Less expensive does not always equal better, no matter how well a guy who knows tech specifications inside and out presents his argument. You can make a better case for the quality of a Nokia (NOK) Lumia or even Blackberry's (BBRY) Q10 than you can a silly Google Chromebook or Android phone, but neither can compete with Apple hardware.
This isn't like passing out free samples of Diet Coke after a concert or sporting event. There's more to it than opening up your operating system, undercutting on price and flooding the market. In fact, with this strategy in mind, we can take one of Wahlman's key points and turn it against itself:
Apple has many dilemmas. The biggest among them is that it's facing Android and Chrome competition from so many hardware players who move very quickly and with great diversity. You can get pretty much any kind of Android smartphone you want, in any size, with or without keyboard, stylus, this-or-that kind of camera, and so forth.
If Wahlman worked for Steve Jobs and expressed that viewpoint in private, let alone public, Jobs would have fired him faster than you can say 'Don't ask what I would do, just do what's right'.
The consumers and enterprises Apple attracts buy the company's devices, in part, because they don't perceive them as mass-produced, dime-a-dozen products churned and burned in a fragmentation frenzy. Perceive. That's the keyword.
Perception equals reality. And sometimes, perception is reality no matter how much that fact gets under a critic's skin.
In the long run and in the canons of history and corporate dominance, Android's market share doesn't mean a darn thing if nobody really knows they're buying a Google product. It's just a computer, like a Dell (DELL) or something else that lacks personality and relevance. Nobody notices and if they do, they don't care. There's no passion. No identification with what you own like there is with Apple's product-to-consumer relationship.
People love iPhones, iPads and MacBooks because Apple has given them too many reasons to count to love iPhones, iPads and MacBooks. Without doubt, Apple has established much of its cachet via best-in-class marketing, but the company's success has more to do with the fact that when you buy an Apple product you know you're getting a high-quality, thoughtfully-designed smartphone, tablet or computer that just works.