I’ve loved Apple products longer than I can remember. They’re beautiful to look at and they are a joy to operate. Even if they were ugly you’d love them anyway because they function so well. I’ve got four iPods, an iPhone, an iPad and some Apple computers too. So why am I thinking of jumping ship? No, I’m not going to Microsoft, that would be going too far, but I am thinking of dropping my iPhone and going Android. In a nutshell Android is a revolutionary google-developed open source mobile operating system and platform that improves ease and efficiency and more importantly actively encourages independent developers to innovate applications and functions. Apple doesn’t.
It’s not that Android is the fastest growing smartphone platform (up 900% from last year) – it’s just that I’ve grown unhappy with Apple’s behaviour. We all make mistakes and Apple is no different, indeed one measure of a brand’s affinity with customers is how much they are willing to forgive a brand when things go wrong (BA never, Virgin always). Another measure is how true a brand stays to itself. The Apple brand has always embodied a David vs Goliath story I’ve been happy to champion; think different, small is huge. Perhaps David now sees itself as Goliath.
I thought Apple’s behaviour over Antennagate was appalling. Job’s initial response was ‘You’re holding it wrongly’. It’s your fault, stupid.’ There was no apology and, as far as I’m aware, there has not been subsequently. It’s a sign that Apple has got too big for its boots and takes consumers for granted. I think Antennagate was a turning point for the business. They won’t notice it yet, sales will continue to grow, but those influencers who love the brand and have helped build it by word of mouth will turn against the brand. When they lose the love of people like me they need to lookout.
Were I in 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino, I’d be doing a lot of soul searching. How did we get our response so wrong and how do we get our advocates back onside? It’s probably too late for me, Android looks really good and seems to be leading the development of some brilliant apps and the truth is, I can’t wait.