Page 1 : Why Pay So Much For An iPhone?
Whenever Apple releases a new iPhone, it has become tradition for rabid Apple and Android fans to trade barbs in a childish display of fandom rivalry. Facebook and blogs will be replete with taunts and jeers on both sides. It was not good enough that they didn’t like the rival platform, they had to make sure the other side knew how much they hated their platform. Check out some of their work when Apple launched their new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones :
Frankly, the differences between an Apple iPhone and an Android smartphone have diminished in recent years, with both platforms borrowing features and ideas from each other. The gap will reduce even further as both Google and Apple have made up and agreed to cross-license for everyone’s benefit. Arguing about who came up with which feature first will become nothing more than a pissing contest.
Whatever features that are unique to a particular platform will eventually be introduced in the competing platform. That’s what we want because it gives us the freedom to choose between the two platform without worrying about losing some key features we cannot do without.
Even so, one thing will remain certain – Apple will always price their iPhone models at a premium. That brings us to arguably the most vitriolic opinion that Android fans have about the Apple users – that they are all rich idiots who are getting fleeced by Apple into paying a ridiculously high price for the iPhones especially since they are using “dated” hardware or “older technology”.
Well, we are not going to go into why Apple iPhones are not using “dated” hardware or “older technology” in this editorial, but we are going to address this perception that Apple users are stupid to pay so much money for a smartphone. Then we are going to show you why Apple iPhones are so expensive.
Why Pay So Much For An iPhone?
First of all, the Apple iPhone is more than just a smartphone. When you purchase an Apple iPhone, you are purchasing the iPhone ecosystem as well – everything from access to the 1.5 million apps (as of July 2015) in the Apple App Store to the free iMessage, FaceTime and iCloud services. Android users may argue that they have similar features but what they have is sometimes a pale shadow of what the Apple iOS platform currently offers.
For example, the Apple iPhone can automatically and continuously back itself up to iCloud. If something bad happens, the user can restore the entire contents of the iPhone using nothing more than an Internet connection. You don’t even need to use iTunes on a computer to perform this backup and/or restore process.
When we first wrote this editorial in 2014, no Android smartphone could do that, although we had no doubt (even then) that they will eventually implement something similar. True enough, Android 6.0 Marshmallow comes with such an ability, although it only works with Android apps that “target API version 23“.
You are also buying “software assurance” in the form of iOS upgrades and updates. The recently released iOS 9, for example, was made available for the following devices, immediately and simultaneously :
- iPhone 4S (4 years old) or newer
- iPad 2 (4 years old) or newer
- iPad mini Gen. 1 (3 years old) or newer
- iPod touch 5th Generation (3 years old)
Google also releases Android upgrades on a periodical basis. However, those upgrades are not made available for many Android smartphones (even if they are of the same generation), and often, they are made available long after Google releases them.
This is due to the fact that the Android platform is “highly fragmented” – there is a wide variation in hardware features and packaged software, as well as manufacturer preferences. This has resulted in significantly slower or shorter “software assurance”, especially for older or less popular models.
Google released Android 4.4 “KitKat” at the end of October 2013. It took HTC about 4 months to release it for their popular HTC One (M7) but they took an extra 2 months to release a KitKat update for their Desire 601 smartphone. Even that’s considered fast. ASUS, for example, took a full 8 months to release an Android 4.4 “KitKat” upgrade for the PadFone 2, and more than 10 months to release it for the PadFone Infinity and the Fonepad Note 6.
So when someone considers the cost of a platform, it should be done holistically because when you buy an Apple iPhone, you are really buying an experience. Apple iPhone users (generally) want a smartphone that “just works”. They do not care so much about specifications as much as they do the experience using the iPhone. They do not care so much about the number of features as they do the experience of those features that are available. For that, they are willing to pay top dollar.
Now, let us show you exactly what they are paying so much for. The real reasons why Apple iPhones are so expensive… Go on to Page 2!