If I say the word ‘smartphone’, what’s the first thing that comes into your head? What about ‘tablet’? Apple is ubiquitous. iThis, iThat, iEverything. And with the sad death of Steve Jobs a couple of weeks ago, never has it been so in the limelight. But here’s news: Apple isn’t the centre of the universe.
When it landed at number two in the Coolbrands list recently, it wasn’t really a surprise. Apple is immense when it comes not only to being innovative, but in being seen to be innovative. It’s had a tremendous impact on the tech, communications and even product design fields over the last ten years, and it deserves its place in that list. But is it really the be all and end all of the IT and mobile comms industries?
Although I have massive respect for everything that Apple has achieved, the continuous, blind worship of every single piece of product development and, lately, every minor announcement to come out of Cupertino, California, is getting a bit tedious. Twitter becomes practically impenetrable every time there’s an iPhone update, and as for last week’s iOS5 release…don’t get me started: I really don’t need an update on download progress every five minutes. It’s fair to say that Apple can do very little wrong in the eyes of its faithful devotees and, even when things don’t go so well, there is such huge love for the brand that things seem to be forgiven and forgotten very quickly. It’s an envious position, but could the ubiquity and success of the iBrand and the almost blind dedication of iFans be stifling tech elsewhere?
The likes of Samsung and HTC would undoubtedly rebuke that question, with the former reported to have sold 30 million of its superb Galaxy S and Galaxy SII smartphones since launch and the latter having recently introduced the awesome Sensation, in due course set to take over from the Desire as the UK’s most popular Android handset. In the UK, the iPhone holds just 9% of the smartphone market, with Android leading the way at 13% and even BlackBerry having 10%. So why are we so iObsessed?
The one company that sums up this obsession to me is Instagram. I’ve written before about how I feel that Instagram is in real danger of missing the boat if it continues to focus solely on the iPhone and keeps delaying the launch of an Android app, but beyond that it’s a good example of this fixation with everything Apple even when the majority of the UK population prefer other platforms. Crowd Media asked a question on Facebook the other day: “we are massive Apple fans and are loving the newly released iOS5. So come on, let’s sort this out. Which type of smartphone really is the best?” Despite the leading nature of the question, the iPhone still only polled only 52% of the vote, with Android on 43% and Palm (?!) on 5%. I just have to question the validity of Apple worship.
But you tell me: why are we so iObsessed? Am I the only one who’s sick of reading about Apple?
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