Can Technology Speak for Itself?

Lately these days, all people are concerned about are the newest advances in technology that continually surface.  All one hears is about the newest software updates, the newest features added to devices, and the newest innovative ideas.  People believe often that new technology will just speak for itself and cause excitement within its consumers and the industry, but is that actually enough?

Ralph Jennings, reporter for Forbes, did a study of the Taiwanese phone company HTC.  They sent him their newest phone to test for six months and then review it afterwards.  He couldn’t even last three weeks… He sent it back, but not because of problems with the actual technology.  The issue that he had with the product was the fact that HTC would not give him any information about the product.  They just sent the phone to him to basically figure it out on his own.  Even when he asked HTC specifically for more information, they would not supply it.  Without this information, he wasn’t able to evaluate the product as a whole. 

What HTC lacks in marketing skills.  If they aren’t able to provide information to one person, how are they supposed to advertise their products to the masses? HTC does not advertise enough to persuade the consumer that their product is for them, so how do they expect to have significant sales that rival their competitors?

This case, in my opinion, demonstrates the fact that success does not just come from innovation within technology.  Many other aspects of business come into the formation and selling of a successful product.  One cannot be dependent on just the technological aspects of the product.  I agree that it is all of the aspects surrounding a product that effect the success of a product, not  just the technological view point.



6 thoughts on “Can Technology Speak for Itself?

  1. This post tells an interesting story of the importance of customer relations. To me, HTC’s problems are not as much of an inability to market, as an inability to provide customers with the services they are accustomed to receiving. I am all for taking experimental and radical strategies, but simply not providing one of the most basic expectations of receiving a product, a set of instructions or information, is inexcusable.

    This problem might also speak to an underlying issue of ease of use. If a tester becomes so dissatisfied with a product because it did not come with information, this most likely means the product was not ease to use or figure out how to use. An iPhone, for example, comes with little to no instructions because it is easy to figure out how to use. However, this may be a poor example, as an iPhone is such a well known and well marketed product that has become a part of pop culture.

    I would love to see you expand your ideas in further detail in further posts as well as provide some supplementary items in addition to your actual text (like pictures, graphs, videos, or polls). This is post has strong text, but has potential for so much more.

  2. This is an interesting topic choice and a story I had not heard of. I think often people in our generation are so used to knowing a product even before we purchased it or owned it. Like John’s example with the iPhone, we often don’t need instruction for products that are so well known throughout our society and generation. I think there is a generational gap, however, because although I could pick up an iPhone and use it with ease without any experience, my parents could not. They asked me so many questions and my mom even signed up for a class on how to use it. That is something that Apple does do. Although people may not sift through instruction manuals, their stores are all over the place and very well staffed for any type of need one may have. They have classes, the genius bar, etc.

    I think there is a big gap however between HTC and Apple. I would not know automatically how to use an HTC phone and would have to play around with it to learn but I think that they are marketing to a generation who wouldn’t necessarily sit down and actually read how to use a phone. I think this is a very interesting topic to discuss.

  3. Interesting topic because I think we often look past the power of human communication and how we truly do need a balance between the actual power of the technology created and the power of human communication. I think with technology the charm and accessibility of certain companies or businesses can be lost and we forget how important the proximity between the producer and the consumer actually is. This relates to how with outsourcing.. for instance with technical support.. companies loose customer interest because often technical support over the phone can be the one opportunity for the customer to actually have contact with the company. This topic emphasizes how people still value the importance of human communication and relationships over the power of new technologies and this can be extended into many different areas of the business.

  4. This is an interesting blog post. It is an interesting topic, and you do a nice job of giving an overview of what is going on and then giving your insights. I agree with John that maybe you could some more multimedia to your post.
    I think technology speaks for itself only when it is well-known and marketed enough like Apple. However, this took a lot of effort and time on Apple’s side. Their success came from years of strong marketing, design, and production so that their technology can now speak for itself. It seems that the company HTC is not at that point yet and has to put in the effort to market, sell, and produce a good product, and one day maybe their technology will speak for itself. In the article, it says that Samsung outspends HTC by four times on marketing and Samsung (a main competitor) puts in the effort to research when to release a product at the right time. HTC does not put in as much effort. It sounded like HTC has the right ideas and has quality technology, they just need to be able to prove that to people and persuade them to use their product whether that is through better instructions about how to use it, more advertisements, or a new design to entice people.

  5. Interesting topic and you used a good example to make your point easy to understand. I feel that you are correct in that the average consumer doesn’t know how to use their devices. Personally I find technology confusing. I rely on my brother and my Dad to tell me how to do things, I have a hard time figuring it all out. I dread when my phone contract is up and it’s time for an update because by that time my phone has become obsolete and I have to get a new version that I’m not used to. A good model for companies to follow is Apple because they hold free classes to teach you how to use the technology (at least I think it’s free it may not be but at least they exist!) Also every time a new iphone is out there is a demonstration to show off the features. The Apple store allows customers to go in and ask questions and interact with the products. This is a good way for people like me to learn to use their gadgets to their full potential.

  6. Very interesting topic and good post. I agree with others who said this also brings into the issue of ease of use. Apple prides itself on making its products very user friendly and they definitely do a good job with it. After just a few days of fiddling with my iPhone after I first got it, I had basically everything down. However, some of my friends have HTC phones and I have tried to use them many times and often find myself not knowing how to navigate through them. Of course given time I’m sure I would be able to figure it out, but my point is that Apple goes above and beyond to make everything straightforward with their technology while company’s like HTC do not. I agree with you that HTC definitely needs to work on getting information to their customers to teach them about their products so that they can enjoy them to their fullest extent.

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