We’re All in This Together: Apple should please those who aren’t its customers

by Uluroo — October 31, 2017

Unity is what really matters in the world of business. So why isn’t Apple getting good survey results from everyone?

In the realm of tech giants, one company’s customers are another company’s customers. That’s why Apple should try to make its products appeal to everyone, not just the people who use them!

Minda Zetlin of Inc. says that “Americans love Amazon, Google and Even Microsoft More Than Apple, New Survey Shows”.

Oh, no! Apple’s approval ratings are higher than its market share! Time to panic!

Customers have traditionally had an almost romantic attachment to Apple and its products.

Uh huh. That’s gross if you think about it, but okay. How can you have romantic feelings for an… inanimate object…?

They stand on line overnight so they can be the first to buy the newest iPhone. They video themselves reverently "unboxing" their new purchases. They willingly pay more for iPhones, iPads and Macs than they would for comparable Android phones and tablets or Windows computers.

Oh, oh, Uluroo sees. Zetlin is using this cliché again.

They are firm in their belief that Apple products are simply better than anything else out there.

So they don’t see Android phones and Windows computers as comparable! See the difference? People don’t just blindly buy Apple products for the brand name; they buy them because they think they’re better than others. So please, don’t call other devices “comparable.” Earlier this month, Uluroo had to deal with an article claiming that iPhones were “average.” Please don’t get him started on this again. It’s fine if you think Android phones and other PCs are comparable, but accept that people’s attachment to Apple may not be romantic but sane.

But every beautiful romance must come to an end sometime, and that time may have come for Apple and U.S. consumers.

The drama! The suspense! Have Apple customers been seeing someone else… or has Apple cheated on them? You will never find out, as there was actually no “beautiful romance” going on. The soap opera has been canceled. Please check back next season. Better yet, don’t check back until 2055, when smartphones develop conscious thought and, therefore, the ability to engage in romantic relationships. Sorry for the 38-year commercial break!

A new survey of 1,520 Americans by The Verge measured how we feel about technology giants Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. One thing is clear: Our feelings for Apple aren't what they used to be.

Actually, that’s not what this survey shows at all. But let’s just say that customers and Apple aren’t the perfect match [insert broken heart emoji].

Sixty-four percent of Americans own an Apple product, and the average household contains more than two of them, according to a separate CNBC poll.

That CNBC poll surveyed a whopping 800 people. Hey Siri, what’s 64 percent of 800?

That would be 512. Five. Hundred. Twelve. 512 of the 323 million people in the United States were surveyed as having an Apple product. What kind of sample size is that? A .000159% sample size.

When asked how much they enjoyed using a company's product, respondents said they "somewhat liked" or "greatly liked" using Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft products more than liked using Apple ones.

Why is this? It probably has nothing to do with the fact that all these companies — at least, the hardware makers — have more market share than Apple does. So obviously more people out of the 1,520 surveyed would have used Apple products. There was a “No opinion/Don’t use” option on the survey. Nearly 20% of the respondents selected this one for Apple, a testament to Apple’s lower market share. That’s not a problem for Apple. It just shows that companies with a larger presence get more thumbs-ups than companies that target the high end of the market.

Also, if we’re using this tiny of a sample to represent the United States as a whole, Uluroo has no doubt that there were some people who owned an Android phone or a Windows PC and decided to give Apple a “Greatly dislike” on the survey.

Perhaps most tellingly, when respondents were asked how much they would care if a company and its products disappeared, Apple came in dead last. Less than 40 percent of respondents said they would care "very much" if Apple vanished, and 20 percent said they would care "not at all."

And this is where we get to the core problem with Zetlin’s reasoning. What’s Apple’s market share in the United States? The most definitive results Uluroo could find (these were from August of 2017) said that iOS has 29.3% market share. (Uluroo is using iOS’s market share here because, being more widespread, iOS provides a better insight into what users would think of when considering Apple’s products. Also, he can’t find any combined market/usage share of macOS and iOS in the United States.) Here comes the best part: This means we’re complaining because Apple’s approval ratings are, according to Zetlin’s piece, higher than its market share! Even people who don’t own an iPhone are saying they’d care if Apple were wiped off the face of the earth.

Now it’s nice that all these people would care about the world’s most valuable company sticking around for a while, but what about the satisfaction ratings? Good news there too, because, looking at The Verge’s charts, Uluroo sees that about 50% of respondents were between “Somewhat lie” and “Greatly like” on the spectrum. Even if that’s lower than what other tech giants have, that’s still nearly twice as much as Apple’s United States iPhone market share. Also, as mentioned earlier, satisfaction ratings for Apple are less relevant because Apple products are less ubiquitous than, say Android phones.

In the terms Minda Zetlin would use to describe this romance, not enough people have dated Apple to know whether they like it or like it. See the difference?

What's changed?

So far, Zetlin hasn’t proven that anything has changed. Nowhere does she provide approval ratings over, say, the past five years. But who cares about statistics anyway? Just assume that the author of any article you read is correct.

Here, let’s test it. Your life will be changed for the better if you transfer all your money to Uluroo’s offshore account!

Anyway, Zetlin goes on a rant — a polite rant — about the polarizing choices Apple has made in iPhones and Macs. Something about a headphone jack — Has Minda Zetlin seen Google’s Pixel 2? — and nothing but USB-C ports on the MacBook Pros… we don’t need to go into all that, because Zetlin provides zero information on people’s opinions about Apple before 2016. Approval ratings could be up, or they could be down. It’s just another of those things you’re not destined to find out. Stop trying to look through the one-year cloud of the past and assume that Apple was dearly beloved before last year.

Where will this all lead for Apple? The company is still a tech giant, of course. On the other hand, it built its empire on creating products that ignited users' passion.

And even people who don’t own their products think they’re A-OK. Think of it like maintaining a long-distance relationship while dating another person. Like that. Uluroo thinks he’s done making these romance jokes, because the idea of a romance with a product… yeesh.

If that passion is waning, Apple's future may be less glorious than its past.

[Apple is still the world’s most valuable company]

Uluroo thinks that, despite being single, Apple’s doing fine.