Apple’s Desperate Defence Against Samsung

by Matt Klassen on March 27, 2013

Is it merely a coincidence that Apple’s new ‘Why iPhone’ page went live shortly after Samsung took the wraps off its new Galaxy S4 last week, or have we seen a radical fear-induced shift in Apple’s approach to the mobile market, one that has foregone the company’s once feared offensive approach to technological innovation in favour of a distinctly more defensive strategy?

I’m sure that I don’t give Apple enough credit for the things it does right, and there’s no question the company’s strongest market asset is the emotional connection its products are able to create with customers, a connection that usually has them returning to the store to round out their new Apple lifestyle. So its certainly surprising to see Apple hesitant to come out swinging with this knockout punch, content to take a few pokes at Samsung while the Korean company swings away.

As others have said, this adoption of a defensive strategy likely means one of two things: Apple really is scared, finding itself on the ropes from a Samsung opponent who simply won’t quit dominating the fight, or Apple is clearly confused about how to fight the Korean mobile superpower, for if there’s one thing Apple is clearly terrible at, its defence.

Would Apple have ever achieved its lofty heights of success if Steve Jobs would have branded the initial iPhone as the ‘safe choice,’ the one that won’t rock the boat, the one that will allow you to uphold your comfortable status quo? Of course Jobs did the exact opposite, branding the iPhone as the paradigm shifting device that would serve as the lynchpin for the coming digital revolution, the device that would change the way we think, the way we operate, the way we live. There’s nothing comfortable about that.

So how strange is it to see Apple resting on its laurels, content to turn to past achievements in an effort to stay relevant in the present? The entire ‘Why iPhone’ page strikes me as a cry for help, a concession that the Cupertino company is clearly scared of Samsung; how else can one explain the fact that for the first time in this modern smartphone era Apple has to justify the purchase of an iPhone?!

Further, the ‘Why iPhone’ page touts the ubiquitous mobile device as the choice of the people, but once again, Steve Jobs never marketed the iPhone as the device your neighbours like, he marketed it as the device that you need, promoting not only the individual emotional connection, but the feeling of being or having something special, the promise of being one standing apart from the crowd.

But as more and more people have bought an iPhone the reality is that no Apple customer stands apart from the crowd anymore, they are the crowd, and the iPhone has become the smartphone of the people. To that end, Apple’s marketing approach has increasingly focused on convincing people to purchase the iPhone, highlighting the phone’s specs and features… certain doom for anyone who has followed Apple’s languorous release schedule.

In the end, it’s interesting to see the changing face of Apple, the Cupertino giant shifting from a once innovative and dominant brand to a stagnant and meek voice in the mobile market, making me wonder if perhaps Apple has ever heard the old sports adage, the best defence is a good offense.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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