Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Listen Different: Analyst Credits Apple with Listening

Jupiter Analyst Michael Gartenberg wrote Apple's announcement yesterday. Apple's gotten a bit of a tough reputation to get away from right now: they plan an announcement and the rumors begin to swirl. Apple had promised to announce some "fun new products", and I saw open speculation that they were going to tell everyone they had been purchased by Disney. So, anything short of a Bono appearance is a let down.

Gartie (as he's known to friends and associates) sees a bigger story, specifically in the fact that Apple listened to the community in terms of integrating their Mac Mini device with the Front Row media software. This is clearly a good way to use this little computer. It's powerful, cheap, small, attractive and doesn't come with a monitor. Seems like a perfect compliment to the LCD televisions that are being increasingly purchased.

It's not clear what the original intention of the Mini was, other than for Apple to have a low-cost player in the market. But the TV integration may just be another case of Market Emergence: the condition that occurs when the consumer community determine a novel use for a product, and communicate that use to others.

This is a certain kind of CGM, and clearly one that companies need to be listening for. If the community has determined that the use of a product is X, and the marketing/communication continues to be about Y...relevance is lost.
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