“Apple’s hardware designs, software, icons, marketing, retail strategy, and branding have all been closely copied by its rivals. One thing they aren’t copying is Apple’s vast, premium installed base of loyal buyers,” Daniel Eran Dilger writes for Roughly Drafted. “That’s the primary foundation of Apple’s wildly successful, global business that’s uniquely selling massive volumes of luxury-class, premium-priced products in markets where competitors fight over sales of low-priced commodity units with thin margins. Why can’t anyone else achieve what Apple has?”

MacDailyNews Take: There was only one Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs“By focusing attention on the value of its installed base of users, rather than fluctuating unit sales of hardware, Apple is capitalizing on a unique strength: its ability to attract a vast, loyal following that’s incrementally growing globally while driving sales of replacement hardware and accessories and allowing Apple to launch entirely new product categories (like Apple Watch and AirPods) and subscription services (like iCloud and Apple Music),” Dilger writes. “Insanely, bizarrely, and to their own detriment– rather than successfully copying this, Apple’s competitors have largely ridiculed the idea of having satisfied users.”

“Everyone — even Apple haters — agree that Apple has attracted a different class of customer than Samsung, Xiaomi, Google, Microsoft or any other major tech brand. Those firms have even openly mocked Apple and its customer base in advertisements that ridicule Apple’s fans for everything from standing in line for the latest new product to simply being part of a large mainstream user base– such as having white EarPods,” Dilger writes. “A primary reason for the abject failure of Microsoft, Google, Samsung and Chinese producers (such as Huawei and Xiaomi) to replicate the success of Apple in building a powerful user base is that they have been coddled by the tech media into thinking that fawning media attention and an excited endorsement of misleading unit sales figures and ‘market share’ are valuable.”

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

As we just wrote yesterday:

Apple sells premium products to premium customers at premium prices.

Premium customers have disposable income and the proven will to spend it on services such as iCloud storage plans and Apple Music subscriptions after the initial sale.

Chasing unit share for unit share’s sake is the errand of fools.

Apple doesn’t look to own the entire market, just the profitable top end. They leave low profit/unprofitable table scraps for the rest to squabble over.

“We can’t do it. We just can’t ship junk. There are thresholds that we can’t cross because of who we are… We don’t offer stripped-down, lousy products. Ya know? We just don’t offer categories of products like that.” — Steve Jobs, 2007

Articles that attribute unit sales totals to “success” and “failure” are written for dunces.