Saturday, 6 March 2010


Ok, so I was in the pub the other night, and I went to the Gentleman's wash room. In the last few years, the stroke of genius of advertising above the urinals has become more commonplace. I mean, perfect space. Trying to literally mind your own business up in the toilets, a little bit drunk, this is the absolute recipe for concentration of the highest order. That advert could be about Prune Juice, and my gaze would be fully transfixed on it. This advert, however, was about a new telephone, and LG. The model in question is the LG KM900:

Now, this is where we reach the cut-and-thrust of this post: Why make products that try and imitate an already successful product, with inferior results?!?!

I am an iPhone user. They have their faults (I'm pretty sure the battery leaks out the back, it's the only explanation I can think of), but I personally think it's a brilliant piece of kit. Regardless of your opinion agreeing or disagreeing with me, you HAVE to conclude that people who want an iPhone, will buy an iPhone. Right?!?!

I stared at this advert for a fair while. Thinking. I must of looked all kinds of special stood there looking intently at a picture of a phone, but everything about that advert kinda just said 'Hey look! It's an iPhone. Kinda! Buy it, it's not the same, but it's trying to be!'. It just baffled me. Surely people aren't dim enough for this to work? Surely. Surely they'd just buy the real product, or a Blackberry? Surely?!?!

I guess it's aimed at those people who buy those consoles down the market that look like a Wii, that plug straight into the telly, with the Commodore 64 games loaded already onto it. That kind of sham-fake stuff that almost looks half-legit from a distance, but is about as obvious as your dad at a Warehouse Project, trying desperately not to be found out.

So next time you're in the pub and you see someone using what you think is an iPhone, just have a sneaky look. It could be one of those rare individuals who's been fooled by the Korean masterminds at LG. Mind you, you'd probably be able to spot them anyway, they'll be drinking a pint of urine, after being told it was 'special beer'.


  1. Oh James, you've fallen into the iPhone-snob trapvortex like some kind of unwary gazelle. You're confusing the interface and the product. Like all Apple products, the iPhone sells based on the "smugger than thou" factor. And like all Apple products, it COSTS far more than it is WORTH. And like all Apple products, it's functionality is limited to the point of being crippled.

    However, the INTERFACE on the iPhone is a beautiful thing, and a thing that can be replicated. Imagine then, the iPhone without the limitations of the Apple buzzards at the App Store. Imagine an iPhone that can use open standards and open platforms to allow the creation and release of all sorts of apps without self-appointed guardians of the public good.

    In fact, this is almost the Mac vs PC argument, but I digress.

    These aren't cheap knock offs of the iPhone - these are notably more open-platform smartphones, which use a touch screen interface (not something that Apple even invented). I'm willing to wager that a good number of these next generation smartphones will piss on the iPhone from a great height.

    Of course, iPhone users at the point will be holding their phones over their heads claiming it's some new umbrella app.

  2. And as for the KM900, just looked up a couple of reviews, and it sounds like a pretty solid piece of kit, with a couple of things it could do better.

    So, like the iPhone, really.

  3. I understand and even appreciate your argument Padster.

    BUT, my point is solely reliant and based upon the everyman. I'm fully aware that other products may have more freedom, and more potential to the creative and technically-minded individual. But I don't think that this is the approach or idea that LG is going for.

    I'm not smug that I have an iPhone, just baffled at the imitators! Make something interesting, something without apps, or the same interface, but on a lower, less user-friendly level. Don't just copy. INNOVATE!

  4. I think the argument is fundamentally flawed as it's based on the idea that once a pinnacle has been reached it can never be surpassed. Maybe this phone isn't as good as the iPhone, maybe it is better (I'd be inclined to think most of the emerging gen of touch screens will be better as they have something to learn their mistakes from,) either way I don't think it matters as it can comfortably inhabit the same marketplace. When your marketplace is the majority of the western world you can afford to have some competition, and it keeps the market leader on its toes. Market leaders get complacent and have a tendency to slip up - Toyota would be a good recent example. Either Apple will up their game with the next gen or they'll lose out. Either way we win. Consumers benefit most from a wide choice.

    Also, I agree it's a snobbish item, like having a certain make of trainers at school. Even if the iPhone is superior to ALL the other phones, the gap isn't wide enough to slip a sim card though. It's certainly not wide enough to be smug about it.

    I'm an Apple fan, but, when I get my first touch screen when my contract is up in June, I won't be going for an iPhone.

    And, yes, I was never the kid with the cool trainers. Hi-Tec and Gola off the market all the way.

  5. "Make something interesting, something without apps, or the same interface, but on a lower, less user-friendly level. Don't just copy. INNOVATE!"

    Have you gone mad? You're suggesting that they should make less user friendly interfaces? If you read the gen on the LG, you'll see that it's actually trying to do new things with the touchscreen interface style.

    The thing you saw on that poster, though, was not the work of engineers, it was the work of marketers. Marketers will see the iPhone sector of the market as something this phone can take a bite of, and so they will market it as being iPhone-like.

    By the way, having rows of icons representing applications? Hardly cutting edge innovation, is it? If anything could be considered innovative, it's the multitouch, and Apple's hard nosed litigous approach to keeping hold of THAT is going to limit the development of even better phones using what should be considered an open source technology concept.