• Hani W. Naguib

The iPhone’s “AUGMENTED” Value Proposition.

On January 8th, 2007 at 9:41 AM, Steve Jobs came on stage and changed the world with those simple yet unforgettable words:

“an iPod, a phone and an internet communicator, these are not three separate devices, these are one device. We are calling it the iPhone.”

Apple introduced the first iPhone as the ultimate digital device with a value proposition that claimed an iPhone = “your life in your pocket”. At the time it did not offer much insight on how the iPhone will do just that, but years later, I believe that their claim was proven to be correct. The iPhone we are using today is simply allowing us to do much, much more than any of its predecessors!

The questions here is why did the iPhone perform better than any of its competition for the past years?

The secret to the iPhone’s success is simple; it offers value and not just technology. The iPhone’s value proposition offered its customers the potential to do everything from simple entertainment, hailing a ride home, watching over the kids while not at home to sensing heart beats and trading on the stock market. Simply put, the iPhone offered people a sense of progress; armed with their iPhone, they can do almost anything. And it did that much better than anything else available in the market at the time.

“Jobs-to-be-done describe the tasks that a product or service is carrying out. People don’t just buy products or just want to use a certain service. They ‘hire’ them to do a job.”

Clay Christensen

Why hire an iPhone?

People don't just buy products or services; they hire them to solve problems. The jobs to be done concept describes the importance of evaluating the circumstances/problems that arise in people’s lives that motivates them to hire a certain solution over another to eventually get a sense of progress.


“Its only the beginning” of “Your life in your pocket”


When the iPhone was launched in 2007, Apple used “ your life in your pocket” as a way to introduce it. It was followed by “its only the beginning”. What did they mean by that?

The iPhone was not just an iPod, phone and internet communicator! By continuously developing and offering advanced hardware and software, Apple helped developers from all around the world, to create advanced applications to global iPhone users. Meanwhile, the users started to hire those apps and later on accompanied by external add-on hardware to do much more with much less effort. The apps gave the users the potential to do more, in small snippets of time. The iPhone was not just a product; it became an enabler for users , i.e, it offered the potential of everythong we can do with it.

And the potential has proven to be thus far, limitless.

In other words, the more advanced the hardware + software, the bigger the potential.


” Steve always looked at computing as an opportunity to put tools in the hands of creative people. I think there's something about that that flatters all of us. We are flattered that someone is making products that assume our ability to create.” Tim Cook, CEO of Apple.


As Apple continuously advanced the capabilities of its product, it simply augmented the value proposition of what a user can do with it. The iPhone, the apps and in some cases the external add-on hardware, augmented the overall iPhone value proposition to satisfy, over time, more customer jobs. It created an amazing emotional, not just functional, daily dependency effects on its users. The iPhone simply became the modern age Swiss army knife, especially for the tech savvy millennials, and effecient generation Z.


AUGMENTED Value Proposition?

Augmented value proposition could be defined as the continuous development of a technology based product/service with the aim to exponentially, in time, address more customer jobs. It has to be nurtured and carefully guided as not to impose on its users any possible limitations to what they can do with it. The more the tech is intuitively progressed, the more its value proposition augments the capabilities of its users. An augmented value proposition, increases the potential of satisfying customer jobs, exponentially.

Once the concept is firm in the minds of the tech developers/designers, it will serve as a guiding north star when contemplating the desirability design aspects of a business model innovation.

Perhaps this concept can serve in defining the next evolution of the iPhone; the product it self is simply a medium through which augmented value is offered. Finding the next medium to continue delivering such potential for people around the world is simply a matter of time and a lot of imaginative “people potential” centric exploration.

The concept of augmented value proposition is something that I believe we will be seeing more and more in the coming years, especially from companies like Apple that merges the continues development of technology with offering potential for its users. With the fast development of technology that we are witnessing in this day and age, especially when it comes to AI and robotics, creating an augmented value proposition will become a highly desirable design aspect of the business models of the future.

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