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Why Apple Still Wins?

What happens when you keep selling the same thing to the same people all the time? Record-breaking sales? Probably not.

The future of business lies in a new audience. In the new generations: Gen Z, Gen Alpha, and those to come. Let’s take a look at the market. What do we all hear about every year? Smartphones. Let’s dive in.

Right away: the iPhone dominates. Still. And even more so than before.

What does the statistics say?

All over the world people aged 18–24 are solidly in favor of Apple products. The numbers may vary — 50%, 60%, or even 70% of all sales, but never less.

How did this happen? Let’s break it down, starting with the basics:

  • Even the simplest iPhone isn’t cheap. The average cost of the device is higher than all the rest, significantly so.
  • Even an old, used iPhone retains its value and depreciates slowly. When you exit a Samsung store, the value drops by 20–30% immediately and 50–60% in the first year. With Apple, it’s 4–5 times better. Why? Apple doesn’t reduce the price or does so very minimally throughout the year until the next models come out.
  • The ecosystem and the restrictions it imposes. AirPods, iMessage, Notes — you can use all of this within your group. But only with an iPhone. If you have a different brand, you’re excluded from the “gadget crew.” You might think it’s not a big deal, but any additional button or deviation from your group is seen as negative.
  • Accessibility: cases, and any other accessories — you can find them in any store. Convenient, right? The same goes for apps and games; they’re always available for the iPhone first (sometimes only for a fee). When switching to another brand, users rarely can transfer their programs and apps. This objective migration barrier leads to forced loyalty.
  • Apple doesn’t incorporate the latest and hottest technical innovations that we see in the market.

What can we learn from this?

Let’s gather some thoughts about Gen Z (and probably Gen Alpha too). At the same time, let’s remember that Apple generates 80% of all smartphone market profits.

Conclusions and what we can borrow from the iPhone:

  • People are herd animals. The majority influences the rest, especially among young people. To tap into this, aggressive advertising and widespread distribution are needed. One-time fads like Tamagotchis, laser pointers, Tetris, etc., succeeded during my school years.
  • Convenience and utility. New generations don’t want to tinker with technology or even press extra buttons. The key to winning them over lies in the user interface’s ease of use, not technical bells and whistles. Convenience and design (in the sense that it should be applied) are what matters.
  • High cost — sometimes it’s not a downside; it’s a plus. How it works: high cost increases the perceived value and makes people more fervent in defending their choice. Besides, “expensive isn’t bad,” right?
  • If you restrict the user, give them something in return.
  • Technical add-ons are secondary. It’s the story of features — benefits — and advantages. You’re in trouble if you can’t explain what specific benefit your product’s new feature offers and how your customers will understand it. That’s why we hardly see «2 GB — 2 cores — gaming graphics card with Apple.» Instead, we see “15 hours of battery life” and “5 vibrant colors.” Simple and understandable to the consumer.

What’s funny in all of this is that the smartphone market has matured to a stage where not much is happening. Really, not much at all. Even for specialists, the changes look quite minimal (left button — right button, different types of notches). While there’s almost no difference in the devices, there’s a huge gap in the details and perception.

Creating your own brand is a big undertaking, but we can observe the details and moments from others. It’s always about creating your own story.

It always includes a combination of emotional moments, beliefs, patterns, and advertising (specifications mean nothing, implementation and convenience mean everything). A formula that, when done right, brings profit for many years.

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