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Is Apple's phenomenal growth good for overall tech Industry?

Apple is nothing more than a freaking brand. Any product it sells you can find cheaper somewhere else. I know there's an article out on the interwebz floating around somewhere that says how expensive it is to customize a mac with substandard parts. I believe it's called "Don't get a mac"?

Anyway, despite getting rejected so many times over by Google for all sorts of positions I'd be qualified for on paper, I'm still a firm Google fan.

Edit: Also, I can't stand the idea of patent trolling that Apple is engaging in.

Unless somebody copies and pastes your exact code, IMO all of this patent stuff is just so much rubbish. If you discover a new market, you should not have a monopoly on it. This is the concept of competition. People should have a choice. If you want to beat your competitors, then out-innovate them. Google isn't the best search engine because it sues others into oblivion, but because it's better.
 

Diego Calderon

Grad Student
Apple's growth is good for the tech industry if and only if it continues to push innovation forward. Else it just becomes another corporate giant with pending future bubble-burst. Even though OS X is simply reinventing the wheel, they brought it to the mass public.

The real question is what do you mean by "good"?
 
Apple is nothing more than a freaking brand. Any product it sells you can find cheaper somewhere else.

From a hardware perspective, Apple is an industrial design company - no different than Umbra or BMW. This is what you are paying for.

One could argue that their software is better tailored to suit certain demographics...

Having been a product designer in a former incarnation I was always amazed at the ungodly products out there. If it takes about as long to design and build something functional, intuitive and beautiful as it does to design and build a horrific mess, why are there so many horrific messes out there?
 
Apple may not be the best at everything that it does, but where it does well, it beats the entire competition - User Interface ( amazing) and hardware design.

For years, I had used Nokia and Samsung cellphones, both costly ones and cheap ones, but I was never impressed with them. The build quality in most cases for both cheap and expensive handsets used to be pathetic. Ironically, sometimes the cheaper handsets seemed to be sturdier than the more expensive ones. The only thing that differed was features. However, owing to shabby user interface, I, almost always, never was able to use their entire features.

I think the result of all the above is a non-focused approach in designing products. Instead of designing a single product that aims at providing the best of everything ( design, features, Interface) , they design hundreds of cellphones, hoping that because of the law of probability one or the other would be a hit.

This approach hurt the customers who demanded exclusivity and didn't want to get lost in the world of model numbers. This also meant that Nokia and Samsung ( etc etc) were not committed 100% to a product. If a product didn't sell well in its initial few months, chances were it could be shelved very soon. Another problem was that as Nokia and others only believed in volumes and not in customer satisfaction of previous customers, it dropped the prices of its products very fast. As a result, when one went to the market to sell one's product the resale value would be barely 20-30% of the price which the person actually bought that product.

Apple addressed most of these issues:

1) Only one model of iphone/ ipad per year - 100% commitment.
2) Stable pricing- the prices of the existing model would not drop 50% in a year. If I know that I can sell my old product at a decent price, I will come back to buy a new one from the same company.
3) Higher build quality
4) Better designs
5) Amazing UI - enables in using all the features effortlessly
6) iTunes - one does not have to search on the web for applications that might be compatible to one's phone/tablet.

But I think, because of the above, Apple is gaining a much bigger share of the pie of all the hardware market in both cellphones and tablet pcs. I think that although the overall industry ( cellphone) has become stagnant, Apple continues to grow by gaining more and more market share.

For this reason- better OS- Andriod too has been a success. However, what Andriod cannot change at the moment is : crappy designs of most gadgets on which it is used, crappy build quality of those gadgets, stable pricing, and lack of 100% commitment from those companies. Andriod is simply gaining market share of the OS of the companies which themselves are facing shrinking markets. The real winner, I guess, is still Apple, unless someone comes up with something spectacular.
 
But I think, because of the above, Apple is gaining a much bigger share of the pie of all the hardware market in both cellphones and tablet pcs. I think that although the overall industry ( cellphone) has become stagnant, Apple continues to grow by gaining more and more market share.

It could be argued that not a lot is correct with this paragraph :D Whether you are referring to your list or the article with "above", neither are of any use in observing trends in market share as one is an opinion and the other (profit) is just as irrelevant. Unvaryingly, whether you look at the sales volumes for the individual devices themselves, or more broadly at the OS's used on the devices as a measure of market share, you will find that Apple is not gaining a much bigger share at all–in fact its share is quite stagnant. Although, if you compare this share to that of Android, Apple is actually falling behind.

Perhaps you are confusing increased sales volumes with an increase in market share. While Apple may have experienced growth in its sales, this is only indicative of a booming marketplace; many companies are experiencing similar growth and in some cases, such as Android, they are experiencing much greater growth. As an example, if Apple was to increase its sales by 10% each year while its competitors were increasing sales by 20% each year, it would lose market share despite an increase in output and profit.

Also, I wouldn't be too quick to venerate Apple's marketing mix; the highly differentiated strategy of Samsung seems to be working just fine and dandy. The Samsung Galaxy S sold over 10 million units and the Galaxy S II is the company's fastest selling device ever (doubling the amount of pre-orders for the iPhone 4 in Korea).

the overall industry ( cellphone) has become stagnant

Stagnant in what way exactly? In terms of innovation when compared to the introduction of smart phones, perhaps. In terms of market activity, definitely not:

"Worldwide mobile communication device sales to end users totaled 427.8 million units in the first quarter of 2011, an increase of 19 percent from the first quarter of 2010"

"The market for smartphones, which have computer-like capabilities for running software and accessing websites, may grow 55 percent to 472 million phones this year, according to market researcher IDC. It expanded 87 percent last year on surging demand for cheaper models powered by Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android software."

http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/7/comScore_Reports_May_2011_U.S._Mobile_Subscriber_Market_Share
http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1689814
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-21/nokia-posts-net-loss-as-handset-sales-decline.html
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/mobile-news/latest-smartphone-market-share-numbers-apple-is-flat-google-going-strong/2387
 
Perhaps you are confusing increased sales volumes with an increase in market share. While Apple may have experienced growth in its sales, this is only indicative of a booming marketplace; many companies are experiencing similar growth and in some cases, such as Android, they are experiencing much greater growth. As an example, if Apple was to increase its sales by 10% each year while its competitors were increasing sales by 20% each year, it would lose market share despite an increase in output and profit.

First off: Apple iphone sales have increased more than 100% yoy (just read post). The overall world cellphone market grew barely 19%, which you yourself have stated. Infact, even the overall smartphone market didn't grow anywhere close to as fast as that for iphone So, how did Apple iphone loose market share (think about it)?

http://dailyiphoneblog.com/2011/07/...ts-iphone-sales-grow-142-ipad-sales-grow-183/ (2011)

The Company sold 20.34 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 142 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter.

Indeed, Apple has become the no 1 smartphone maker in the world in just 4 years!

Also, are you sure that most of the smartphone makers are seeing booming sales?

The most recent reports had Apple put out 20.3 million iPhones, up 1.6 million from the previous quarter’s numbers, but that was sufficient to take out Nokia’s current quarterly numbers of 16.7 million down from 24.2 million in the quarter previous.

http://nexus404.com/Blog/2011/07/21...and-theres-a-new-number-two-smartphone-maker/

Second off: You are confusing higher and faster growth of Andriod in worldwide cellphone market into higher and faster sales (in comparison to) than iphone (sales). The companies that employ Andriod OS have NOT experienced iphone like HARDWARE sales. Andriod is simply weeding out pathetic OS such as Symbian from the market. Companies such as Samsung/Motorola/HTC that used either Windows OS or their own OS in their smartphone/cellphones have stopped using them (because they are crappy) and have started using Andriod OS. However, they still haven't experience ( I repeat) iphone like hardware sales.

On the OEM front, the new statistics show the only handset maker in the top five to show growth in share is Apple, likely due to the release of the iPhone 4 with Verizon.

This is from your the hyperlink that you posted. Do you know what this means? It means all major handset markers experienced lower or flat hardware sales. The above fact simply reinforces my idea that Andriod is simply grabbing a greater share of the OS market ( of the smartphone manufacturers who are are unable to sell more cellphones).

In math: It means : Let us say 100 smartphones were sold in 2010. Of these, 25 were sold by Apple (rest by others). The OS platform of the others was Andriod/Symbian etc. Andriod let us say was 20 of the 80 handsets sold by others ( non-Apple). In 2011, 150 smartphones were sold. Of these, let us say 60 were sold by Apply. Andriod now operates on 70 of the remaining 90 smartphones. However, the other manufacturers did not experience any where close to the growth (in hardware sales). They simply replaced their own OS with Andriod. However, they still weren't able to sell more phones. Get it?

YOU ARE SIMPLY CONFUSING HARDWARE WITH SOFTWARE. Just see my post that you quoted. I said Apple is selling more Hardware, and you are talking about software.
 
Yes Indeed the overall cellphone market is stagnant in comparison to hay years of 2002 to 2009/2010. It is growing nowhere near 100%+++ yoy growth in sales experience back in 2002 to 2010 period, because at that time the sales of cellphones (in world's 2 biggest cellphone markets - India and China) were growing exponentially.
 
what is the reason behind the hostile sentiment toward Apple? Apple are not perfect, but they do make pretty good products, why do people come to hate them?
 
I'm a pretty big follower of the mobile space. I will say, Apple's revenue numbers have been amazing for the better part of the past decade. But when you look at the industry as a whole, it isn't that impressive. Firms like Intel and HTC (and of course Google) always release record-beating quarterly numbers, quarter after quarter, as well. The high tech industry as a whole is flourishing right now.

I honestly think you short Apple in the long term. We saw this in the '90s. Apple had a great product, but made it exclusive to its own hardware. That may ultimately lead to a more cohesive product for the user, but the software's ecosystem will be weaker than its competitors since the other OS'es will be much more widespread. That's what Windows did. They put their OS everywhere, and eventually grabbed the large market share.

I see similar things today. iOS is constrained to three products (iPhone, iTouch and iPad). On the other hand, Android is free for hardware manufacturers. This not only leads to more products (more cell phones!), but also different applications for the same OS. Cars will eventually have Android running the entertaining system, our homes will eventually have Android for home automation, etc. By doing this, Android's ecosystem will be much more ubiquitous, and in the long term, have more growth potential. Apple won't match that if they choose to keep their OS only under their hardware.

Now, I'm not saying Google is going to take over everything. You always need competition to drive product innovation. Windows Phone 7 is developing its own ecosystem, and while its initial growth has been less than impressive, it is a young ecosystem with a huge developer base. Microsoft's partnership with Nokia will also ensure WP7 has a worldwide presence. And with the new update, Mango, and Windows 8 on the horizon, it has some serious potential. But the biggest card Microsoft may have is that their phone OS is different from the competition. Android and iOS look pretty similar, while Windows Phone 7 looks like a touch-OS taken to a different level. And consumers always love to gravitate toward the next big thing...
 
@Rishab

Yes, I referred mainly to OS’s as it seemed more appropriate given the sentiment of the thread. Marginal changes in sales of actual devices are perhaps less indicative of future trends in the production of hardware and certainly don’t indicate which company may or may not create a monopoly. Apple’s growth is nowhere near the level implied by your original post that seems to state its “meteoric rise” may even be absorbing reams of business from other manufacturers.

If you look at many of the sales figures of mobile devices, Apple consistently performs at around 4th or 5th behind Nokia, Samsung, LG etc. The most recent quarter shows Apple increasing its market share of mobile communication device sold from 2.3% (2010’s 1st quater) to 3.9% (2011’s 1st quater); 4% is hardly pervasive. Apple’s share is still a fraction of other companies such as Nokia who, even after losing 5% of its share, sold 25% of all devices purchased. Furthermore, Samsung sold 16% and even LG sold more than Apple with 5.6% of the share.

Anywho... I would think that the company most likely to move into a dominant position would be Google with whatever device it decides to endorse for one simple reason: Mobile devices are a complimentary product to Google’s core offering, Google.com. The more devices out there that can connect to the internet, the more business Google receives. This creates a daunting situation for companies whose core product is the mobile hardware itself as they are up against a company who may even be willing to run a loss on its secondary offering. How does one compete with a business that doesn’t care about turning a profit?
 
@ Treefingers

Again you are missing the whole picture. You are comparing Apples with oranges. The Apple iphone is a smartphone and not a simple cellular device. Next time don't compare iPad with normal mobile cellular device!

It is now the number one smartphone maker in the world. You talk about samsung ( it's sales were 13 million in previous quarter). Nokia is at 16.4 million (this quarter). iPhone is at 20+million sales (this quarter).

http://www.onlinemarketing-trends.com/2011/07/us-smartphone-oem-marketshare-apple.html

Apple now controls 27% of the US smartphone market

Yes, I referred mainly to OS’s as it seemed more appropriate given the sentiment of the thread. Marginal changes in sales of actual devices are perhaps less indicative of future trends in the production of hardware and certainly don’t indicate which company may or may not create a monopoly. Apple’s growth is nowhere near the level implied by your original post that seems to state its “meteoric rise” may even be absorbing reams of business from other manufacturers.

Again you are dead wrong. No cellphone maker gained more than 0.2% market share, whereas Apple gained 1.2% market share.

The most recent quarter shows Apple increasing its market share of mobile communication device sold from 2.3% (2010’s 1st quater) to 3.9% (2011’s 1st quater); 4% is hardly pervasive. Apple’s share is still a fraction of other companies such as Nokia who, even after losing 5% of its share, sold 25% of all devices purchased. Furthermore, Samsung sold 16% and even LG sold more than Apple with 5.6% of the share.

From where are getting these numbers? You are dead wrong. Apple now controls 8.7% of the total US handset market.

http://www.comscore.com/Press_Event..._May_2011_U.S._Mobile_Subscriber_Market_Share (your own link)

From what I can gather, none of the Andriod adopters ( top 5 OEM makers) gained market share in hardware sales Samsung/Motorola).

Samsung stuck at 24.8%

Anywho... I would think that the company most likely to move into a dominant position would be Google with whatever device it decides to endorse for one simple reason: Mobile devices are a complimentary product to Google’s core offering, Google.com.

You can log on to google.com from any device. You do NOT need an Andriod OS. Infact it is the other way round. Google is complimentary to what the cellphone does.

From my experience, especially with cellphones, the more integrated it is : the better the performance. Otherwise, you get a crappy piece of s**t. In PC's it did not matter (Windows) because they were much more powerful ( in comparison to the software needs); however, you can only put so much into a small piece of hardware.

This creates a daunting situation for companies whose core product is the mobile hardware itself as they are up against a company who may even be willing to run a loss on its secondary offering. How does one compete with a business that doesn’t care about turning a profit?

The biggest counterargument to this is : If everything free outsells everything else, then Linux would have had 100% market share and Windows, OS X 0% each. However, this is not true.

Please show me any (top 5) smartphone maker that experienced hardware sales anywhere close to what Apple experienced.

Well if you don't make money on what you sell, ultimately it would be unsustainable to keep up the same level of R&D investment that you did previously. Apple earns hundreds of dollars per handset sold. Whereas Google earns modest amount in comparison to this. Apple will pour billions and billions of more dollars into development of software and hardware, but Google can only match it with millions. Ultimately, Google OS would not be able to cope up.

Another case: If you are versed with Airline Industry, you would know that initially budget airlines gain a lot of traffic, but due to extremely low margins (possibly losses), they wind down and are then taken over by the former fully fledged airlines. The main purpose of business is to earn money. If you don't earn, I'm sorry you won't last very long.
 
I can only respond to things you say; it is much harder to respond to something that you meant to say. I was told that I needed to focus on the sales of “hardware” such as “cellphones”and “the overall industry (cellphone)” and I responded accordingly... yes, those are your words. Anyway, I'm not particularly interested in circular discussion, so I’ll leave you with some responses that might help to clarify some points. In any case, I think my point has been made.

Again you are dead wrong. No cellphone maker gained more than 0.2% market share, whereas Apple gained 1.2% market share.

1.2% in 12 months is a meteoric rise?

From where are getting these numbers? You are dead wrong. Apple now controls 8.7% of the total US handset market.

The figures I quoted are for worldwide sales; not just the US market.

You can log on to google.com from any device. You do NOT need an Andriod OS. Infact it is the other way round. Google is complimentary to what the cellphone does.

Do you really think that Google is going to rely on manufacturers like Apple, who operate under huge profit margins, to drive traffic to their site? The $800 price tag cuts out the vast majority of consumers.

The Google phone, or whichever phone Google decides to endorse, is considered a complimentary product to Google’s core offering. The only reason Google is in the game is to drive traffic to its site, and what is the most logical way to maximise this effort?... by selling cheap phones.

The biggest counterargument to this is : If everything free outsells everything else, then Linux would have had 100% market share and Windows, OS X 0% each. However, this is not true.

That wasn’t my argument.
 
if 142% sales growth in cellphones, near tripling of sales of iPads, more than 100% growth in profits (at such a high base) , and close to 100% rise in revenues is not a meteoric rise then nothing is.

First you state that iPhone market share has been at best stagnant or risen by a small bit, then you state that 1.2% rise in market share (hardware) is not meteoric. You must keep the following thing in mind while stating the above : Are you classifying iphone as just another mobile device or as a smartphone, Apple was a late comer to the smartphone industry ( Nokia/Samsung/LG/HTC have been there for years), the overall mobile device market is extremely huge - so gaining a 1.2% market share in this market is extremely high growth.you.

The bottom line is that Apple captured 27% of (hardware) smartphone market in just 4 years to become world's leading smartphone maker. Please quote any smartphone maker that saw such rise in smartphone sales.

Do you really think that Google is going to rely on manufacturers like Apple, who operate under huge profit margins, to drive traffic to their site? The $800 price tag cuts out the vast majority of consumers.

It does not deter vast majority of smartphone buyers. Otherwise why is iphone the no 1 selling smartphone in the market, seeing 142% rise in sales, even at such a high base, yoy rise in sales.

If Google's aim is to obtain higher advertising revenues etc etc by selling free OS to smartphone makers then I guess it is getting nowhere close to the bang for the buck Apple is getting. Even after capturing 38% ( in such a short time) of OS market Google's profit growth and and revenue growth is nowhere near to as close to what it should get, and did I mention that smartphone and tablet PC market has now become larger than Laptop and PC market (combined), so you can't argue that a rise in share in OS market phones may not be visible in Google's results . It is in fact getting pathetic ROI (rise in market share translating into higher revenues and profits) as compared to Apple. Keep this in mind that Andriod has seen its OS market share rise from under 10% -a year ago- to 38% now. Google saw a mere 36% rise in profit ( by means bad. In fact very good) as compared to Apple, and to add further, this is overall rise in profit so many other electronic devices - laptops/PC/tablets/netbooks- that came online in last year also contributed to its profits . In fact Apple earns more revenues from selling iphones than Googles does from its entire business.

I guess the majority of people who even think about clicking those ads are those who use laptops/netbooks/PC/tablets. The main reason still is the crappy hardware the other smartphone makers offer. If Google were to build its own hardware (like Apple), it would , I believe, make a much serious dent to Apple.

None of the smartphone makers that use Andriod have been able to beat iphone in hardware sales, as of now. Most of their products do not sell anywhere close to as fast as iphone.

If other smartphone makers have to resort to using free software ( why wouldn't they - they run on wafer thin margins, so they stopped developing their own OS) and selling cheap hardware just to keep their market share intact, I think Apple has had a very profound negative effect on the industry ( by lowering their pricing ability) but still managing to sell hardware (as you pointed out) at $800/set. I believe that even though the overall smartphone market has grown, the overall revenues and profits have not kept pace with them.
 
If you look at many of the sales figures of mobile devices, Apple consistently performs at around 4th or 5th behind Nokia, Samsung, LG etc. The most recent quarter shows Apple increasing its market share of mobile communication device sold from 2.3% (2010’s 1st quater) to 3.9% (2011’s 1st quater); 4% is hardly pervasive.

The figures I quoted are for worldwide sales; not just the US market.

Even then you are dead wrong. Apple's market share of worldwide cellphone market in Q1 2011 was 5% not 3.9%

http://technology.ezinemark.com/app...et-climbs-is-hurting-android-17dc14dadaa.html

http://www.loopinsight.com/2011/04/29/apples-iphone-market-share-grows-115-in-2011/
- 115% growth in sales. The only manufacturer to come even close to that number was ZTE with 45% higher sales.

It was number 4 cellphone maker in the world in Q1 2011, jumping from number 6. With nokia's sales plummeting and sales of other cellphone makers being at best stagnant , it is highly likely that it's worldwide share climbed to anywhere between 7-8%.

This is how bad the overall cellphone market ( other cellphone makers) is.

Compare the market
How did competitors do? Not so well. As I keep saying, it isn't Apple the Android manufacturers are competing with -- it's each other. It's a tough business to be in.

* There's Nokia, which shipped 108.5 million handsets worldwide in Q1 2011, up 1 percent year-on-year -- a pattern of below average growth the company has maintained for eleven quarters. Apple overtook Nokia by revenue in the period. However, Apple sold just 18.5 million cellphones ( less than 20% of what Nokia sold)
* LG shipped a lower-than-expected 24.5 million handsets worldwide in Q1 2011, down 10 percent from a year earlier. The vendor's handset shipments grew below the industry average and its global marketshare dipped to 7 percent, the lowest level since Q1 2007.
* Samsung shipped 68.9 million handsets worldwide during the first quarter of 2011, up 7% from 64.3 million units a year earlier. Despite the hype surrounding its market-leading Android devices, Samsung's Hp pavilion dv6000 battery actual handset marketshare slipped from 22percent to 20 percent. 16 percent of Samsung's handsets are smartphones, and the company is battling HTC "for leadership of the Android market," notes Strategy Analytics.
 
Comparing the revenue streams of Google and Apple is comparing apples and oranges.

1. They aren't really in the same space. Apple produces their own computer hardware and software, while Google primarily makes web services. Apart from mobile, Google and Apple don't really compete in the same markets yet. Both companies just started their respective cloud services, and Chrome OS hasn't had any time at all to develop. Give these areas a few years to grow, and we'll have a much clearer picture of which ecosystem people seem to be driven toward.

2. They have completely different business models. Google makes their OS open and encourages all adapters, while Apple allows no one but themselves to release products with their OS. They've been doing this for a while, they even had a custom BIOS on their Mac systems 20 years ago to prevent any rooting.

What Apple has done is very impressive (they posted 350% more profit than Google last quarter!!). And nearly every release they have of their product line spurs their competitors to make better hardware in order to keep up. Apple made the Air their entry-level notebook, and it just got a significant performance upgrade. While it is expensive, its hardware is above anything their competitors currently offer, and this will only cause those competitors to continue investing in R&D and trying to come up with the next best thing. So in that sense, Apple is helping the tech industry.

But I will say Google has more momentum. The more cohesive web services they offer, the more people will be likely to fully commit to their ecosystem. Google+ has done a nice job to show the benefits of having integration between the services people use. You can check your social notifications anytime you use any Google app. Or get the Chrome extension and have a constant connection whenever you're online.

Apple is doing awesome now, I don't think they will experience a downturn anytime in the immediate future. But it doesn't take long for a firm to go from first to nearly obsolete (just look at RIM...).
 
Yes. Indeed comparing Apple to Google is comparing Apples with Oranges.

However, I feel Apple has hurt the overall market for other players, but I feel this was really essential.

Last time I checked iPad sales have really dented the PC market (particularly the lower end) - afterall most people buy PCs for just playing games, checking e-mails, reading online news, surfing web, watching youtube, etc.

The Mac line of desktops and notebooks, because they cater to the higher end luxury PC market, have not been impacted at all , if at all it is very less, by the iPad. People who wanna do high end computing and wanna stay virus free continue to purchase the high-end desktops/notebooks.

The iPhone really showed us what a touchscreen can be, and I can confidently say that still, no phone, be it Andriod/Symbian etc, can match the responsiveness of the touchscreen of the iPhone/iPad. There always seems to be a lag in those devices. As a result, hardware for hardware, no OEM manufacturer has experienced sales growth anywhere close to what Apple has experienced.

The negative impact : Just to keep their market share, let alone maintaining sales growth of iPhone, these manufacturers had to resort to using free Andriod OS and selling their hardware for peanuts, compared to what features they offer. This has resulted in an overall reduction in revenues of the competitors to Apple. And what do you conduct business for? Profits! If profit is the definition of having a good booming business, I guess they are doing bad.

Reason for failure:

1) They fail to recognize that Apple is like the BMW of the smartphones. Everybody envies owning an iPhone. They don't care about the features. It is a status symbol. Apple makes owning a simple device, such as cellphone, sexy, because of the amazing designs and build quality of iPhone. So, as more and more people earn money, there will be more demand for iPhone and less for others ( Just look at iPhone craze in China!).
2) Stable pricing. The last thing I want, when I buy a cellphone/laptop/tablet, is to know that prices dropped 30% within a month of my purchasing that product. As a result, if I have to sell my gadget, it would be sold for pennies as compared to what I paid. Apple guarantees stable pricing throughout the shelf life, usually 1 year, of that product.
3) Design and build quality are perhaps the most underrated factors, when people say a product would be successful. In this age, especially youngsters, wanna show off sexy gadgets that they bought. No one wants to be associated with grand daddy designs. When a person looks at your gadget, the first thing he notices is its design, not its features or what it does.
4) iOS may be simple/uncomplicated, but it is the biggest advantage it has over its competitors. Most of the people who use these devices are not geeks/technocrats, they want something that is easy to use. This was the biggest reason why Windows was successful over Mac or Linux, apart from the ability to use third party hardware ofcourse! This is Apple's biggest strength.
 
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