Apple -- due to its marketing; long-time, loyal and growing fan base; and quality design, workmanship and utility -- has managed to create the right kind of spectacle around iPhone. That's what begins to set it apart from Android. You get an Android phone because ...
- You really don't care. You just need a phone.
- You can't afford an iPhone (and/or perceive it as cost-prohibitive).
- You hate Apple.
Or whatever else. But, all that aside, you don't get an Android because you absolutely love the product. There's very little passion around an Android smartphone purchase. That's -- obviously (just look at the lines) -- not the case with Apple.
Apple-related passion begets passion and triggers powerful word of mouth. That word of mouth doesn't merely say iPhone is cool. It says iPhone provides an experience I can't quite explain. Maybe it's the design of the hardware. Maybe it's the construction of the user interface. Whatever it is, it's distinct, seamless and endlessly useful. And it makes me not only want to upgrade every two years (or more often if you're really loyal), but it makes me want to own other Apple products.
This process stops, starts, ebbs and flows in millions of little sub contexts. But it's about to start fresh on a significantly sized playing field when Apple introduces iPhone 6. This new phone will not only expose Android's weaknesses as a product that powers hardware, it will expose Android and Samsung's weaknesses as brands.
In the shell of a nut, there's no reason for a person buying his/her first smartphone or coming to the end of a two-year term with a non-Apple smartphone to not at least look at the new iPhone. If nothing else, a pull exists to tempt them. Android -- across hardware partners -- doesn't have that. It's impossible for them to have this allure with such a wide-ranging and unfocused low-budget buffet of options.
At Apple, the message is clear -- we worked our butts off on an iteration or two. Here's the result. We're sure you're going to love it. If you don't bite now, sooner or later you will (as a result of the phenomenon I describe in this article).
I'll happily field chirps from Android fans and Apple haters pursuant to this article. They'll claim I babble incoherently and cheerlead unabashedly. It's all good. I expect that from. Because they just do not get it.
Look at these lines -- they're from the iPhone 5s and 5c launch at the Santa Monica Apple Store. Relative to what we're going to see for iPhone 6 they're akin to the queue for a popular Manhattan falafel stand on a warm spring day.
I address recent smartphone OS numbers from Kantar on Page Three ...