The Apple Marketing Machine

I am simply in awe of the Apple marketing machine, which has turned their tech product in to a quasi-cult.  The best illustration of this is the features being predicted and hyped for the 10th Anniversary iPhone.  The most common feature prediction is ... wireless charging.  Wireless charging is something I have had on not just my last but my last 2 android phones.   Apple was clearly the innovator who really invented the modern smartphone but for years they have been coasting on transferring features already proven in the android market and selling them at a premium to their loyal user base.

There are a lot of things to love about Apple products.  The worst thing about Android is the way individual handset makers clutter up the interface with their own (often inferior) user interface and bloatware.  Apple's walled garden is much more in control.  My last two phones have been a Nexxus (made by Google) and a Droid Turbo (also essentially made by Google) which avoided this third party BS, though I will say Samsung has gotten a lot better about this.

There are several things I think Android does better:

  • The cloud.  The cloud just seems to work so much better on Android.  It integrates with my Google drive.  Photo uploading to the cloud works logically.
  • Email.  The Apple email client sucks, so lots of Apple users use Gmail, but gmail and Apple seem to have an incompatibility every year or two.  Gmail and the google Calendar is always going to work with android.
  • Music.  I love my old 160 GB ipod.  In fact, I have a second one I bought before Apple discontinued them.  If you want your music to reside on your device, then Apple is way way better than Android.  When I travel, this is the way I go. But, if you are ok with streaming, Android is better.  For free I uploaded my 50,00o song library to Google, it sits on their servers, and I can stream any part of it any time on my android devices.
  • Kindle.  I read all my books nowadays on the Kindle.  Apple has banned book sales from the Kindle (ie when you finish part 1 and want to buy part 2).  Android apparently has not.


  1. smilerz:

    I generally agree with your premise that Apple users are a cult. For whatever reason, I find the iPhone more user friendly - though admittedly it's been a version or two since I've tried Android.
    I use Amazon Music ($25/year) for uploading all my music to the cloud - not free, but not too bad either.

    It also isn't fair to say Apple 'banned' purchasing books - they demand some obscene share of all sales (30%? 50%) which effectively does the same thing though.

  2. Roy_Lofquist:

    Heard on the web, Instapundit IIRC:

    I remember when they said that someday my computer would be as easy to use as a telephone. They were right! Now I can't figure out how to work the phone.

  3. steamboatlion:

    Apple hasn't banned buying Kindle books on iOS devices, it's just that Amazon don't want to give Apple a 30% cut. You can pull up the Apple website in Safari and buy Kindle books. But this is actually more evidence of your point - how much longer can Apple keep selling hardware at a premium and then take a second bite of the ... (insert the first word that comes to mind) with a 30% cut of in app purchases.

    I agree with you about the cloud. I recently changed android phones and as soon as I logged into my Google account on the new device, everything was just there. And the Windows iTunes client is some of the worst software I've ever used.

  4. Ike Evans:

    My Note 5 is almost 2 years old, and I think it is still the best phone on the market. It will only be replaced by the Note 8 when it is finally released.

  5. ErikTheRed:

    I still use Apple products (watch, iPhone, iPad, MacBook, iMac - it's not an addiction. I can quit any time I want. Really. When's the next product announcement?), but the Cook years have not been kind to the company and they're slipping in a lot of areas. Unfortunately, the mobile device market has devolved into a duopoly of Android (open, but with terrible security and questionable privacy for average users), and Apple (walled garden ruled with a politically-correct iron fist, imperfect but industry-leading privacy and security). It would be nice if Palm, Blackberry, and / or Microsoft would have survived in this space but they were too busy committing suicide to be bothered.

  6. FormerCreative:

    Apple's implementation isn't the same as what you're calling "wireless" charging. Your Android device carries power via a wire to a charging pad, where you then have to place your phone to receive power. The rumored system here is true wireless power supply, where your iPhone could be charged whilst in your pocket because you have a wireless charger on the opposite wall. Isn't that a fairly notable improvement, if true?

