With the latest announcement of the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch (why not ‘iWatch’!?), I think Apple is finally starting to lose its grip on the smartphone and mobile tech market. I remember the first time I saw an iPhone 4 with retina display, and it blew my mind. The clearest screen I’d ever set my eyes on and usability that totally revolutionised the industry. 4 years on Apple are still living off their past success, rather than truly innovating.
The Apple Watch
Firstly, enter the Apple Watch. This is actually a piece of kit which boasts some nice functionality, custom appearances and trying to be one of the first movers in the ‘Smart Watch’ product category. But my humble opinion it hasn’t been grasped well enough. Apple fanboys/zombies/soldiers will lap it up and buy it regardless of whether it adds nothing to their lives, but I can’t imagine it being mass adopted like the iPhone. Watches are a huge style accessory for men and women, and this looks pretty ugly. It almost feels like they’ve squished the iPhone down onto your wrist, just for the sake of it. Check out the much more stylish Moto 360, as this seems to be more on track. Even if the Apple Watch could make me a cheeseburger at the press of a button, I wouldn’t wear it. It looks like a glorified 80s calculator watch. (Charles’ edit – If anything could make me a cheeseburger at the press of a button I’d wear it, just saying)
The iPhone 6
A truly great mobile device, unquestionably, and an upgrade on size/functionality from previous versions. The wow factor of the iPhone 4 and the very first iPhone is very much a thing of the past. With one of their main selling points being Apple Pay, ironically a brilliant way of making you part with your money. Recently, I took the jump from an iPhone 4S to a HTC One M8 and ditching Apple, for the main reason that I wanted to try something different after doing tonnes of research. The phone absolutely destroyed my partner’s Apple iPhone 5 in screen quality, customisation, features and flexibility for the user; almost to the level where I cringe when I pick her phone up. This leads me to my next point…
From a marketing and consumer perspective, Apple have got this oh so right. Their presentation is always immaculate in anything they do, and this has a huge impact on sales and customer perception. Secondly, from the customer side of things they have created an incredibly easy to use interface that works seamlessly across many formats and devices. Their focus on the customer and what they actually want has been the key to success.
But when a product like the iPhone has this level of success, consumers go past the ‘endorser’ level to an almost ‘fanatic’ level, where they will literally buy everything or anything that the company produces. This is where I introduce a new concept based on very little/dubious evidence called ‘iFear’ (hello Uni lecturers!). ‘iFear’ is the anxiety of not having an Apple product anymore, so much so that superior & CHEAPER products are disregarded. Even with the evidence right in front of your eyes, the Apple product is still chosen over a competitor because ‘it works’ or ‘it syncs with all my other stuff’.
Do you suffer from iFear? I’m interested to hear what people think…
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