Buying iPhone 5 sight unseen. Why Apple will win the smartphone wars
Apple is doomed! iPhone is doomed! It’s only a matter of time!
Android has the market share and the business model to marginalize iPhone. Google can give away the software and handset makers around the world can offer smartphones at all price points, across all regions and carriers, and in a wide range of form factors. Apple’s iPhone is simply no match.
And we can’t forget Amazon. While their digital media ecosystem is US-centric – for now – they are able to cut deep into Apple’s iPad profit margins by offering Kindles at cost and earning a profit on digital book sales and Amazon Prime memberships.
So it goes.
Pundits, bloggers, analysts and trolls loudly proclaiming the impending death of all things Apple. Sometimes, admittedly, it’s difficult to blame them. A cursory review of the numbers does suggest that Apple, the iPhone in particular, simply cannot scale to match Android:
- There are 1.3 million Android device activations per day.
- It is estimated that there will be 1 billion Android devices shipped by 2013 – and the total will reach 3 billion by 2016.
- Already, approximately 500 million Android devices have been activated.
In truth, I think Apple has never been in a better position than it is now.
This is not simply because Apple has the largest market cap of any company in the world. Or because iPhone captures at least 60% of the smartphone market’s profits. No, I believe Apple is stronger because it is a company of clear adherence to its values. In a world where anyone can buy anything at anytime, in any place and from practically anybody, values will command a rising premium – a greater share of the profits.
Values equal profits.
Understand, I do not speak of values such as “good”, for example, or in a religious or even patriotic manner. Rather, values are what a company stands for.
This is why, for example, I can recommend the iPhone 5 to readers sight unseen. Apple’s values are that strong and I am that confident in the product.
This isn’t about being a fanboy, nor being easily swayed by marketing or wowed by Apple’s fanciful product launch presentations. I have no interest in showing you or anyone else that I am somehow smarter or richer or better because I choose Apple. I have five, ten and twenty years experience with Apple products. Consistently through the years, Apple builds the best technologies, the most functional hardware, the most usable, intuitive products.
But they are more than that. Apple has spent the past 35 years committed to a set of values that ensures its interests align with its customers’ interests.
I know, for example, that my MacBook and my iPhone and my iPad and my child’s iPod are far more integrated than any range of Android devices, for example – or any range of devices by a single Android maker, such as Samsung.
I can be confident that Apple will not require I go through a carrier or third-party to get updates to any product they offer.
While some may complain that Apple is “closed”, baldly ignoring Google’s many efforts to close off Android – in the name of “compatibility” – I am far more confident in the safety and security of my “closed” Apple product than any Android user can ever be. You will note that viruses and malware are far more prevalent in Android than Apple’s iOS ecosystem.
There’s more. If your HTC Android device breaks, say, or has a problem, what then? Do you seek out their customer support online? Take it back to the point of purchase? Contact Google and ask for an Android rep?
I have never failed to receive at least pleasantly adequate support from an Apple Store or Apple.com. The product is an Apple and I know that no matter where I purchased it, I can seek out support from Apple. That matters not only to me but to millions and millions of buyers! And, yes, it is a value.
While Android users may relish the numerous app markets available to their Android device, I can assure you that not once have I had a purchase from the App Store go awry. Nor – in nearly ten years of use – have I had an issue with an iTunes purchase. Again, this matters to those of us who refuse to easily part with our money.
Speaking of money, what, exactly, is yours supporting? I know that I paid dearly for my iPhone. Likely you paid a good deal less for an Android smartphone that you believe is iPhone’s equal. Fair enough. But that Android device comes with a host of Google Mobile Services (GMS) that, in my view, aggressively and intrusively seek to capture, send back and archive my personal information. After all, the way Google pays for Android is through advertising. That advertising works best only when Google can capture – and sell – what I buy, watch, read, search and where I stand, literally. Thanks, but I would rather make a straightforward transaction, even paying more, like I do with Apple. Values matter.
You know what else matters? Value. Forget that my 3.5 year-old MacBook Pro is still going strong. Look instead at the price I can get if I resell my iPhone 4S, which is now a year old. How much can you get for your year-old top-of-the-line Samsung or Sony? I guarantee you not as much. Did you buy that Nokia Lumia 900 and expect to get upgraded to Windows Phone OS 8? Too bad, because every iPhone 4/iPhone 4S user gets iOS 6 the moment it’s available.
Values and value. That’s what I get from my iPhone – and from all my Apple products. Can you say the same for your non-Apple product? So the next time you pronounce the impending death of Apple, pause for a moment and hope that you are wrong.