Hype Machine versus The Consumer

September 27, 2008
By
The next-generation of technology is upon us and on September 23, Google announced the Google Android. This could finally be an iPhone killer especially after a not-so-stellar launch of the 3G iPhone. The product was full of bugs and all the consumers got in response was a promise for a firmware update. If Apple knew about these bugs and planned a patch, why didn’t they release the iPhone with the fixes already on it? Companies like Apple, Sony, and Google send out new products knowing that their product has some issues. And consumer America is buying these products just to have the newest gadget. Products should be in full working condition the first time around, not after months of waiting for a patch.

There has never been such a demand for any new products that I have seen in the past 2 years. Consumers have been lining up to buy iPhones, Playstation 3’s, Grand Theft Auto 4’s, and almost any other electronic devices that you can think of. While this is fantastic for all the media giants, this is terrible for consumers. We purchase these products before we know anything about them. The shelves get cleaned and we return home only to find that we just spent upwards of $200 on glitch ridden products. I have experienced this first hand when I got my hands on a launch Playstation 3. Two years have passed since first playing the system and I have yet to say, “This was worth the money.”

The hype-machine, fueled almost completely by the internet, distorts our consumer minds. Numerous web sites claim that 3G iPhones will be the best thing since fried rice. Everywhere you click, you see “Hands-on with the 3G iPhone.” The articles make the products sound fantastic. Why don’t they tell the truth? Days after the 3G iPhone launches, these same web sites post reviews of the product, but they give them bad ratings. Really? Two weeks ago, this product worked perfectly, but now it’s broken. Now the 3G service is weak in areas. Now the device freezes and crashes applications. Are they getting hands on time with better products?

Most of these web sites with “Hands-on Time” feature advertisements of the product. Something tells me that these web sites ignore the “bugs” because it just so happens that Apple has recently paid them for advertisement space.

Companies like Apple, Sony, and Google clearly know how much hype is out for their product. These companies use this to their advantage. Send out a product early with bugs and glitches, then once they get criticized for having these problems, companies admit to the problems. But then they clear the air with a patch released months later, as in the 3G iPhone’s case. Three months after the release, it receives all these updates:

Decrease in call set-up failures and dropped calls
Significantly better battery life for most users
Dramatically reduced time to backup to iTunes
Improved email reliability, notably fetching email from POP and Exchange accounts
Faster installation of 3rd party applications
Fixed bugs causing hangs and crashes for users with lots of third party applications
Improved performance in text messaging
Faster loading and searching of contacts
Improved accuracy of the 3G signal strength display
Repeat alert up to two additional times for incoming text messages
Option to wipe data after ten failed passcode attempts
Genius playlist creation (http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/689299/iPhone_21_And_iTunes_8_Impressions.html)
All of these problems were present at launch, but Apple still went through with the launch to make the money.

Google should consider this strongly before putting out the Android based phone. They should learn from their new browser, Google Chrome, and fix bugs before introducing the product. Google Chrome came out swinging but after the 1.5% of Americans downloaded and experienced the browser, its flaws with CPU memory and security issues were discovered.

All of these companies should just wait to put out their products. We would rather have finished, Grade-A products, than a half finished idea. But the consumer also has to change their ways. Stop buying products unless they are proven. Your hard-earned money is being spent on half-assed products. So next time you get sucked in by the hype-machine, think to yourself, “Is this going to be all hype?”





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