When last did you ever got the urge to have a look at the latest stoves and fridges on the market? When you were renovating your kitchen, I bet. But otherwise I don’t think you wander in and out of the white goods stores to see what’s interesting.
Maybe we have now entered the age of black goods as well. Black goods? These square black slabs we call mobile devices. At the Internet conference I attended in Berlin on of the presenters showed a screen with all the different brands and labeled them evocatively “black slabs.” They are all looking more or less the same, and it is a race to reveal ever more obscure features. This is a dead sure indication of a mature industry and both consumers and analysts who complain about the lack of innovation do not understand the historical phase of the industry. You could just as well complain about there being so little innovation in micro wave ovens!
I have noticed since getting my iPhone 5 a year ago that I was just not interested into wandering into electronic gear shops anymore – whereas this was my favourite time spent in malls previously.
Of course this has a grave implication for companies and investors.
But for now, it seems the Age of Black Goods are upon us.