High Sales and Low Love – the Story of the iPhone 5

Authored bycascade

What is someone to make of a phone (the iPhone 5) that has low love from the intelligentsia in tech:

While at the same time this very same phone racked up 2 million pre-orders in the first 24 hours. Smashing the record held by the iPhone 4S of approximately 1 million.

So what gives?

How could a phone that receives such mixed emotions from one group be so lauded by another? You don’t really have to look much further than Geoffrey Moore’s book, Crossing the Chasm for at least a partial answer.

In Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey initially lays out five types of adopters.

▪Early Adopters
▪Early Majority
▪Late Majority


Geoffrey spends a good deal of time discussing the “chasm” that products / services fall into between Early Adopters and the Early Majority.  What’s not as often discussed by readers of Geoffrey’s book however is the estimated percentage of users that typically fall into each bucket.

In essence what we’re seeing with the iPhone 5 launch is that he Conservatives (Late Majority) and maybe even a few Laggards are getting on board with the iPhone 5.  For these groups boring is good. And evolutionary products are much better ones to buy than revolutionary ones.

Additionally, given the % of users in these blocks (34% and 16%) – which therefore will typically make up 1/2 of a market – it may not be much of a surprise that sales are high, while love is low with Innovators and Early Adopters who swarmed to the iPhone in 2008/2009.

And that of course raises the question?  Will the Innovators begin to fall in love with another platform?  And if so which one?

By Sean Campbell
By Scott Swigart


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