For whatever the reason, Apple seems to be the gadget maker that critics love to hate customers love to love. With somewhere around 1.4-billion installed devices on planet earth, Apple ain’t going anywhere.
What do we like about our Macs, iPads, iPhones, Watches, and the Apple ecosystem? Affordable luxuries. Now, to some, the luxury part might just be a product wrapped up in expensive packaging with an expensive price tag. To others, quality materials are an obvious attraction.
If Apple is all about affordable luxuries for a segment of the gadget-buying masses on planet earth, then why is Apple so damned cheap?
If one man’s hamburger is another man’s steak, then one person’s idea of cheap is another person’s view of expensive. Here’s an example.
iPhones are expensive smartphones. Yes, they’re very capable devices; almost like a Mac in your pocket. Apple’s customers pay a premium; the so-called Apple Tax. Why does Apple ship the expensive new iPhones with cheap accessories? Why not the best?
Cheap? Puhleeze. A five watt charger? Seriously, Apple? iPhones no longer have a headphone jack and I’m OK with that but I still have headphones that have a standard headphone jack and that means a trip on the Dongle Bus.
Where’s the Lightning-to-Headphone dongle, Apple? I checked my iPhone Xs Max box and couldn’t find one.
Much of product marketing is about perception and few techno-gadget makers are as adept at slight of hand as Apple. Here’s another example.
iPhone Xs Max comes with 64GB for $1,099. Need more storage? 256GB is $150 more. 512GB is $350 more. Wait. That’s not cheap. That’s expensive. But it adds to the perception of a good deal when you like at storage pricing on iPhone XR which starts with 64GB. The 128GB storage option is just $50 more. Another 128GB– a total of 256GB– is $150 more.
Bargain, right? Relatively speaking only.
Apple’s packaging makes every Apple gadget appear like a luxury so customers don’t wince or whine when they get shortchanged on the Dongle Bus or have to buy a more powerful charger or a new cable just to keep up with progress. Apple can afford to treat customers better with accessories but chooses not to because profits are important. Isn’t a $40 silicone case for an iPhone just a bit too much for $1 worth of silicone protection?
I’m not the only one who thinks that Apple’s profits are obscene and the company could treat customers with a bit more respect and still make a fortune.
Steve Jobs, circa 1995, two years before returning to run Apple:
Instead of following the original trajectory of the original vision, which was to make the thing an appliance and get this out there to as many people as possible, they went for profits. They made outlandish profits for about four years… What that cost them was their future. What they should have been doing is making rational profits and going for market share.
Rational profits? Marketshare? Meh. That ain’t the Apple that runs under Tim Cook.