Articles by Marek Pawlowski of MEX are always interesting, and the latest one is no different. In “Moving from mobile capabilities to mobile compulsion“, he looks at what the impact of the iPhone and the App Store really is, and who’s best placed to suceed though understanding user experience.
There is some great insight in the article, but this struck me in particular:
You could transplant the iPhone UI and App Store into an equivalent Nokia or Samsung handset and it wouldn’t succeed without the myriad other elements which comprise Apple’s overall experience.
That’s absolutely spot on. Apple scores highly in designing an end-to-end user experience that makes it a pleasure to interact with their devices and supporting infrastructure. There is little that is not integrated in the Apple ecosystem.
The same cannot be said of Nokia, whose services are fragmented, and whose product offerings are somewhat confused. Maybe that is to be expected of the global leader, with so many fingers in so many pies. Hence Marek’s assertion that the iPhone is both a provocation and a benchmark. It’s a wakeup call for device manufacturers, carriers and application sellers that they need to get their collective act together to provide an experience that is much more pleasing to their customers.
There are signs that Nokia is drawing its disparate elements together into a more co-ordinated experience. Nokia Account will provide single sign-on across online services. Comes With Music could be a powerful challenge to the iTunes model. Nokia Tube and its sucessors will certainly attempt to beat the iPhone as its own game – at the very least it’ll have a decent camera! The only missing element is the overall communication of this unified offering to the customers. In this, Nokia needs to exude the same brand sexiness as Apple. That may be the hardest part of all.