Trust. To my father, a Camry eliminates the fear of buying and owning a car. Toyota’s quality, durability, and resale value are well known, and my father shows little interest in a different brand. He trusts Toyota.
Mac, iPhone, and iPad owners exhibit a similar kind of trust. Why?
The Blind Faithful?
Technology pundits once called Apple’s customers, made up of mostly Mac users, members of a cult because of our steadfast devotion to Apple’s premier product.
I beg to differ. A cult is ‘a religious group or organization with deviant and novel beliefs and practices.’
That definition doesn’t fit the average Mac user, and certainly doesn’t apply to the hundreds and hundreds of millions of iPod, iPhone, and iPad users.
Yet, like cult members, by and large, Apple customers exhibit a trust that goes beyond owners of Samsung products, HP products, Dell products. Why?
Trust. Apple’s products, again, by and large, are similar to my father’s Toyota Camry. High quality, durability, good resale value, low total cost of ownership.
In short, we trust Apple and the company’s products. The question is, ‘Should we still trust Apple?‘ That the company has earned the trust of Mac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad customers through the years is a given.
Trusting A Different Beast
21st century Apple is a different beast, and no longer limited to the preferred premier purveyor of fine hardware and usable, user-friendly software.
Today’s Apple also manages and stores our personal information, and should be more involved in protecting customer privacy. Through less-than-private security practices, does Apple allow outside forces– the U.S. government’s National Security Agency, for example– to listen to our conversations? Read our email? Browse our documents? Track our whereabouts? Or, know more about us than we’re willing to share?
Indeed, Apple itself collects plenty of private information about customers and users? How is that information stored? How is it used? Is it shared with others?
Apple makes a little money by selling advertisements which benefit app developers. I posit that Apple could make more money by becoming the secure platform– Mac, iPhone, iPad and online data storage and management– that customers trust as implicitly as my father trusts Toyota.
The old adage, ‘Trust no one over 30‘ doesn’t apply when you’re over 30 (as are the vast majority of Apple’s customers). Privacy and protecting customer information is where Apple should be the market leader, setting the example for others to follow.
When it comes to securing customer information is Apple the leader? Or, merely a follower? I suspect the latter because Apple executives seem to pay lip service to the security and privacy issue. If we can’t trust Apple, a company that is built on products that customers trust, who can we trust?