Guy Kawasaki: Apple isn’t a luxury brand, you only think it is

“Guy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist for Apple in the mid-80’s, was interviewed on Bloomberg Surveillance today,” Mark Reschke writes for T-GAAP. “And while Kawasaki has insight on where Apple once was, his ideas of Apple are now clearly from the outside looking in. Guy Kawasaki’s belief that Apple is a luxury brand is simply wrong.”

“The fact is that many Android smartphones that are subsidized actually cost more than the $199 iPhone 6 price point,” Reschke writes. “Carriers are moving towards informing customers about the real cost of new smartphones and so the monthly payments all boil out to be about the same. At the end of the day, a Samsung Galaxy 5 or an iPhone 6 ends up being a wash in total costs with iPhone’s resale value two years down the road much higher.”

“Having 40%+ U.S market share is not luxury brand share,” Reschke writes. “Toyota, the world’s largest car manufacturer, only commands 17% share in the U.S. These are hardly monopolistic numbers for a mainstream car manufacturer, but Apple currently holds 42% U.S. smartphone market share. Luxury automobile company BMW commands a mere 2.2% U.S. share. Apple is simply not in the realm of luxury brand maker in smartphone, desktop or any form of mobile computing.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple offers the world affordable luxury.

Related article:
Guy Kawasaki: Apple’s transition from survival mode to luxury brand – December 15, 2014


  1. It is odd that Guy doesn’t seem to understand Apple. He mentions in the video that every year he thinks Apple sales will go down and every year he is wrong. Perhaps he has bought into the idea of phones as commodities.

    1. For a Guy who had a leading role early in Apple’s history that seems remarkably out of touch.

      Guy has even written books about how delighting customers is the key to success using Apple as an example. Odd dissonance there.

  2. Luxury is about more than price. The Hyundai Equus is every bit a luxury sedan even if it costs tens of thousands less than some of its competitors. Apple, like the Equus, simply doesn’t fit in these boxes everyone wants to create. They want to categorize everything all neatly. Well Apple is and will remain a company without precedent.

  3. Guy Kawasaki: “100 Genius Things I Learned from Steve Jobs That I Never Use.” Great speaker. Inconsistent evaluator of technology strategies unless Monday morning quarterbacking is a valuable skill.

  4. It doesn’t matter if Apple doesn’t fit into some perfect category of luxury. I NEVER thought of Apple products as being a luxury brand. To me, Apple product prices were always reasonable although a bit more expensive than other tech companies. I merely considered Apple to be a company that made higher-quality products than the rest of the industry. I thought Apple products were mostly affordable by any worker in the U.S. I’m far from being considered rich but I always bought Apple products even if I had to cut out having other things.

    Anyway, I don’t think set definitions really matter. Maybe Apple is creating some new product category definition that didn’t exist before. The company is clearly doing things that few companies have done before it without being a monopoly.

    Maybe my reasoning is a little skewed as a shareholder but I always thought, even before I was an Apple shareholder, if I were to have my own company I would have built it in Apple’s image. A company more interested in consumers’ satisfaction than a company that simply goes for market share. I’d hate the idea of having to cut corners to keep the price at a certain level. I’d want to build products I could be proud of. Products that would make customers happy. I’d probably go bankrupt because I wouldn’t be able to keep the books balanced. However, I’d always heard that if you build a product good enough, consumers will beat a path to your door. I don’t know if that’s true or not but it does sound reasonable enough to me. It seems to be working for Apple.

    When Tim Cook stands up and says Apple doesn’t build junk, it always puts a huge smile on my face because I think he really means it. No Apple product I’ve ever owned since my first Mac 128 ever felt like junk to me. Not even close.

  5. Apple redefine normality.

    In a way I agree Apple is not a luxury brand. The problem most people don’t understand -at least the one who buy different brand- is other products are crap in comparison and even if their price point is lower it is still too expensive. The whole thing comes from software valuation. People who buy Apple have higher perception of the intrinsic value of software. Not all software is born equal. Global perception is Android is same as iOS. Reality is so different.

    I was thinking of quite a lot of my facebook friends loose their phone and ask for cell numbers again.

    How is that even remotely possible? With iCloud when was the last time you lost your entire agenda? Well it happens to my friends everyday.

    So in a way Apple is luxury because they make more useful and quality for your bucks.

    In a sense Apple redefines luxury.

  6. Dont know about luxury or not.. but One thing is for sure they can easily pare down the cost of the devices to be more affordable.. I would agree with the costs being high if they are selling fewer than they are right now.
    Greedy I sure would agree on that.

    1. I think you missed this part of the article:

      “At the end of the day, a Samsung Galaxy 5 or an iPhone 6 ends up being a wash in total costs with iPhone’s resale value two years down the road much higher.”

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.