The Downside to Brand Loyalty

by Louis Otero

To be honest, I am in no way a fan of Apple, but I’m not writing this because I love Android phones. I’m writing this because I’m worried, not as an Android fan, but as someone who just loves tech and new shiny things to play with. I’m worried because I feel like we’ve become complacent and the easiest way to explain why is to look at Apple’s iPhone.

Whether or not you’re one of the psychos who lineup outside of the Apple store at midnight, it’s easy to see that Apple is way behind the curve. The iPhone 8 was unveiled just a few weeks ago, and although it has yet to be formally released, Apple has announced the specifications and they’re massively underwhelming.

The best way to illustrate just how subpar this phone is to compare it to the Samsung Galaxy S7. The S7 was released almost 2 years ago, and still sports better tech than Apple’s “cutting-edge” smartphone that costs over $1,000.  Not to bog you down with tech jargon, but the S7 utilizes an octa-core processor, expandable storage, and a headphone jack. The iPhone X, however, only has a hexa-core processor, and does not include expandable storage or a headphone jack. Also, the iPhone X’s screen, while .3-inches larger, still has a lower resolution than the S7’s screen.

To be fair, a lot of the appeal of the iPhone lies in its software rather than its hardware. This isn’t because the software is particularly advanced, but because it’s so simple. It’s easy to use and the lack of customization strips away any learning curve. As any Apple diehard will tell you: “it just works.”  However, it’s exactly that fan-base that’s so problematic. Apple fans love iPhones because of the logo on the back, and the lifestyle it promises. The rabidity of that fan-base means that pretty much anything the company releases will be a smash hit. Apple could release a line of paper weights and they’d be sold out in a week. So, why should Apple bother innovating?

Innovating is expensive and risky. In 2018, Samsung is rumored to release a phone with a bendable screen. This sounds really cool, but there’s still a huge chance that it just won’t work and could cost them an arm and a leg. Still, they are trying. After the catastrophic Note 7 release last year, it would make sense for them to play it safe for a while, but Samsung is still trying to change what a smartphone is. There is definitely a fan-base for Samsung, but there are a ton of players in the Android market. Samsung knows it’s not going to be enough for them to release incrementally upgraded products year after year. There are some amazing minds at Apple that could change the game, but with a nation of people in love with their brand instead of their products, all Apple has to do is take away a headphone jack and put people’s faces in a poop emoji to make money.