In Hot Pursuit of Quality

You would have had to be on a remote island somewhere in the last couple of weeks to have escaped the launch of the latest technological marvel – the iPhone 5.  In fact, it’s been downright difficult to turn on the TV, computer, or radio and not be immediately besieged with the latest updates on sales or the current lengths of the lines outside of Apple stores.  It seems as though we just can’t get enough of whatever device the largest company on the worldwide stock exchange is currently offering.
Have you ever stopped to think about why this is happening?  What is it that makes these hand-held multi-media wonders so incredibly appealing?
Now I know the obvious answer will be that it’s “staying in touch with my friends and my work,” but surely there’s more to it than that.  After all, a simple “no feature” phone with messaging capability will handle 99.9 % of those communications issues, and no one has to stand in lines for two days and two nights to get one of those.
Maybe you’d say it’s about being first to have all of the new features and the bragging rights associated with that score.  OK, that’s somewhat understandable. But wait a minute!  Isn’t Apple itself saying that there isn’t all that much that’s different about this new phone? It’s just that it supposedly does everything better!  Again, that might be a drawing point for a lot of people, but how do you “brag” about that?  “Dude, isn’t it awesome how paying for my Starbucks Latte looks on a ½” longer screen?”
No, I definitely think there’s something deeper behind all of this. I’m not trying to speak for all of you “First Adopters” out there, but I do think you might be onto something that DOES make these technological wonders so popular – even if you’re not thinking about it at the moment of purchase.  It’s the fact that these devices are so incredibly simple to operate, and they look so elegant as they go through their paces.  In other words they are “beautiful in their simplicity.”
From my point of view, just maybe this is part of what makes them so darn appealing. Not unlike a trip to McDonalds, where you know that what kind of quality you are getting, no matter which store you go into, and you can depend on the product to consistently please you.  Plus, your current wants are satisfied in a clean and dependable environment.
With that premise comes another speculation – is simple becoming the new quality in our minds?  It sure seems like anything that delivers our “desire of the moment,” in both a fast and trouble-free way, seems to find the quickest pathway into some special place in our hearts and minds.  Consider for a moment how many of us are still recording our favorite TV shows on a VCR?  I think I can safely say that the DVR just might end up being considered the “product of the century” for a large portion of the population.
So Apple lovers, this last two weeks has been about as good as it gets in your world.  For the rest of you out there, what product or service scores this high on your Quality Meter?  Give us your thoughts, then….

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