End Users Aren’t The Customers
Specifically, it’s Andy comment about companies needing to do market research. And then it dawned on me. When you look at these devices, it’s clear that the end user isn’t the real customer here. Most end users, save for the early adopter crowd, don’t buy these devices. What I remember of the device sales numbers from my time inside Voxilla bears this assertion out–service providers buy more devices than end users, and they buy them in-bulk.
This is very similar to how mobile phones are sold in the US. Because of the control that the mobile carriers exert over the marketplace, we are effectively not the customers of device manufacturers such as Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, LG, and whoever else makes devices. There isn’t much of a channel outside of the carrier stores, and carriers erect barriers to utilizing phones not purchased through their authorized channels, effectively making it impossible for device manufacturers to sell phones direct to consumers. That basically means the carriers are the customers of the mobile handset makers, and that’s why US handsets suck compared to their European counterparts.
So before we accuse the device manufacturers of not doing their homework or producing inappropriate gear, perhaps we should ask the question: are we the manufacturer’s customer? Follow the chain and find out for yourself.