How Apple Stupidity Lost a £45k Order

Yesterday I was making a presentation to one of our customers, leveraging the power of the IPad to their board of directors as an easy to use, foolproof interface to the company's operating status. The proposal was to supply iPad Pro's to each member of the board and senior management (30 units) and develop an interface that extracts company information from their disjointed systems, exports that to a web-server as an XML packet and the web server will then render a series of pages showing mostly interactive graphs indicating Sales, Production, Shipping, and Finance overviews. This pitch was different to the usual in that, with a few exceptions the audience was mostly technophobic seniors who still demand 'print outs' and still call them 'print outs'. I already had a mock up of the served pages and they looked great. I hooked my IPad Pro up to a projector and which also looked awesome. I put the IPad on its base facing the audience so they could see its form factor and how easily I can make it work for them, and I honestly believe that. Anyone can work an IPad, even those who are not comfortable with a PC and Mouse.

The entire pitch lasted about 10 minutes and involved demonstrating how easy the IPad is to use, how you need only click on one ICON and you can hide (stuff in a folder) all the others, as well as how it was instantly available by just touching the screen and would update in almost realtime. The pitch was going very well and I'm fairly sure I had this one the bag because they were asking lead-times, training, and further enhancements when some bright spark, attempting to aid the pitch in all fairness asked me to demonstrate how easy it is to add app's to the iPad, citing that this investment was just the start and they could add to it in the future as they become more familiar with it. I select Firefox, its FREE, its easy to use, quick to download and easy to demonstrate. 

AppStore1Loading the App Store is easy and a quick search with the nicely layed out buttons at the bottom finds Firefox quickly and easily. I also talked about the depth of available App's and how simple it is to add them and remove them with a touch of the screen. StupidMessage1

After selecting Firefox and confirming the install you get the usual screen to the left. Yes, the text is LARGE but my audience required it and I was happy to demonstrate that even for those with aged eyesight the IPad was still perfectly useable. 

Now for Stupid Message Number 1: Verification Required. Before you can make purchases, you must go to Settings > iTunes & App Store > Apple ID and verify your payment information. But wait, what, there's no purchase here, its a free app, that the hell is going on here? I quickly clicked Cancel but my audience noticed, not helped by the fact that the stupid message was 4 foot high on a large screen. I requested the install a second time and this time hit Continue. 

StupidMessage2Next I'm left with the Loading Screen for what seemed like several minutes of awkward silence, before receiving the next equally stupid screen. StupidMessage3 Fine, whatever, I only have one payment method anyway so its going to have to be Paypal. Hitting Paypal I hoped this would be the end of it and I can quickly gloss over this voyage into pointless and get on with discussing leadtimes, but no, no Apple was fairly set on ruining my presentation with yet another stupid message. StupidMessage4At this point there is simply nothing more I could say. My mobile phone was in the car, who brings a phone into a presentation! and how do I explain to a room of technophobes that this catalog of stupid won't happen to them, because in all honesty it probably will one day. I'm afraid at this point I'd lost them, no more are we talking about leadtimes but now we're talking about reviewing my presentation and taking a view on it - which roughly translates as thank you but no thank you. 

What could possibly posses Apple to decide that verifying my payment information was required on this day, and what possible justification can there be for verifying payment information to install a free App? 

So, today I praise the great god of Apple for its pointless awkwardness. 

I did ask if this could be on the BLOG but I was told there's no chance of that, and we must not upset the great technology Gods, but you know what right now I don't care. Maybe tomorrow this will all be forgotten and this will be the only record (until someone notices that it's here and unpublishes it).