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The Macalope Weekly: One side fits all

The Macalope | March 24, 2014
When it comes to the world of punditry about Apple, you must be of a singular vision. And that vision is basically the robot apocalypse future of Terminator, except isolated to Cupertino.

Suffice it to say there are a plethora of reasons why someone might not consider other brands. First of all, you could just be lazy. But you also might be invested in the Apple ecosystem. That's not blind loyalty; it's an investment decision.

In many ways this is an enviable position for Apple and demonstrates a level of brand loyalty to which most manufacturers can only dream.

You'd think, but then you realize you're reading Forbes and you know there's another shoe to drop. A stupid, stupid shoe.

And yet dig deeper and there are clouds on the horizon.

Clouds of deep user loyalty.

Asked 'What mobile phone did you own before your current iPhone?' the majority, 54%, unsurprisingly had another iPhone but a further 31% came from fading brands BlackBerry (17%) and Nokia (14%). That's just 15% moving from more competitive brands while arguably Nokia is again finding its feet suggesting less easy pickings in future.

The only way to tell if these numbers are bad is to look at the industry averages, which this survey (of British visitors to one site) doesn't do.

We have a limited survey, so let's also misinterpret the results. Because that's always fun.

Interestingly all those who had a previous iPhone were asked why they chose to stick with Apple and just 28% said because "it seemed to be the best phone at the time of switching". 37% meanwhile said it was because they were used to the interface, the false friend Nokia long thought would protect it, while 25% cited friends and relatives who had iPhones.

Yes, but assuming that respondents were only able to pick one thing, that doesn't mean the other things weren't also a factor.

... reliance on friends and family is easily eroded should the budget charms of Windows Phone or Android take a foothold.

Only budget charms can take a foothold. Apple's superior build quality and user experience can have no effect.

At that point blind loyalty would be almost impossible. Even for self-confessed iSheep.

You may have noticed that Kelly never does actually explain how this supposed "blind loyalty" is a "problem for Apple." Instead he tries to give reasons why even "blind loyalty" won't help because even the "iSheep" will one day want cheap Android phones, as that's the only way these imagined scenarios ever work out. Consumers always leave Apple for cheap devices. Even when they don't actually do that in reality.

If you're wondering if blind adherence to conventional wisdoms such as this is a problem for a tech pundit, well, that's probably because you're an iSheep.


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