An easy way is price– just make a device cheaper or with better materials and build quality. Another way is by screen size. Larger is better. Size matters. Yet another way is by building an attractive theme park; an ecosystem where customers are treated like people in Disneyland.
Diamond Studded Ear Buds
Everyone in the tech gadget world, except executives at Corning Glass, knows already that sapphire glass is harder than anything except Superman’s chest or Evil-Eye Fleegle triple whammy.
Reports on the street say that Apple has devoted a few hundred million dollars to lock up the entire world’s supply of sapphire glass for the next three years (or, something akin to keeping sapphire screens off Android smartphones).
Why? For what? The why is easy. Durability, strength, and product differentiation. You know. Bragging rights.
For what? iPhone? iWatch? iWhatever it is Apple wants as much sapphire as the world can make, and a few hundred million iPhones would require a lot of sapphire glass.
A report I read a year ago said sapphire glass would be three times stronger than Corning’s highly touted Gorilla Glass 3, but cost ten times as much. Obviously, Apple wants to corner the supply and reduce the cost of manufacturing sapphire glass (lower cost means higher profits).
That was then and this is now but even back then a report on Corning executives pointed out that sapphire glass isn’t as strong as sapphire glass advocates think it is. Why would the Corning folks say that?
Corning owns a huge chunk of the smartphone screen market, and Apple owns a huge chunk of the smartphone market, so if and when Apple switches from Gorilla Glass to sapphire glass, Corning executives will be inspired to trot out their own tests to verify their own prejudices regarding smartphone glass. Or, something like that.
Boldly, Going, Going, Goners
Apple, it seems, is willing to take some risks to continue and perpetuate the iPhone profit machine, up to and including altering the entire smartphone industry landscape with crazy-assed components to differentiate Apple products from the riffraff of SameSungland.
Note the iPhone 5s and the built-in Touch ID fingerprint scanner. Apple did it first. Samsung is sure to follow with something similar in the Galaxy S5. The iPhone 5s launched with a 64-bit smartphone CPU and 64-bit OS. Apple did it first. Samsung is sure to follow. Someday. Soon.
Apple went all thin and light with the iPad Air, and Samsung followed Apple’s lead with slightly thinner, slightly lighter, and slightly less expensive. Sometimes Samsung tries to out smart Apple and launch first what it thinks Apple is about to do. Enter Samsung Galaxy Gear, the smartwatch that wasn’t so smart and now shows up as a gift inside boxes of Korean corn flakes cereal (I made that up but I wouldn’t be surprised).
Apple and Samsung are playing technology leapfrog. Apple jumps forward. Samsung jumps over Apple. Apple spends billions promoting the iPhone and iPad. Samsung spends tens of billions. Apple sells 50-million iPhones. Samsung sells 90-million smartphones.
Apple makes billions of dollars in profits. Samsung makes fewer billions of dollars in profits. OK, bad example. But you get the idea. Apple boldly goes forward. Competitors follow. It’s the circle of life.