Apple’s customer trust tough to beat

Run Windows on Mac OS X with no reboot!“When Apple’s Steve Jobs speaks, investors need to do a better job of listening,” Jason Schwarz writes for TheStreet.com.

“Although Jobs’ statement was as plain as vanilla, it was probably the most profound forecast of the year and deserves some analysis,” Schwarz writes. “When announcing that the App Store had surpassed 3 billion downloads, Jobs finished with his crystal ball prediction: ‘We see no signs of the competition catching up anytime soon.'”

“Unfortunately for Google, Microsoft, Dell, Palm, Research In Motion, or any other company that considers itself a threat to Apple, Jobs isn’t talking about features,” Schwarz writes. “If only it was that easy.”

Schwarz writes, “To compete with Apple, someone is going to have to scale a gated community. No one who lives in a great neighborhood wants to move. Would upgraded countertops be enough to get you to leave your great schools, parks and friends? For most people, once they find their ideal neighborhood, they never feel the need to leave… Apple customers feel the same way. The Apple community provides benefits beyond minor features of a single product. So what would a competitor have to do to disrupt this trend?”

1. Produce multiple products: Single product companies won’t be able to keep up with Apple. Ditching my iMac, my Macbook, my iTunes account, my iPod and my iPhone to switch over to RIM’s BlackBerry just because it has a 5-megapixel camera isn’t going to happen.

2. Earn brand trust: The latest release from Google should have been called the G2, but since the G1 was such a bomb that name can never be used again.

3. Produce multifunction devices: This is the reason why the Apple tablet device will take out Amazon’s Kindle.

MacDailyNews Take: One reason among many.

4. Combine seamless software (and software updates) with the hardware: If I bought a Palm Pre, I would be stuck without seamless integration to iTunes. If I bought a Motorola Droid, I would be stuck with the old version of Android while the Nexus One users get the upgrade.

5. Have multiple distribution channels: If you want to compete with the Apple community, you’ll need a strong physical retail presence as well as a strong online presence.

6. Turn a profit: Any business model that tries to compete with Apple must produce a profit… You can’t cheat to beat Apple, because at the end of the day, it’s all about making money.

Schwarz writes, “As you hear the media talk about tablets from Hewlett-Packard (HPQ Quote) or phones from Google, remember that these six elements must accompany these products in order for them to have lasting success. As for me, I’m teaming up with Jobs. My one prediction for 2010 is this: ‘I see no signs of the competition catching up anytime soon.'”

Read more in the full article – recommended – here.

22 Comments

  1. Steve Ballmer is happy with his plan. I guess we must have missed the plan he had.

    The plan is? To have the name Microsoft forgotten and stricten from the books.

    For once, the plan is once track and underbudget!!

  2. “The Apple community provides benefits beyond minor features of a single product. So what would a competitor have to do to disrupt this trend?”

    Apple is in full Murum aries attigit mode and this is going to be harder to beat then setting cement on a 120 degree day in Arizona.

  3. Jason Schwartz is one of the few analysts who GETS it. It’s not about any particular product, it’s about the ecosystem, stupid! Nobody else has Apple’s ecosystem, period. That’s why they keep competing with individual Apple products and failing (I don’t even need to name names; you know them all).

    When Apple drops the MacTablet this year, all they’re doing is plugging another hole in THEIR ecosystem. They don’t give a damn WHAT the other guys are doing, or attempting to do.

    When I buy an Apple product, I’m buying into Apple’s vision of a personalized ecosystem for the rest of us. Having ONE Apple product is not enough to allow a person to experience the ecosystem; you need a SECOND Apple product to do that. That explains their booming sales during the Great Recession.

    The early version was Mac + iTunes + iPod (the “halo effect” was always real). Nowadays, it’s more like Mac + Time Machine/Time Capsule + Apple TV + iPhone/iPod touch + Apple Remote App + App Store + retail stores + soon-to-be-announced MacTablet product and on and on and on. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    Lot’s of luck in ‘010, so-called “competitors”!

    Peace.
    Olmecmystic ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”cool smile” style=”border:0;” />

  4. As usual, the one thing Apple does beautifully that no one else has thus far reproduced is the marriage of hardware with software.

    And people still want Apple to sell Mac OS X separately for generic PC boxes. What, and give away their greatest edge on their competitors?! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    That’s why it won’t every happen. That’s why Apple are so incredibly smart and cunning. That’s why we <3 them.

  5. I just got it! I’ve been a Mac user since my first SE back in the ’80’s and I just realized that, if indeed, all or most of the other Mac users are anything like me (and there is no reason to think they aren’t), they will never give up the overall experience they’ve had with Apple in order to get the latest and greatest from any of the other competitors. I’m not inclined to move out of my great “neighborhood.” Of course, over the years, I’ve had the odd problem or two, but the grass certainly doesn’t look any greener on the other side of the fence. And I’ve not met a PC user yet who, after making the move, hasn’t felt the same way.

  6. Being a Apple customer since the advent of the Apple II, I can say that Apple is anything but perfect. However, Steve’s personal ambition and addiction to perfection is what has been the driving force of all Apple products.

    Apple suffered when the cororate MBA drones took over.

    The problem with most other companies is they are run by replaceble corporate drones, that really have no connection to the products they make.

    In the case of M$ it was Bill, a geek with 0 vision, cunning enough to slip into that PC market at the right time, then stealing the Mac OS and getting away with it in court, because the judge was an idiot.

  7. There aren’t many comments posted yet, in response to the above article, but this one (with a recurring theme) caught my eye;
    “Obviously Apple has alot of sucess and this is mostly because of the loyalty of its customers.”

    The idea that Apple sells products “because of the loyalty of its customers”, misses the reason why most Apple customers are loyal.
    Apple designs and ships insanely great products.
    This creates customer loyalty.

    I don’t know who doesn’t understand that anymore, but it would explain why Apple’s competitors (yes, Apple has no real competition at the moment) are not producing anything to rival Apple’s offerings.

    Are tech company CEOs saying, “We’ve got to build brand loyalty! Get me the marketing department! Spend more on advertising!”

    Well, okay, I guess we do know the answer to that question …

  8. Boy, does it feel good to be vindicated after being ridiculed and not taken seriously by the IT industry back in the gloomy days of the mid 90’s.
    Those that were there will never give up on Apple products, no matter what the competition tries to do. And we also pass that same feeling to all the newcomers.
    Finally, sweet revenge!

  9. I would buy a product form another company besides Apple if somebody produced something worth buying. I love Apple to death, but they are not perfect, and have and do blunder on things from time to time. Despite that, they do consistently produce better overall products than the competition!

    Yes, there may be a better phone in terms of the camera, or any 1 or 2 features that might be better than the iphone. Yet, despite that, the iphone kills that product because it’s overall design and functionality is way better than the rest.

    The fact that everything works together, is by in large consistent, and actually helps me in my day to day life creates an ecosystem that nobody can touch, which is really the point of this article.

    I love my Apple stuff, and I have lots of it. I don’t spend 20 minutes a year fiddling with it just to get it to work. It just does. Everybody I know with the PCs are telling me about what they had to do to solve some problem with the pc (or their phone, etc). I solve problems all the time too, but not problems with my computer, but problems I bought the computer to solve!

    I am thrilled to see Apple thriving (finally) these past few years. It is well overdue, and hopefully won’t spoil Apple in the long run.

  10. @Macguy

    “In the case of M$ it was Bill, a geek with 0 vision, cunning enough to slip into that PC market at the right time, then stealing the Mac OS and getting away with it in court, because the judge was an idiot.”

    This is so true!!!!!

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