Home > tech > No, iPhone fatigue is not setting in

No, iPhone fatigue is not setting in

The press never tires of the Apple versus Android debate, but rarely offers any insight. Reuters has a great example of the genre today.

Driven by a combination of iPhone fatigue, a desire to be different and a plethora of competing devices, users are turning to other brands, notably those from Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, eating into Apple’s market share.

I’ve been trying out a Samsung Galaxy Tab (an unwanted gift, to be honest) for the past few months and find it laughable when anyone suggests that Samsung devices offer a competitive threat to Apple’s iPhones and iPads.

Let’s be clear: the iOS devices are in a different league when it comes to the user experience, which is why it attracts such strong brand loyalty.

Android is a cheap alternative with no loyalty whatsoever (except for a tiny number of nerds who just want the latest hardware and highest specs, regardless of whether the software works properly or not).

Comparing the two is like comparing Ferrari and Daewoo. Which is why the reporting on this “corporate battle” is so absurd. Of course people are buying Android devices — they’re cheap and are installed on hundreds(?) of different mobile gadgets, most of which are far cheaper than the cheapest iPhone.

Even so, most Android customers would probably buy an iPhone or iPad if they could afford one. After all, Apple more or less created this market. What Samsung has done is to offer a “similar” experience at a cheaper price — and its sales are really just a reflection of the demand created by Apple’s runaway success.

Indeed, these kinds of articles are a measure of just how successful it has been. In no other industry do journalists expect a very pricey, premium product to also be a mass-market sales monster, yet Reuters clearly seems to expect that of Apple.

What is happening, I suspect, is that the penetration of smartphones is rising rapidly as late-adopters reluctantly upgrade their old bricks. They’re not really interested in a smartphone but the entry-level models are now so cheap that it’s a no-brainer. Android will hoover up these low-value customers, while Apple continues to focus on the top end of the market.

The great advantage of this popular misconception is that Apple’s stock looks like a bargain. Investors read nonsense like this and it sinks in. After all, most investors are middle-aged men with little to no understanding of the modern world — as demonstrated by the Facebook IPO.

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