What do our razors, printers, smart phones and coffee makers all have in common?
When Gillette safety razor incorporated in 1901, they replaced the straight razor with a safety razor, and more importantly, the notion that “consumers” must buy new blades.
They sold the razors at cost to gain lock-in.
Your printer would cost a lot more had the manufacturer not intended to earn their real bottom line on ink.
All four of these inks work fine in my printer, but they at not authorized by Epson for obvious reason.
Likewise, your phone “unlocked” would cost almost a thousand bucks, because the purchase price is amortized in your service contract.
Without the lock-in to actually pay for the phone, our devices would be unaffordable.
Last week the US House of Representatives approved a bill that would allow phone customers to unlock their phones for use on competitors' networks.
But this spells trouble for the manufacturers.
If this passes the Senate, the cost of a smart phone could skyrocket.
Now Keurig, the coffee people, are getting into the act.
They fear legislation will unlock their coffee makers, allowing us to make unauthorized coffee in “their” brewers.
We don’t control what we purchase anymore,
and Americans are growing comfortable with that.
So Keurig has announced their new line of coffee makers will embed software to prevent you from brewing generic coffee pods, like that printer ink above.
Green Mountain CEO Brian Kelley on the forthcoming “Keurig 2.0” system:
On the announcement, Keurig stockholders cheered.
It’s a brave new world if we don't own the things we purchase.