Likewise, one could argue that Android smartphones and iPhones are the same thing. Touch controlled mobile computers with a phone inside. If both Windows and OS X are the same, and Android devices and iPhones are the same, then how does one explain the ongoing demise of the former, and the growing success of the latter?
It Ain’t The Same Thing
Windows-based PCs are on the decline as more of what we once used a PC are shifted to mobile devices, specifically smartphones. Yet, the Mac continues to sell in record numbers. Likewise, Android, the world’s most used device operating system, has begun to plateau in certain markets, while Apple’s iPhone continues to grow.
Apple made a long expected and probably overdue strategic change to the iPhone in 2014 which has altered the smartphone landscape. Larger screens. But that’s not all. Along with those larger screens Apple ushered into the user lexicon a growing number of usability and security features which set the iPhone apart from other smartphone brands.
First, iOS 8 allowed for more integrated sharing between Apple’s devices. Say thank you to the Sharing button and Extensions. Second, Apple decided to encrypt almost everything so your information remained secure from hackers and government spooks. Third, Apple’s system of ongoing updates to upgrades means a very large portion of the user base gets the advantages of improvements and security fixes.
Starting last year, and most in developed nations, including the U.S. and Western Europe, Android-based devices stalled in the marketplace while iPhone grew. Why? Android is to smartphones as Windows is to PCs. That is to say, not much fun; a convoluted, complex, complicated interface that is wonderful to geeks who tweak, but confusing and uncomfortable to the rest of us.
The Message Sticks
Apple’s message to the public that the company does not care for a customer’s personal information, and prefers to make devices that customers love stands in stark contrast to Google and Android which siphon data from customers wherever possible, harvesting it for resale to advertisers. That issue is icing on the cake of malware which targets Android devices but seldom makes it anything with an Apple logo on it.
Day by day, month by month, year over year, Apple’s message of ease of use, combined with security and dependability which cannot be matched by Android’s hundreds of manufacturers, has begun to sink into the buying public’s consciousness. Apple, good. Google, bad. iPhone, good. Android whatever, bad. Apple’s standardization on a limited number of models makes the platform user friendly, approachable, and with the right balance of expectations and comfort meeting up with new technology to advance the state of the art each year, but not overwhelming to the customer base.
Members of the technorati elite may point to Android as being customizable to the n-th degree, but that’s a geek requirement, and all those customization options don’t make for more usability, reliability, or security for the great unwashed masses of smartphone users. Apple just announced that 30-percent of the company’s recent sales came by way of switchers from Android smartphones. Indeed, Apple’s entire platform of technology products remains an attractive palace for the aspiring user; Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Watch, App Store, Apple Pay, iTunes, iCloud, and Apple Stores. Apple has it all and it works together better than anything with a Google or Samsung logo attached.
The switch to Apple is on. How long will it continue?