Imagine in the past you’ve been a product manager at Nokia, Microsoft, RIM, Motorola, Samsung, Palm, Siemens, Sony Ericsson or at SUN overseeing Java for mobile or at Qualcomm watching over Brew. For years your bosses have been asking you how do we make more money off of all these applications we have developers developing. And you never had the answer.
Then out of nowhere comes Apple. They introduce this cool phone that activates via itunes. About a year later they introduce a cool way to get more apps. The App Store and it works with itunes.
You see, no consumer technology company thinks things end to end better than Apple. and for developers of cool apps, the App Store is their Wal*Mart. Only easier.
I draw this comparison because to get a consumer product into Wal*Mart isn’t easy. You have to do a lot of “selling in” and back it all up with merchandising and promotional support, often times being asked to deliver a lot of advertising to boost awareness that the product is available at Wal*Mart. You may even have to pay things like slotting, but I’m not sure if Wal*Mart does that these days.
What Apple effectively did for software developers is deliver to them the equal of Wal*Mart in one fell swoop by effectively providing them a retail store front, marketing, promotion and most of all, a customer base.
That’s end to end product marketing at its finest.