Again and again, in the history of media technologies, it has been the content that drove the success of the hardware platform. The Victor Talking Machine company were the ones who realised that customers wanted to buy discs of famous musicians playing famous music – which is why the Victrola succeeded and Edison’s Phonograph did not. VHS beat Betamax and V2000 in the consumer market because you could get more films (and porn) on VHS.
The latest technology to prove this truism is the iPhone with the Apps Store, which I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. When the hardware comes out, all the tech reviewers complain about missing or underpowered features in the hardware, and people say the BlackBerry is better because it has this and that, and people rave about the new Palm thing, or the Google phone. But in the end, what people want is content. Attractively priced – or free – content will drive people to buy the hardware.
Early adopters adopt early, but the mainstream comes on board, not when something costs £199 instead of £349, but when there’s a £4.95 application that does exactly what they want. Read more: