I am off on vacation right now and one of the people we are with actually has a new iPhone and made a pretty neat video with it so I just had to put this post up. (He has also been razzing me a bit about my flip phone and what exactly a ‘Salty Waffle’ is, so I thought I would hit him with some cold hard facts about his beloved and take a look at another business lesson.)

I keep reading about this crazy iPhone 4 antenna problem and it got me thinking about purpose. I have always thought the purpose of having a phone was so that you could make calls, and quality ones at that.iphone

I am becoming increasingly wrong on that issue and the fact that the iPhone 4 continues to sell, proves it. Despite a crippling flaw that causes dropped calls and reception issues, Apple has ignored Consumer Reports, most tech blogs, and even one of its original founders, Steve Wozniak and decided to keep selling as-is.

So why? How are they getting away with a phone that is universally considered a near failure where actual calls are concerned?

The answer is purpose. The iPhone 4, despite its name is not a phone, not first and foremost at least. Those who seek out the iPhone are looking for something else. (I am not going to tackle what exactly that is, but I think it might have something to do with Apps.)

Anyway, the point is, even when you craft a product or service for your customers, you have to truly understand what they are buying it for. Apple understands that people are buying the iPhone for purposes other than a phone and they have adjusted to emphasize that point.

Duct tape is another perfect example of a product made for one specific thing that has been repurposed by consumers in hundreds of different ways. Every business may benefit from examining some of the reasons consumers are buying their product and adjusting the offering or targeting some different ads to emphasize other key benefits that weren’t even originally intended. After all, not even Apple could sell this phone if all people wanted were quality calls, yet they sold 1.5million in the first week.

Think about what your product offers that you aren’t thinking of and go with it!