The truth of switching from this to that is simple. We go, and we leave. We leave whatever isn’t working for us now, and we go to wherever we think it will be better for us. Among digital gadgets– computers and smartphones– the past few years can be characterized as the Switcher Generation.
The One Way Street
Here’s a good example of what happened to the previous generation of so-called smartphone users. They switched to, almost en mass, iPhones and Android smartphones.
They switched from smartphones that were complicated and cumbersome to use to phones that did more and were easier, almost intuitive to use.
The switch from one generation of phones to another was made easier because the new generation of phones were more attractive. Switching from this to that is only easy if the new product provides a compelling reason to switch.
The same thing has occurred in the past 10 years and explains why the Mac has outgrown the PC industry’s sales rate. People are switching from Windows PCs to Macs and doing so in record numbers.
The Mac offers a familiar face, thanks to OS X’s mimicry of iOS on the hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads. The Mac offers a less complicated and more secure environment than a typical Windows PC, which is also associated with ‘cheap and plastic, vs. the Mac which is durable and aluminum.
Interestingly, the Mac and Windows PCs, as well as iPhone and Android smartphones, do much the same thing in much the same way; point and click, tap a button. The statistics may be arguable, but most in the technology industry know that Apple receives more switchers from Android and Windows than the other way around.
The key here is differentiation and perceived value. Android runs on hundreds of devices; mostly plastic, mostly cheap. Windows runs on hundreds of devices; mostly plastic, and mostly cheap. Apple’s products are different– no Windows, and no Android. And, Apple clothes their products in a distance aluminum skin, curates applications, and integrates the ecosystem between devices, which makes the total experience greater than the sum of the parts.
That is more difficult for Windows and Android device vendors. Apple is considered a premium brand, while anything Android or Windows is considered less, even though there are more similarities in performance and usage than differences.
People switch from one product to another because they’re leaving— moving away from cheap, or troublesome devices– and going to products that are more upscale, work better together, and have a perceived value that makes the price tag worthy.