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Drew Smith: ethnographer, strategist and host of Rising Minds

Quote of the day: Of Apples and Peugeots

“The [Peugeot] 505 is a saloon with quite a pleasant appearance, quite efficient engines, quite comfortable seating, quite nice steering and a quite reasonable price. And it is quite well constructed. So, you might say it was merely average. But can it really be that simple? Have Peugeot in fact, played a very clever game where, instead of dazzling us with technology or breathtaking styling, they have decided to woo us with understatement of the profoundest kind?”

Archie Vicar, Automotive Journalist, writing in The Monthly Car Review in October, 1979

The iPad is a tablet computer with quite a pleasant appearance, a quite efficient processor, quite comfortable physical dimensions, a quite nice user experience and a quite reasonable price. And it is quite well constructed. So, you might say it was merely average. But can it really be that simple? Have Apple in fact, played a very clever game where, instead of dazzling us with technology or breathtaking styling, they have decided to woo us with understatement of the profoundest kind?

Given how often I talk about the intersection of automotive design strategy and a generation of kids more interested in their iPhones and iPads than cars, how could I not repurpose the wonderful Mr. Vicar?

And on a similar but different tack: having comprehensively lost their way stylistically, Peugeot would do well to revisit Archie’s observation because it neatly sums up what made the brand so loveable.

Apple, on the other hand, clearly needs no such advice…

Category: Apple, Design, Design Strategy, Uncategorized

Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses

  1. Ben says:

    Did you see this Tim Cook quote in Gruber’s piece today?

    “We believe in the simple, not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution.”

    Contrast that with Peugeot, and many others, chasing every boring niche in a race to the bottom.

  2. Massimo says:

    Must admit that the I-Pad looks cool.
    But are we sure this is the next big thing, or it is just the next money spinner, as also Apple need to make happy the shareholders.


    Nevertheless bad name, although i understand they wanted to keep the I-P___ phonetics (I-Pod, I-Phone);
    but please check on the link, this is a video of 2006

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eF0y0IfpPU

  3. Rob Mathews says:

    The Pug 504 and 505 are still the taxi of choice in most of Africa especially the estate version with a row of seats in the boot giving it 7 seat capacity. Meaning that it can probably carry around 10 people and a few chickens!
    Unfortunately in the area I was staying in Ghana the taxi of choice was embarrassingly a Kia Pride. Pride being the last thing you have when you are inside one!

  4. Ed says:

    Don’t agree about the 505! (I do like the old barges..) They were very accomplished handlers, being fitted with LSD’s and rear-drive.
    Agree about the i-pad though..you can’t even surf the web and listen to iTunes at the same time – wtf? and still no flash support. Resting on their laurels.

  5. Matthew Nogrady says:

    I’m still driving my gorgeous 505gti. It’s just such an elegant car, slow but what a ride.

  6. Drew says:

    Hey Matthew! Great to know you’re reading and thanks for stopping by to leave a comment. Always loved the 505 and have a sneaky desire to own a 505 Turbo, the ultimate shead, the ultimate sleeper.

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