Technology companies spend billions to build brand trust and loyalty with their customers. Arguably, few do that better than Apple. Most of the company’s products would fit on a kitchen table, yet the company makes tens of billions in profits each year by satisfying hundreds of millions of customers.
Yesterday I read a technology article about nine companies that build Windows 10 tablets. Nine. And they’re none you’ve ever heard of. What do you think when you hear the word ‘iPad?’ Now, what do you think when you hear the words ‘Modecom FreeTAB 8025 IPS IB WIN 10?’ A non-iPad is another choice, but too many choices leads to confusion, and Apple seems to thrive when competitors are fragmented.
The Fragmandroid Monster
Quick. How many Windows PC manufacturers can you name? There once were many dozens, now there are merely a handful and there is little to differentiate their products, one from another because they all run Windows.
Even lowly Chromebooks all look alike, and many notebooks look like Apple’s hot selling MacBook which sports premium components, a premium price tag, and is differentiated by OS X, and a lack of substantial malware.
Notebook tablet hybrids are all the rage these days and most are little more than a touchscreen notebook with an option to buy a tablet to make the device useful. Many Windows tablet users note that the tablet functionality is anemic, especially when compared to the usability found in an iPad.
Maybe it’s that usability which makes the iPad more used as a device than all other tablet makers combined.
Obviously, many customers have few qualms about buying a cheap product; they’ve been doing that with Windows PCs for many years, so a $179 to $299 tablet looks attractive when compared to a far more expensive iPad Air, which tops other tablets in usage, but continues to lose marketshare. How is that possible?
Take a look at some of these tablet names (most from Eastern Europe).
- Prestigio Multipad Visconte 10
- Allview Impera i10G
- UMAX VisionBook 10Wi Plus
- Vivian WIN TPC-101003G
- TrekStor SurfTab twin 10.1
- One Tablet Xcellent 10 Win 10
See the problem? All those devices are priced at just a few hundred dollars and are made with the cheapest of components. The choices may be so numerous as to be confusing but they do one thing well. They’re starter products which have little lasting value. More discriminating users will long for a product that works better, lasts longer, and does more.
The company’s ownership of the premium spectrum of every product segment means that owners of cheaper knockoff products who become disillusioned with the variety of less expensive and confusing choices actually has another choice. Higher quality components, lower total cost of ownership, and a larger number of usable and affordable applications which makes the device a better choice.
Smartphone owners who do not choose an iPhone face a similar dilemma. Choice is good– to a point. For many, the choice between cheap and expensive is distinct, obvious, and a no brainer. Entry level smartphone owners don’t want to spend much, but a growing number of them will upgrade to better products over time. That’s to Apple’s benefit, and the recent dip in Android-based device marketshare, and the increase in Apple’s iPhone marketshare seems to bear that out.
Too many choices often translate into buyer and ownership confusion, and both Windows tablets and Android smartphones are differentiated only by the flavor of the plastic and a few add on apps. The number one technology brand for trust is Apple, and in that regard the company has very little competition.