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Innovating the obvious

March 13th, 2007 · No Comments · Gadgets, Stupidity

I had the pleasure of renting a car that had the most useful high-tech gadget I’ve seen in a car in a long time. Or more precisely, most useful gadget on a car stereo: a line-in jack on the front panel.

You’d think that after almost a decade of portable electronic audio gear, and years of the success of the iPod, this feature would be common place. It’s so obvious that any car hi-fi maker that doesn’t provide it is either retarded or a weasel, and I’m willing to bet on the latter. Mainly because any car stereo with a line-in jack is less likely to need replacing with a more expensive model. That, and the vast majority of car stereos are factory standard models where consumers have little or no choice, thus the complete lack of need to compete based on features.

This is a fine example of why defaults can be bad for consumers, as well showing how consumer electronics companies are frequently motivated by reasons other than consumer satisfaction.

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