Apples v Oranges. Or Apples v Apple?
So after today’s birthday party and a conversation with a friend it’s led me to ponder the success of Apple products today and whether their sales are a result of brand loyalty or because of the innovation and quality of their products?
I will give them quality, no competition in my mind, when it comes to smartphones, who has the better quality phone. Though the new Samsung has bridged the gap considerably and may just be the same, but I’ve never looked. Why? Because I’m an Apple lover…. I’ve never had reason to stray.
But innovation? I actually think Apple are letting themselves down. For sure others are in some areas trying to catch up, have caught up and superseded. Overall Apple in comparison to their competitors seem to have stagnated. The innovation we’ve come to expect from Apple, where is it today? It seems to have passed with Jobs.
I can sit here and ponder this on my shiny iPhone 6, which but for the size, the functionality is much the same as the 5 with an updated iOS. What does this 6 have that the 5 didn’t? Why are people lining up for days to get one? Well it sure as shit isn’t because it’s a better phone than the 5. I’ve had the 6 for 48 hours now and can say that without a doubt. The difference IN the actual phone, when it comes to features is next to nothing. It’s come to the table empty-handed. Which, from what I expect from Apple, is very disappointing.
Yes you get a better processor, a better screen, a better camera and let’s hope to fuck a better batty life. But I EXPECT that with an upgrade. That’s why it’s an upgrade and they are standard things, but not being totally tech obsessed the subtle differences to me aren’t noticeable. No WOW. Just expected. Do I expect too much? If I do Apple you only have yourself to blame!
So that leaves two options. I’ve said Apple still has questionably better quality phones than its competitors, so take that out of the equation. That leaves us with “Apple sheep” in relation to brand loyalty and the show off factor. Everyone wants the latest and “greatest” version of something. I ponder how much of Apples sales fall into these two parts of the spectrum.
Some might argue brand loyalty doesn’t play a part and the consumer buys what it wants. I would argue brand loyalty is what’s keeping Apple afloat in the phone department. It’s not the innovation. Apple, to some, is like a religion. Let’s face it if they were religions you’d have Apple v Android (or windows based) phones. You are either one or the other. Not many flip their side of the coin when it comes to preference. Or walk both lines at the same time, it’s one or the other. You might get the odd dabbler but generally you’re an Apple devout or an Android devout. While sales for the iPhone 6 were record-breaking in the opening day, I ponder will this trajectory last or will they find themselves floundering as the novelty of a new phone wears off?
I actually think the answer to this question is a yes. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that the iPhone 6 (not the plus) won’t sell as well long-term as the iPhone 5. Purely based on lack of innovation. The market is fickle, consumers liked to be wowed and told what we MUST have and they can provide. Apple I’m still waiting to hear why I must have a 6. This from the person who went on a 48 hour mammoth non sleep bender to get a 6. I will be looking more closely at other phones features, because I see nothing new here. What do you have that I didn’t know I needed until you offered it to me? That’s innovstion, being able to give the consumer something new, that they didn’t even know they wanted, that they hit MUST have.
My guess is also a lot of sales are for show. Let’s look at the resale of the 6’s on eBay and people paying 10x what they retail for to have one NOW and not in the next coming months. People love to be seen with new and shiny products. Look what I have. I’ll put my hand up, I love the fact I have a new and shiny 6 and no one else I know does. It’s the narcissist in me. You know when people are willing to pay ridiculous amounts of money to have something immediately, it’s hedonism making the call and not the brain. Hell if you offered me 2k for this shiny new object, I’d sell it to you, after having used it and seen minimal differences between it and the 5. I’d bet someone who’s on a waiting list backlog with Apple would pay me that. Because it’s all new and shiny and they HAVE to have it. Though once played with, the shine wears off and it’s just a phone, like your old 5 was. That’s right *gasp* I said it, it’s just a phone. Apple do you hear me, the 6 is just a phone. Just isn’t good enough with fickle consumers.
So Apple that leaves me to ponder your future and my future with you as a consumer. What are you giving me that I need that until you told me I didn’t know I had to have? You’re going to have to show me something. Brand loyalty got me to get a 5, a 5s and a 6, flying on the coattails of the innovative 4. But when the 6s or 7 roll around I question how compelled will I be to purchase one? Brand loyalty only gets you so far and I think you’ve pretty much gotten as far as you’ll get with that. So I think it’s time to put up or shut up. Show me why I need you, why I want you and why I must have you. My faith is wavering with your lack of innovation. It got me this far but I don’t think I will go a step further without you giving me something I’m wowed about. It’s like the iPad, I’ve lost all interest and they’ve been handed to the kids. Some of those android tabs look very inviting (HP I’m looking at you sideways) and I feel the urge to stray coming. Which says a lot. I’ve been a iPhone person from the 3s till today…. But will I still be here waiting for you to wow me, while others are doing a better job? Likely not.
So my salient point is and remains, if you compare Apples to Apples, 5 years ago to today. Today’s Apple looks just as you’d imagine the one from 5 years ago would look if it really was an apple. Out of date, leaves a bad taste in your mouth and sending you on a search to find a new “Apple” and pondering if maybe I’d prefer an Orange? Innovation Apple, find some or like I predict, even the most loyal Apple devout will stray.
So tell me, I beg you, what do I NEED that I didn’t even know about till you told me I needed it?