The iPhone 7 – trend-setting or monopolization?
When one buys an iPhone, one is paying for an image - a particular minimalist colour scheme, an iconic symbol, and a certain degree of quality to accompany it. Apple inspires customer loyalty in a way few technology companies are able to, and it has made strides in the world of mobile devices that many competitors have been unable to maintain. But could the increased exclusivity of the iPhone be seen as monopolization, outshining the company’s genuine achievements?
The release of the iPhone 7 caused controversy regarding the lack of headphone jack. Apple has long manufactured its own headphones for use with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, instantly recognisable by being vivid white – and when was the last time you saw an Apple fan using anything else?
iPhones are also now the only mobile to have their own brand of charger, which will differ depending on whether your mobile is pre or post-generation 5. While all other brands now use a universal adapter, iPhone sticks staunchly to its bright white cable. The devices are also favoured regarding accessories, with cases and button covers readily available in way that they aren't for the wealth of Android or Windows models.
Apple's decision to take away the jack and offer $159 wireless headphones confirms the exclusivity of its image. Many fans were underwhelmed by the real design compared with the fan-created concept art which featured smaller, neater, and more secure buds than the real things, which have inspired both mockery and apprehension over obvious security issues. Apple has attempted to sweeten the deal by assuring customers they can buy individual AirPods if one is lost, but the expense remains off-putting.
While iPhone customers can still use headphones via some complicated wiring wizardry, this latest evolution does appear to take away the last vestiges of choice. However, this does not necessarily negate the technological advancements – and they truly are advancements – Apple has made. The iPhone brings in half of its revenue for good reason; it has reshaped its industry with features such as the voice-activated personal assistant known as Siri, the fingerprint sensor introduced as of the 5S, and increasingly large screens – all of which have since been replicated by other brands.
While Apple may not have plucked many of its features out of the R&D ether, it has used its expansive talent pool and influence to repurpose and perfect existing ideas, consistently influencing others. Apple did not invent multitouch, but it did bring make the technology prominent and accessible. Nor did it come up with the concept of an app store, the swipe-to-unlock function, or video calling, yet the iPhone is considered the gold standard for all of these things.
While other smartphone companies have emulated some features developed (if not created) by Apple, the iPhone remains unique. Rather than selling and running many models at varying levels of quality and complexity, Apple releases just one at a time and continuously works on it. Updates to both the iOS and the handsets can be irksome, but the iPhone is like a much-loved game franchise for which one has to invest not only in new games, but newer consoles, in order to support the attachment to that brand.
The iPhone is a behemoth which cannot be overcome, and no amount of derisive AirPod memes will make a jot of difference to sales of the iPhone 7. Monopolisation or not, Apple is unstoppable. Perhaps deservedly so.
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Ivy.ai’s new chatbot streamlines resources and policies
Ivy.ai, a creator of AI chatbots for higher education, is offering a chatbot that helps institutions streamline name, image, and likeness policies for athletic programmes.
This solution will allow athletic departments to dramatically reduce inbound inquiries while answering inquiries related to compliance, financial aid impact, how-to documents, and best practice training videos.
It will allow institutions to condense information in a way that is easily accessible and eliminates the need for student-athletes to read complicated manuals. Institutions can also engage with student-athletes via a real-time feedback loop to see which topics truly matter and what needs further clarification. This allows administrators to be proactive and provide a competitive edge in recruiting.
Helping institutions connect their students with information
“Athletic departments at colleges and universities are overwhelmed by the challenges posed by the name, image and likeness legislation,” said Mary Frances Coryell, Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Partnership.
“Ivy.ai is uniquely positioned in the market to help institutions connect their student-athletes with policies and information related to NIL such as state laws, restrictions and relevant contacts. Our chatbot can digest all relevant policy information and provide answers to student-athletes at any time on any device. We expect the NIL market to move quickly, so student-athletes deserve the answers on their terms, rather than exclusively during work hours.”
Primary use cases for the chatbot include:
- Answering commonly asked questions related to name, image and likeness
- Communicate policies such as state laws, restrictions and compliance regulations
- Provide contact information for various advisors and agencies
- Connect training materials for athletes to improve their branding
- Engage in two-way reactive and proactive communication to keep policies student-centric
Back in March 2020, the company offered schools a free COVID-19 Response System, including a customisable COVID-19 Response Bot, a human-to-human live chat system and an SMS Text platform. These services are offered completely free of charge.
"The customisable COVID-19 Response Bot will help schools connect their students with important information, such as the school's operational status, where to go for treatment, and what to do to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus. We already added that information to all of our clients' AI chatbots, and we found that in many cases students needed additional support. That's why we're including our human-to-human Live Chat system in this offer. The SMS Text platform can be used to drive awareness to this communications channel for your students." said Mark McNasby, CEO of Ivy.ai.