No (Connected) Product is an Island

Products these days are tending away from being stand-alone entities, and are instead gateways connected to ecosystems of other products and services. An iPhone isn't an island; the App Store, iTunes, iCloud, and all of Apple's services are critical parts of what it is. This is a shrewd play for companies with good ecosystem offerings like Apple, Android, and Amazon - but for those without solid accompanying ecosystems, it means that even very strong product design isn't enough. Gizmodo pointed out a few well-designed products that are suffering this fate in a post titled Hardware Comes Last: the Blackberry Z10, Nokia Lumia 920, and Chromebook Pixel. In each case, the individual product is excellent - but the ecosystems are so lacking that the whole product falls short. Perhaps the best hope is that some design elements will be stolen from these orphaned products and find their way into major ecosystems!

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