Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design Jonathan Ive was profiled recently by The New Yorker and during the interview, it seems that he was emphasizing on why certain manufacturers offer more choice than others.
“In one of our conversations, Ive was scathing about a rival’s product, after asking me not to name it: “Their value proposition was ‘Make it whatever you want. You can choose whatever color you want.’ And I believe that’s abdicating your responsibility as a designer.” Cook told me, “Jony has better taste than anyone I ever met in my life,” and Ive might not demur.”
While not stating it outright, it seems that Ive was talking about Motorola’s Moto Maker design system for their phones. Motorola’s CEO Rick Osterloh replied to the criticism in kind:
“Our belief is that the end user should be directly involved in the process of designing products. We’re making the entire product line accessible. And frankly, we’re taking a directly opposite approach to them [Apple].”
While Osterloh makes a good point about how certain people may want to design their phone themselves, he also attacked Apple’s profit margin policies:
“We do see a real dichotomy in this marketplace, where you’ve got people like Apple making so much money and charging such outrageous prices. We think that’s not the future,” he said. We believe the future is in offering similar experiences and great consumer choice at accessible prices. The mobile phone industry’s greatest failure is also its greatest opportunity: to make really good, affordable devices for people who don’t want to spend a lot of money.”
Even though Apple does tend to make a lot of money through margins on their products, they are doing very well, with making over 80% of the entire industry’s profits in 2014. What’s clear though, is both of the companies have their own philosophies and are sticking to them.