  7. Peabody:

    As a developer for both platforms and using both Android and iOS professionally and personally I find each with pros and cons. My opinion is that if you only do what Apple wants you to do and stay within their ecosystem, it is a smoother experience. If you want to do extra stuff, interact with more peripherals, etc. than Android is the obvious choice.

  8. TD:

    What amazes me about the cult is how they think Apple is somehow a force for good. When i told some cultists at lunch today about all the steps Apple takes to appease the Chinese government, they were visibly shocked.

  9. kidmugsy:

    The Macs of around 1988-90 were lovely wee machines with extraordinarily well written instruction books and a beautifully intuitive interface. Yet none of the Apple fans of today know anything about that era.

  10. John:

    Fair points. I'd add that the security of iOS is, in the real world, far better than Android, albeit not perfect. On networks that I watch, I see hordes of Android devices phoning home to IP Addresses geolocated in Russia or Eastern Europe, but nary an iOS device exhibiting the same behavior. That's the good (and the bad) of the Apple App Store over the multitude of app stores for Android (many hosting malware masquerading as legitimate apps.)

    Apple also did a very good job with the Secure Enclave.

  11. Matthew Slyfield:

    "Apple's walled garden is much more in control."

    Apple's control not yours. I'm surprised that you see this as a plus.

  12. mesaeconoguy:

    The original appeal of Apple – simplified GUI and operation – is gone. They’ve made their OS’s far too complex, mirroring Windows.

  13. GoneWithTheWind:

    Last Fall my wife found an Apple Iphone in the river. We took it to the Apple store feeling confident that they would be able to figure outr who bought it and return it to the owner. In fact they had no interest in it whatsoever and advised us to throw it away. We did. I'm still stumped as to why their customer "support" is that bad.

  14. johnmoore:

    It is an impossible improvement. The physics says: not gonna happen - not unless they beam many watts of microwave in your house, with a very smart, steerable antenna.

  15. johnmoore:

    I switched to Android when it first came out because I wanted to (and did) write and sell an app for it. Today, I have a foot in both worlds - I use macs for computing and Androids for portable. My friends who are totally in the fruit world have better integration, but I don't think it really makes that much difference.

    I remember when they were mocking my Note II for being too big. Some of the same folks now have the big iPhone - same dimensions as the Note II (except thinner). Snicker.

  16. FormerCreative:

    I'm not sure that's true. This is the company at the center of the wireless charging rumors:

    They've apparently done it using RF-bands at distances up to 15 feet. I'm not vouching for the technology, but that's the rumors that have been floating around for the past few months.

  17. Rick C:

    "the multitude of app stores for Android "

    Who uses these? Heck, who knows about these? I keep hearing about these third-party app stores, but other than the Amazon one, I don't think I've ever seen one.

  18. BobSykes:

    At one time, Apple offered real value v.v. MSDOS. When my wife and I first went looking for a computer in the 80s we had two needs: I needed to be able to do math typesetting, and she needed a European, specifically Spanish, font. Neither was available in DOS world, but both were built-in in the Mac. Ironically, the Mac version of MS Word 1.0 had both capabilities. The DOS version had neither.

    Eventually, Windows showed up, and anything you could on a Mac you could also do on a Windows machine. However, by then we had too many files on the Mac, and we never transitioned to Windows.

  19. marque2:

    It is a misnomer that Apple invented everything. There were smart phones when iPhone came out, notably by Blackberry. PDAs existed forever before iPad (notably apple did come up with the Newton. MP3 players also existed before iPod. What Apple did was design the original products to be elegant looking and easy to use. I have to say that few generations of iPhone have not been spectacular, and have incorporated things that have been elsewhere for two years prior. Apple pay is an example. Google wallet predated it by 3 years, at least.

  20. marque2:

    I would avoid using most. I use Google Play, but also will download from the Amazon app store. Others have no control whatsoever.

  21. marque2:

    Apple ways scoured the market for new developments and then improved them with a easy (at first) to use design. There isn't really anything new on the market as far as personal devices for them to copy.

