Why the iPhone Keeps Winning Against Android Rivals


Here’s a fun fact: despite having only about 20% share of the global smartphone market, Apple routinely keeps more than half of the entire industry’s profits. This means it makes far more money than any other smartphone company in the world while selling fewer phones.

As you may already know, the smartphone industry is really competitive, yet the iPhone has remained the most acclaimed piece of technology ever since its inception in 2007. What is it about the iPhone that Android companies can’t seem to match? Let’s discuss this below.

Apple’s User-Centric Approach

While it’s true that Apple is slow to adopt new features, it does so only when they are ready for the masses. Android companies justify their prices by boasting about the number of new features their phones have, but Apple chooses to prioritize simplicity and reliability.

Instead of selling overhyped features most people don’t need just because it would make for better marketing material, Apple aims to sell what the average user can actually benefit from.

This is why iPhones don’t yet have features like 8K video recording, a 200MP camera, or 100W charging. Most people simply don’t need these features. Similar is the case with foldable phones; Apple won’t launch a foldable iPhone until it’s good enough for the average user.

Synergy of Hardware and Software

A16 Bionic chip
Image Credit: Apple

One of the biggest reasons for the success of the iPhone is the synergy of its hardware and software. Since Apple designs its own processors and operating systems, it has complete control over how the two interact with each other and the end-user experience.

This synergy ensures that the iPhone remains the most efficient smartphone there is. It’s why iPhones tend to offer better battery life than most Android phones despite having a physically smaller cell. It’s why 4GB of RAM on the iPhone feels like 8GB on Android.

Android phones have to settle with off-the-shelf parts such as Snapdragon or MediaTek chips that act as an inefficient one-size-fits-all solution as opposed to a highly optimized custom solution. The former requires more power to deliver the same performance.

Deep Integration With the Apple Ecosystem

In today’s tech landscape, making a great phone is not enough. People want a range of ecosystem solutions that work together seamlessly and make their lives easier— Apple knows this better than anyone. It’s why AirPods, Apple Watch, MacBook, HomePod, and other Apple devices work so well with the iPhone.

By eliminating the learning curve, users can adopt new technologies quickly. This is also true for software. Since people upgrade phones less often now, Apple is slowly transitioning into a services company, and this philosophy of minimizing resistance persists here as well.

Although the iPhone still makes up about half of the company’s profits, Apple services such as Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple Music, Apple Fitness+, and more are becoming increasingly important to get people to stay locked in the Apple ecosystem.

Optimization of Third-Party Apps

photo of an iphone 12's home screen

The iPhone gets special treatment from app developers too. Since iOS is proprietary software and Apple only releases a handful of iPhone models each year, app developers can easily optimize their apps accordingly and launch new apps on iOS first.

But since Android is open source and there are so many Android companies, app developers can’t possibly optimize their apps for every single model. So, they have no choice but to give Android phones a janky one-size-fits-all solution.

If an Android company wants third-party apps to run well on its phones, it needs to partner with each app developer individually, and every partnership incurs additional costs. That’s why social media apps and mobile games often work much better on iPhones.

Timely and Stable Software Updates

While an Android user might have to wait several months to get a software update, an iPhone user never has to worry about the same. That’s because when Apple drops a new iOS update, all eligible iPhones get it instantly.

But when Google drops a new update, Android companies have to spend time optimizing it for their own devices and make sure it works well with their custom Android skins. Since Android companies sell units from multiple lineups, the possibility of there being errors also increases.

Recognizable Design

iPhone 12 Pro Max camera

Although it’s exciting to see new smartphone designs, constantly overhauling them stops the phone from developing its own unique brand and becoming recognizable. The iPhone’s camera design can be boring to look at, but it’s iconic nonetheless.

This is probably why Samsung didn’t change the design of the Galaxy S23 Ultra this time around and also the reason Google has embraced the horizontal camera visor on Pixel phones.

Amazing Resale Value

If you’ve ever browsed through eBay for a second-hand phone, you know that iPhones retain their value much better than their Android alternatives. That’s mainly because Apple rarely offers discounts, but Android companies do so every now and then.

Discounts do boost sales temporarily, but they also damage your brand image. The more discounts you offer, the more buyers hesitate to pay full price when you launch a new product because they know they can probably get it for cheaper by just waiting a few months.

iPhones usually cost the same throughout the year, building buyers’ confidence that their phones will remain valuable for a long time. This is why picking iPhone over Android is preferable if you intend to sell your phone later on when upgrading to a new model.

Better Customer Support

Photo of people in an Apple Store.

Apple’s customer support is admittedly not the best in the world, but it doesn’t have to be. It just has to be better than its competition, and it is in most cases, at least in the United States. Extended warranty coverage like AppleCare+ gives customers peace of mind while buying iPhones.

Android companies, especially Samsung, sell so many units that they can’t possibly have the bandwidth required to deal with so many angry users in a satisfactory manner. But since Apple sells fewer units, it has to deal with only a fraction of what Samsung does and can spend more time solving each customer’s query.

More Third-Party Accessories

Since Apple doesn’t change the iPhone’s design too much and only launches a handful of models each year, it becomes much easier for third-party companies to design a range of accessories for the iPhone compared to Android counterparts. This includes cases, stands, car mounts, screen protectors, camera accessories, and more.

The iPhone Is in a League of Its Own

Given the above, it’s no wonder the iPhone is as popular as it is. While some of its strengths can be replicated, many of them are exclusive to the iPhone and Apple at large. However, despite this excellence, the iPhone is far from invincible.

The strategies that have worked so far may not work indefinitely, and Apple’s closest rival, Samsung, continues to pose new threats. The last thing you’d want to do as the most valuable company in the world is to become complacent.


Source link

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: