It isn’t antennagate, but the popularity or ‘mass adoption’ that the brand has enjoyed over the last few years combined with a growing perception that the experience it provides is not as unique it once was.
Today it isn’t very hard for anyone to get an Apple iPhone. In Singapore, You could even get the 3G model for $0 on a plan.
Therein lies a key problem with the brand. It’s become so mass, so popular – so easy to access – it is starting to lose appeal and desirability.
In Singapore, I see a lot of people not going for Apple but opting for less popular brands such as HTC, Motorola or even some of the more innovative Samsung brands like Beam or Galaxy.
Bored with the iPhone experience, their motivation for doing so seems to be the desire to have a ‘less common’ phone – a phone that not everybody has.’
Brands are riding on this.
In the US, for example, sales of the Motorola Droid are robust. A look at first 74 day sales (a key metric to assess the success of a phone), shows that the Motorola Droid has actually done better than the original iPhone selling 1.05 million units versus 1 million units.(http://blog.flurry.com/bid/31410/Day-74-Sales-Apple-iPhone-vs-Google-Nexus-One-vs-Motorola-Droid)
But Apple’s problems don’t stop here. They have been exacerbated by the increasing importance the OS (operating system) is perceived to play in the performance of a phone.
Symbian from Nokia is still the most widely used OS according to data released by Gartner in August 2010, but Android is clearly the new kid on the block – surpassing Apple this year with a share of 17.2% v/s Apple’s 14.2%.
Apple is under attack and is starting to look less desirable than it once did. Key reasons are the easy access an ever widening range of customers have to its products combined with the fact that the experience it once provided is no longer perceived to be unique given the rise of competitive platforms like Android that are seen to be equally good.
To continue to be successful the brand must address the issues it faces in both areas moving forward.