h1

1 x 1 x 1 = 1

March 17, 2008

iPhone

So I, like many, own an iPod, but it took me a while. I didn’t jump on the first round of 5 or 10 gig devices, or even the 20 or 40 gig product. I wisely waited until the launch of the video iPod, enabling me to save both photos, videos and music on one device. Then, of course, came the iPhone. This device not only does what my video iPod can, but swiftly browses the internet, facilitates multiple email accounts and, of course, serves as a telephone. If I pull the trigger on an iPhone, my $300 video iPod will end up in a drawer. However, streamlining my phone, computer and music onto one super-device would make a lot of sense.

Detroit automaker Chrysler faces a similar dilemma. Their brand is struggling badly, showing a 2007 loss of just under $3 billion. New owners Cerberus Capital Management is looking to turn things around. With an incredible track record of acquisitions Cerberus is looking to trim the Chrysler fat, eliminating small dealers and creating a more advantageous shopping process for consumers.

Your town or a neighboring one may have a popular Jeep dealership. But two towns over, there may be another Jeep dealership and in the next town, a Dodge store. Rather than make three area dealers burn money marketing against one another, Cerberus is encouraging smaller dealers to sell to the larger ones and create strong, multi-brand destination centers.

The idea is costly and controversial. Smaller dealers will demand top dollar to forfeit their operations in favor a merger. Cerberus is counting on the larger stores to open their checkbooks, anticipating that the out of pocket expense today may be high, but the long-term benefits of choosing store quality over dealer quantity will pay off. With a slumping economy and increased gas prices, consumers prefer shopping multiple brands at a single location.

If we can withdraw cash, drop off a prescription and buy groceries under the same roof, our lives are made easier. Bundling our land line, internet and cable television certainly makes bill paying simpler. So maybe it’s time for me to pick up that iPhone…

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One comment

  1. my blackberry does everything that an iphone does and more – iPhones are just overhyped, much like most of apples products, even the new superthing apple laptop “air” or something like that. Sure, it’s thinner than other laptops, but it doesn’t do half of the things that a regular laptop does! You can make anything smaller if you take away 50% of it’s functionality. JOKE.



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