In late 2006 I was in a CVS and was having a conversation with a pharmacist. I had asked him if he was going to buy an iPod. I was ready to launch into how much I loved mine. He said, “Nope, I am not going to buy yet another piece of equipment. I’m going to wait for one device where everything’s all combined: phone, calendar, email, internet, and music.”
In 2007, onto the stage in Cupertino walks Steve Jobs debuting the first iPhone. While watching Apple’s press release via YouTube, I had wondered if the CVS guy had some special insight into what Apple was launching. To me, it was the best thing since sliced bread. Before I purchased my first iPhone, I was carrying around an iPod, a calculator, and a Verizon samsung SPHi700 smart phone with spotty internet access with expensive and confusing data plans.
I didn’t wait in line but I bought my first iPhone in October 2007 and fell in love. I recruited my entire office from their fat blackberries, and buggy and underpowered android phones to the iPhone. And everyone was happy.
It was time for me to upgrade in 2015 but instead of buying yet another iPhone, I saw a sales rep at AT&T with that beautiful Samsung s6 Edge and just like that I switched to the other side. When I went back to the office to show off my new phone, people just rolled their eyes and someone said, “I can’t believe you’re saying this and so now you have a fake iPhone.”
It’s sort of like politics. Once people make up their minds to support something, they are difficult to sway. So, I sit quietly, use my Samsung at my desk and try not to brag too loudly about how you can easily transfer files from an android device, and how Samsung offers customers eight cores instead of dual cores, and that iTunes doesn’t work effortlessly. iPhone holders know these things and even complain about them but don’t want to hear about it, especially from me.
Superior or not, Apple still has people lining up around the corner for products. It is cult-like how people love and respect this company. Even though I now have the Samsung phone, I am still in awe of Apple. I look at every documentary about Steve Jobs and Tim Cooks, and have read Steve Jobs cover to cover. I go to Twitter and find many articles to try to figure out why they’re so successful. The reasons are many. I think it is because Apple is a US-based company, the first to perfect the smart phone, and make all other tech companies scramble after them. They are the first US tech-giant that can boast revenues of $700,000,000,000, they know how to market their products, make people believe they need something they know nothing about yet and buy it, and tell stories about it. That is their marketing advantage.
Social media campaign or not, if you can revolutionize the way people live their lives, and do an initial marketing campaign on your website or via television, everyone else (Forbes Tech, NYT, PC Magazine, etc.) will do the rest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. This will translate to sales and people will line up to buy your products. So now, we will watch Twitter or in my case, I can just look outside the MBA Program Office’s window to see the lines at AT&T for the smaller iPhone SE.