Poor old Samsung, LG, OnePlus, Xiaomi, and all the other smartphone makers who compete against Apple’s iPhone at the premium end of the smartphone spectrum; that place on the space time continuum where profits live.
Those smartphone makers struggle to attract customers to their premium wares because smartphone customers are not completely stupid. They realize that Android here is the same Android there, and smartphones priced at $300 or $400 run the same software as Android devices priced at $700 or $800. So, why spend more money for the same thing?
Sure, if you need a better camera, spend more money, but many smartphone customers just need a good camera and most of them, even in the $300 to $400 range are very good. For now, let’s pity poor old LG and sad old Samsung because their recent television commercials are aimed dead square at iPhone 6S owners. You remember them, right? They’re the Apple customers whose iPhones would crash when the battery began to die.
LG and Samsung want them to switch and executives at both companies don’t understand why iPhone 6S customers are not switching by the millions. After all, both LG and Samsung have new phones that have better hardware than an iPhone 6S at half the price of an iPhone X.
Here’s the question that needs to be answered. “Why switch?”
Or, put in the form of a statement, “Switching sides is a pain in the patootie, right?”
Look how easy Apple makes it for iPhone customers with old iPhones to switch to new iPhones. Take the old iPhone, place it next to the new iPhone, which instantly recognizes the old one and asks if you want to set it up as your phone.
Duh. Yes. Done. Go grab some lunch. When you get back your new iPhone has everything your old iPhone had and more.
Apple makes what was once difficult far more simple and that ingrains loyalty. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Across the board, in every digital nook and granny, Apple builds in a level of stickiness that LG, Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus, and others that seek to dethrone king iPhone as the cat’s meow (it’s Friday; two metaphors for the price of one at the Metaphor Mall) only dream about.
The basics of product marketing work this way.
To unseat an industry leader, a competitor must have a clearly superior product, priced at the same as the leader. Nothing from LG, Samsung et al, despite their sniping TV commercials, indicates clear superiority. At the other end of the scale, to compete against an industry leader, a competitor must have a product that works the same but priced much lower. Again, thanks to iPhone’s stickiness, it’s just not worth it– even for a lower price– to move from iPhone to anywhere else.
Apple just builds in too much to compete against.
Apple Stores, iCloud sync and backup, ease-of-use, privacy and security, Genius Bar, resale value– nobody competes in those areas, so unseating an iPhone customer remains a major challenge for competitors.
Build a better mousetrap and they will come. So far, who has a better mousetrap?