We hear that Apple needs to build an entry-level, less expensive iPhone or risk being left behind as Android dominates the smartphone world. Or, something like that. Such analysis overlooks Apple’s typical customer, and, importantly the customers Apple does not want.
The Geek Crowd & Hee Haw Folks
Look at Apple’s entire line of products; from Mac to iPhone to iPad. What’s common among all of those successful products?
It’s the same commonality featured in Apple’s apps, in both the iTunes App Store and Mac App Store.
Premium. Apple is proud of what they design and build, and they’re willing to charge for the privilege and pleasure of owning an Apple designed product.
Much of the criticism aimed at Apple seems to come from three groups.
The first is the technorati elite who love the openness of Android OS as if it were a Linux PC that can be built from scratch.
The second group is comprised of market pundits and analysts who insist that Apple needs to have this product or that product or a lower price just to survive.
Remember netbooks? They’re mostly forgettable. Yet, every tech pundit with a keyboard and digital soap box declared Apple dead in the water unless they introduced a Mac netbook (as in cheap).
Are we not glad Apple does not listen to the crowd? Where are netbooks today?
There’s a third segment of the population that simply echoes the same old tune. ‘Apple’s products are too expensive.’ And, for that crowd, they’re correct. As the Bible says, ‘Do not cast pearls before swine.’ That group simply doesn’t appreciate or need what Apple does.
Speaking of swine, that brings me to the two customer groups that Apple simply doesn’t care about at all. The first is the technorati elite, the geek who loves product specifications and doesn’t understand the words ‘user experience.’
The second is what is often termed as the Hee Haw crowd, those who live in the digital equivalent of Kornfield Kounty. They care not about user experience and care even less about product specifications.
What they want is a cheap phone, and whether it’s smart or not doesn’t matter. Smartphones with Android OS are perfect for this not-so-smart crowd.
They make calls, play a few cheap games, but seldom use their so-called smartphone for anything smart– no third party apps for productivity, for example. And they don’t use much bandwidth hogging data for browsing the web, managing email, or anything else that marks 21st century digital citizens, so they’re the darling of the cell phone companies, too.
Apple’s Cupertino compass is not set to point toward the crowd of spec-toting technology geeks or the Hee Haw folks addicted to Facebook. Both groups are fickle users, not loyal, and not even worth Apple’s effort to cultivate. The former complains about what Apple doesn’t put into their products, and attempts to dictate what Apple should do. The latter isn’t interested in quality because any car with four wheels will get you there.
Apple is proud of their hardware designs and software usability which make up the user experience, and rightly so. Fortunately, Apple has many hundreds of millions of customers who do not belong to the technology geek elite, or the Hee Haw barnyard crowd. Apple’s customers appreciate quality, reliability, and usability in a seamlessly integrated ecosystem, and are willing to pay for it.
Neither geeks nor Hee Haw folks understand what Apple’s customer base– which numbers in the hundreds of millions– already knows.
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