As much as Apple is heralded as the world’s best technology company, there is plenty to complain about. iOS and OS X user interfaces are being designed by 8th graders. Most recent product roll outs are pay-for-beta tests (where customers are paying beta testers). And who in their right mind would trust iCloud for anything?
Well, guess what? According to the folks that track such things, cloud storage is not all that just yet because nearly half of small businesses don’t use it, Dropbox and Google Drive are more popular than iCloud, but it’s Apple’s iCloud which gets the highest customer satisfaction and loyalty.
How is that possible?
Blame it all on Steve Jobs’ notorious Reality Distortion Field and math. The two make for strange bedfellows but here’s how it shapes up.
Dropbox is the most popular cloud service among those polled, probably because it’s free to start, has plenty of usable features for small business, SOHOs, and even the corporate world, and probably did the most to get online cloud storage started.
What’s interesting with the stats above is that one would expect Google Drive to be much higher than iCloud because Google is on five times as many devices as iCloud, but the top four services are pretty much as expected because all of them have a free tier, and Google, Apple, and Microsoft number customers in the hundreds of millions and are the default services on their respective devices.
Far more interesting is where iCloud ranks in customer satisfaction numbers. As an experienced user of Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and others (I’ve tried or use all those on the list above), iCloud is the one I would not use as a business owner (full disclosure– I’m not) because it has been so unreliable. From iCloud email to slow syncs, iCloud does not hold a candle to Google’s Gmail or Dropbox, despite using services provided by competitors (Microsoft Azure, I’m looking at you) so what’s up with the numbers?
It’s apparent that Steve Jobs’ famous Reality Distortion Field remains in effect, perhaps a residual, perhaps through a portal from wherever Jobs’s spirit went upon death, but sufficient to keep Apple’s somewhat sheeplike customer base happy without knowing what else is out there.
To Apple’s credit, iCloud remains more of an add-on service and not much of a business (thank you, lower prices) and they try to keep settings and configurations behind the scenes more than others, but math don’t lie. If Apple’s products tend to have higher customer satisfaction ratings than competitors, even an anemic service will appear to be better than others that remain untried.