With a hat tip to Zoli for the mental stimulus, I thought I’d post about the new Lenovo Thinkpad Reserve Edition. Basically it’s a lovely Lenovo Thinkpad with increased loveliness (and elitist cred), by being encased in leather, being very limited in numbers, and having concierge service over the (estimated three year) life of the machine.
As Zoli points out, in six months time when Lenovos come with quad core processors, the Reserve Edition will be looking very backwards. Paris Hilton won’t be seen dead with it methinks.
A concept, to use SaaS concepts on hardware products and really get all Louis Vuitton over it, would be HaaS. Hardware as a Service.
People considering buying this sort of status proclaiming item want one thing – to be seen as cutting edge, elite and in possession of tomorrow’s hot number. Lenovo’s strategy won’t achieve that.
Someone signs up to the Apple (‘cos they’re more likely to do it than anyone else) Premium Concierge Edition. That entitles them to a hand written letter from Steve Jobs accompanying their new hardware. The new hardware itself is a pre-release model of whichever channel they prefer (desktop, laptop). The annual concierge fee also entitles them to replacement pre-release versions whenever they are available (probably on at least a twelve month rotation).
They also get free unlimited access to ITunes pro, where previously unreleased tracks are available. They are (of course) invited to all of the Apple presentations.
Software vendors have realised that punters don’t want tech, they want solutions. Hardware vendors need to do similarly…