    Automotive seems to be the next market, getting a fully wire car. Several others started research and now Apple is getting into the game. Cars will be the next big thing.

  22. marque2:

    Usually the cell phone service providers will help locate the owner of a phone. Take it into a T-Mobile store and they should be able to tell you which provider is using it. Unfortunately when the phone is sunk in water, a mere turn on the phone to find the provider is difficult and you would have to I'd the SIM card, this might be more trouble than it is worth.

  23. Rick C:

    Well, my point was I've never even seen one.

    I know there are a few places that have APKs so you can sideload--that's how Humble Bundle's Android bundles work--but I haven't seen a third-party app store per se, so I wonder how less tech-savvy people are finding them.

  24. johnmoore:

    I think they are, in fact, beaming many watts of microwave with steerable antennas. I'd be surprised if the result is acceptable to Apple.

  25. FormerCreative:

    Nonetheless, constant trickle-charging of supported devices without need for any contact or cables is a good deal different than inductive pad charging, no? So Coyote's thesis is based on a misunderstanding of what the term "wireless" meant here.

  26. johnmoore:

    I suppose. My last phone used inductive pad charging. It was slightly more convenient that plugging in a cable, and avoided wear and possible damage to the charging connector.

  27. Curtis:

    Re books, download Calibre for free and with almost no effort, all your ebooks can be stored and managed easily on your computer and then you can use your home wifi as your eBook server and wirelessly load the books to your apple devices (iPhone, iPod, iPad) or use wire to load them on your kindles or Sony eBook. I use both apple and ms but no androids so far.

  28. BobSykes:

    They didn't invent the mouse or GUI either, but they did put various inventions together first. Other companies, Xerox and IBM especially, failed tofollow up on their own inventions.

  29. marque2:

    Well you can download the app store from Amazon onto your phone and check it out. Frequently they have the same apps as Google, but at a discount, when they are not free.

  30. marque2:

    Apple didn't put the mouse and the GUI together. Xerox created a workstation called the Alto. Xerox invented the Gui, the mouse, and Ethernet for the Alto computer. It was also the first network system with a DNS style lookup type system - though it was primitive. It was called Grapevine I believe.

    Xerox had moderate success selling the Alto, but mostly sold to engineering companies for niche engineering purposes. But agree that they didn't really capitalize. For Ethernet, Bob Metcalf started 3Com and took the idea and marketed it. A printer language called LCDS, I believe, was invented at Xerox, for printers, and there was a dispute over development of the printer language, so half the team took off and founded Adobe, and modified the Xerox product to make Postscript. Xerox invented the laser printer as well, but most people think that was Apple or HP (HP made Apple labelled Laser printers) Xerox thought there was no market for home or small business.

  31. marque2:

    Yup, I had a MAC SE back then, I really liked it, BW 12" monitor and all.

  32. JTW:

    and that's 30% out of Amazon's pockets, their profit on selling Kindle books is less than 30% (they take a 10-15% take on things published through their e-publishing service, probably less than that with selling Kindle books listed from other publishers).

    So giving Apple a 30% cut as demanded would mean every single eBook sold by Amazon on Apple devices would be a net loss for Amazon.

  33. Daniel:

    Google music is great at storing music on your device. If you've uploaded it, own it, or have a premium subscription (I think 8.99 per month?) you can download it all free of charge and keep it on your device.

  34. jim jones:

    Android has a 90% share of the smartphone market, draw your own conclusions.

  35. Peabody:

    And Apple has an estimated 100% of all smartphone market profits, draw your own conclusions: (The Galaxy Note recall hit Samsung hard, Apple had merely 90% of the market profit for the year prior)

    The race to the bottom with low priced smartphone works great for Google to suck in more and more consumer information for advertising, but not as well for the hardware manufacturers. Apple does not really compete on price.

    I'm not an Apple fan-boy, but market share comparisons for which is overall "better" is not really accurate. I see many thousands times more Hyundai's on the road than McLaren's, this does not mean that a Hyundai is a "better" car.