Word of the day: mainstreamification

martphone.jpg Walmart represents, in Seth Weintraub's distinctive headline, the "mainstreamification of the iPhone." Wal-Mart sells iPods, of course, and many other premium brands, but the idea of a cheap iPhone at this most hated of discount stores hits a nerve with some. This is, in fact, a reminder that Apple has always considered itself mainstream, and has never enjoyed its reputation as a maker of fancy toys for a computing elite. What Apple enjoys is control, of the kind people assume is lost amid the bargain bins and generic cornflakes of a big box retailer.
If there is a $99 version, this will tempt the lower income demographic a bit more, but the biggest expense – by a landslide – is the AT&T monthly fees. In fact, on a few of AT&T's plans, the $99 will be eclipsed in the first month of wireless charges alone. This, however, will sell many more phones and won't tarnish the brand. Not everybody is as sure as I am that cheaper iPhones are a good idea. UBS analyst Maynard Um said yesterday, "A $99 iPhone would be atypical of Apple's premium brand strategy. More likely is a scenario in which select Wal-Mart, and possibly Sam's Clubs, are simply added as further iPhone distribution points." Really? What would a $59 iPod do to the brand?
Google's brief history of mainstreamification has the iPhone with GPS, games, podcasting, twitter, anime and cryptozoology.

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at besc...@gmail.com  
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2 Responses to Word of the day: mainstreamification

  1. dustbuster7000 says:

    As opposed to ‘mainstreaming’? Mainstreamification is a clumsy, ugly word. But I guess it has more punch than ‘price cutting’.

    As to whether Apple has ‘has never enjoyed its reputation as a maker of fancy toys for a computing elite’, I think its advertising campaigns and pricing structure say otherwise. Which isn’t to say they aren’t trying to be more accessible to increase the market share, witness the cost cutting and outcome that was the iPhone wall charge adapter.

  2. therevengor says:

    “The meatumental pastramification of this pumpernickelously toastified bread was augmenticized by slatherfication in sumptuous Switzerlander cheesiness,” – Don King

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