Every time Apple releases a new product, the world pays attention. The tech media devotes tens of thousands of words to it. We write articles on all the new features, justifying criticisms, and anything else we can think of. Even the regular media starts paying attention. Almost every old school TV news station runs a bit on the new iPhone.
No other tech company gets the same level of coverage. Sure we’ll review Samsung’s latest phones and report when they start blowing up, but we don’t spend hundreds of words waxing lyrical about the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge’s (CA) display.
And there’s one simple reason: people care more about Apple.
People Care About Apple
Media is a business. MakeUseOf is no exception. We make money through ads, affiliate links, and working with companies. This should come as no surprise to any of our long time readers. By now, we (collectively) have a pretty solid idea of what sort of articles our audience will read and what they’ll ignore. Sure, an article we thought would be average blows up and one we thought was a sure thing tanks from time to time, but for the most part, we’re pretty good at predicting what our readers read.
Every other media company out there, whether it’s your local news station or a huge website, is in the same position. They’ve tried different things, they have thousands of data points, and they now have a good idea what people want. The answer: people want articles about Apple.
This isn’t to say that everyone’s a fan. There are plenty of people who dislike Apple out there and they’re some of the most avid readers when it comes to Apple. They read the articles and then post scathing comments at the end. To our advertisers, a click is a click.
We don’t set out to infuriate people deliberately. We try to make sure all our content is useful to our readers — the Apple critics weighing in is just a byproduct of that — but other websites aren’t so principled. They know that any piece on Apple, regardless of what stance it takes, is a sure bet.
So why is this happening? Why do people care so much about Apple? Sure Samsung has fans, but most people are fairly ambivalent. In our experience, Apple fans rarely start arguments on Android comment threads.
Apple Stands for Something
The biggest thing is that Apple stands for something. You don’t have to like what it stands for, but it does stand for something. Most other tech companies don’t.
Apple stands for things like great design, creativity, luxury, simplicity, and innovation. You might not like Apple, but you can’t deny that they put a lot of thought into their designs. They make the primary computer of the creative industry, they make luxury products, they prioritize simplicity, and that, historically, they’ve been incredibly innovative.
If this sounds like Apple propaganda, it is. Only the company can decide what it stands for and communicate that to consumers through their products, advertising, and identity. Only Apple releases videos where their head designer spends two and a half minutes talking about how they made the latest phone black.
So let’s look at their main competitor in the smartphone space, Samsung. What does Samsung stand for? Honestly, I can’t really tell you. Samsung makes some premium phones but it also makes some of the cheapest Android devices you can buy. There’s a big difference between a Galaxy S7 and a Galaxy J3.
The phone division is also just one small part of a massive conglomerate. It’s hard for a company that makes phones, fridges, medical devices, ships, and buildings to have a unifying philosophy. They’re just too diversified.
If you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing and people don’t care. Samsung’s successful business strategy stops people caring about what they do.
Apple Makes Great Products
All Apple’s lecturing on values would be meaningless if their products didn’t back them up, but they do. Apple makes great products.
I’ve written before about recognizing that your needs aren’t the only needs out there. You might not like Apple products, and you might think that the iSheep are all crazy. The truth is that for a lot of people, Apple makes the best products going. For a few years, The Verge even recommended the MacBook Air as the best Windows laptop.
I’m a tech writer. I’ve tried Android, I’ve tried Windows, I’ve even tried some Linux distros. None of them are as good a fit for me as iOS and macOS. It’s the same for plenty of other people.
If you want iOS and macOS, you have to buy Apple. You can’t just get a phone from another manufacturer. With Android or Windows, it’s not the same. Samsung users can swap to HTC on a whim. If people can drop a product in an instant and get the same experience elsewhere, they won’t care about the company making it. Apple’s strategy leads to loyal customers.
Apple Drives Innovation
People care about Apple products because they’re the future. Sure, other companies might get there first but Apple usually gets it right, and makes something big. When they get it wrong (Apple Maps anyone?) even that makes headlines. How long do you think it will take Samsung to release a phone with a wide-angle and a telephoto lens? How long do you think it will take Apple to put an Edge display on an iPhone?
MP3 players, smartphones, tablets, and ultrabooks were all invented before Apple got there, but they took the basic idea and did it right. When Apple releases a product it matters. Even the Apple Watch, considered a flop by the tech press, sold in huge numbers. Apple is a larger watch manufacturer than Rolex now.
The future intrigues people. They want to see what’s coming next. Apple shows them. Other companies innovate as well, but not as reliably, and they don’t get the same rates of adoption. If every phone now had an edge screen, people might be paying more attention to Samsung. But they don’t.
Do You Care About Apple?
It boils down to the fact that Apple takes a stance. Their products make a statement. Other tech companies that make statements, like Google and Uber, also get a lot of coverage. It’s the companies that produce acceptable, bland, or a wide range of unrelated products that people ignore. Most Android manufacturers fall into one or more of these categories.
So now commenters, it’s the opportunity you’ve all been waiting for!
What do you think about Apple? Do you care or do you think anyone who buys their products is an iSheep? Let us know in the comments.