driving presentations, lead retrieval, on counters, stands, and handheld sleeves. iPads are EVERYWHERE.
We Love iPads
About three years ago, Classic Exhibits targeted this segment aggressively. We are proud of our success as THE iPad Solutions Provider in the Exhibit and Event Industry. No other company has more solutions and no one else engineers iPad Solutions specifically for trade shows and events. We specifically created plug and play solutions,which meant included cabling in all our kiosks. Cool idea and the kudos we received for that simple add-on have been huge to be frank.
Well rewind to a few months ago. The long awaited and much anticipated iOS7 was released by the Cupertino-clan. As a user, I loved it! There were some little bugs, but they fixed those almost immediately. But overall a huge win from a user interface, aesthetic, and product development standpoint.
All good, right? Well . . . even the shiniest Apples sometimes have a worm in them, or best said, sometimes they are picked a little too early. This apple is a little sour once you take that second or third bite.
This is the sad case with a little known (at the time) hidden firmware change that Apple put into the latest iOS7 updates. Those with Apple devices running the new iOS7 know what I am talking about. Apple programmers updated the code to detect “non-Apple” branded charging cables. So the buzz and frustration all over the web has been, “My phone won’t charge now that I have updated to iOS7” and “Is my iPad broken? It will no longer charge since the update.”
I am a capitalist, but the answer from Apple was sad to be blunt. Apple’s response was that they were protecting their market share. REALLY? Do you expect the average consumer and business purchaser to really think an 1M or 2M cable is a critical part of your market share? I guess at $19-$29 each (plug not included), which is the price Apple wants for a $.12 cable, maybe it really is a crucial part of your ability to pay your bills.
Anyway, I digress. My business frustration is this — iPad’s RULE the trade show floor market. RULE IT! But when you get out of the United States that is not the case. At EuroShop this past February, we learned that other tablets have an equal if not greater presence on the trade show floor. From a business perspective, as a company that has embraced iPads and their value in our space, this short-sided, money grab by Apple is a stinger to us all.
I admit, the cables we provide are not bought from Apple. They are purchased from a manufacture that certifies them and sells them to many big box stores in the US. They are a safe product that we have chosen to buy in bulk as a benefit to our clients, clients who are buying iPads from Apple to use in our solutions.
Hard Apple Cider
But now, we find ourselves as a business and as consumers stuck with only ONE option for our Apple Juice. That does not sit well with me. Maybe I am being hypersensitive. But it seems a little stupid and arrogant on the Apple folks part to tell me, “Yes Mr. Loyal Consumer, you do need to explain to your daughter that her Hello Kitty Charger is not authorized.”
Now that I have ranted, what does this mean for Classic Exhibits, the iPad Solutions Leader in the Exhibit Industry? Well, we’re going to be making a separate announcement that the cords may or may not work. So end-users will need to bring their Apple authorized charging cord with them to their show, (which by the way is TOO short), but that we will be including with each unit a USB extension cord that will allow them to extend the length of their Apple authorized cord.
Until, of course, Apple decides that extension cords are critical to paying for Sally and Billie’s dental coverage. Stay tuned.
Hope you have a great weekend with your families.