„All my friends got one” is sometimes a good reason to buy a specific phone

Last week, Apple released the new iPhone 5S and 5C. Android phones are released almost on a daily bases. With Microsoft now owning Nokia, we can probably expect new releases soon. And even Blackberry has some nice phones to offer. Never before was the choice of a phone so difficult. So what do we buy? And what are the reasons for our choice?

When outing ourselves that we want a new phone, we hear a lot of people around us telling us to get this one or that one for various reasons, some technical, some subjective and some just silly. And most of them will tell you not to get a particular phone, because “everybody got one”. But is this really such a bad thing?

We often want to display our individuality through the things we own and use but we tend to forget that we are social beings. Which means, in short, we have a need to communicate with each other and share things. Therefore, getting something because all your friends are getting or owning something may not be such a dumb reason after all.

What phone to get?

What phone you use often determines if you can play, communicate or interact with your friends or family. This is because different platforms make it harder to connect and interact. That is for different reasons, including the fact, that not all apps are cross-compatible and available.

Lets take the new iPhone, for example, with all the little features that make your life easier, like iMessage or the new Airdrop. If all your friends got Android phones, you won’t send many iMessages or exchange many files. The same applies for all the other platforms. Each has its own features but most are not cross-compatible. It is not about which is better then the other, it’s just which you can use most with your friends and family.

Not too long ago, “everyone has one” was a good reason for switching to or being on BBM. And that is why companies like Apple and Google are trying hard to keep the customers they already have.

I am not saying to go out and buy whatever your friends or family got. You should get whatever you like! But if you want to take full advantage of all that a certain platform or phone has to offer, you should take this criteria into consideration. There is no shame in doing or getting what your friends do or have. Basically, that’s what friends are for and that’s what defines us as a social being.

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Microsoft embarrasses itself… again!

Microsoft released a new series of Apple-mocking videos but pulled them after negative reception

Not too long ago, Microsoft released a series of ads, comparing the Surface RT directly to the iPad, trying to boost their disastrous sales of its tablet. Which didn’t work out that well…

Now, Microsoft released a series of videos on their Windows Phone Youtube channel, called “A fly on the wall in Cupertino”, spoofing Apples newly released iPhones. The 7 videos show 2 employees presenting the new iPhone models to their executives in a product pitch meeting. The executives can only be seen from behind but bear a striking resemblance to Jony Ive and Tim Cook. Some even say that,in fact, the resemblance of the Tim-Cook-character is intended to resemble Steve Jobs.

The biggest mistake, in my opinion, Microsoft made with this videos is that at one point in the video, one of the employees says “And the beauty part is we can charge whatever we want,”. Then, the hashtag #timetoswitch then flashes on the screen, a reference to Microsoft’s Windows Phone. The message received by the public is exactly the opposite of its intentions: the iPhone users are insulted to their face and, at the same time, expected to switch to the Windows Phone.

microsoft_anit_apple_video

After a short while and, probably, a lot of negative reception, even a lot of mocking on numerous social networks, Microsoft decided to pull the ads, stating that the campaign was “intended to be a lighthearted poke at our friends from Cupertino. But it was off the mark, and we’ve decided to pull it down”. Fortunately, one of the videos was reposted by another user and can be watched here:

watch Video

While the commercials were clearly supposed to be funny, they mostly make Microsoft look desperate. It’s somewhat understandable but not excusable. You would expect any public material to be thoroughly reviewed before releasing it, especially from a giant like Microsoft.

Microsoft clearly has a lot of issues and troubles lately, not only regarding their products and sales, but especially with their public image. I really hope that this will be the last of Microsofts public self-humiliation and that they start doing things right.

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Is Google taking their selling strategy to the next level?

In 2011, Google opened their first physical shop in London in a branch of Currys and PC World. The shop was solely dedicated to Google’s Chromebook and was called the “Chromezone”. Basically, this concept is called a shop-in-shop. The concept was very well received and many customers appreciated the fact that they could not only try the gadget out, but rather receive valuable advice from the well-trained staff. The only problem, which customers expressed, was that no other Google products were marketed.

Today, after 2 years, Google took the next logical step and fulfilled their customers wishes. Google opened their first shop-in-shop in Hamburg, Germany, for all their products.

The shop was opened in a local branch of Saturn. On 100 sq. m (about 1.100 sq. f), Google presents all their products in a modern but natural design with a lot of colors and wood. Besides the whole Chromebook and Nexus range and accompanying accessories, you can also test their software products like the Chrome browser, Google Maps, Google Play or Youtube.

The highlight of the shop is the so-called Liquid Galaxy, a big Google Earth screen, where you can explore the world and visit interesting places. It’s a nice idea which also looks very cool.

Google Store Hamburg

The biggest advantage of the store is the very-well trained and competent staff, eager to help you with whatever question you might have, be it regarding hardware or software. This is, in my opinion, the right approach of bringing good products closer to the people. It’s very convenient to shop online and have the goods delivered to your door but sometimes it just feels better to see, touch and test the product you want to buy. And if someone can tell you more information and show you how that product works, it’s that much better. It makes you feel important and that you, as a client, matter to the company, thus you are more satisfied with your purchase. And you are more likely to establish a personal connection to the company.

Some might say, Google is trying to copy the concept of the Apple Stores. So what? If it is a good concept and customers can benefit from it, I don’t see the problem.

All in all, I really like the new approach and I hope, as probably many others do, that Google won’t stop with only this one store, but take it to an international level and expand this concept.

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