Apple — Perception Problems Persist

A friend of mine has been using iPhones for years. Her boyfriend, however, is a staunch Android fan. So, of course, he takes his pot shots at her choice of phone when he can.

She is not so techie. Moving music to and from iTunes is still somewhat challenging for her. Creating ringtones is just not a possibility for her and she doesn’t want to pay 99¢ for one (and I cannot say I blame her).

Now, with the latest iOS 8 debacle, it has been difficult for her to get iOS 8 on her phone. Sure, there are ways to do it (such as using iTunes because OTA requires too much storage), but she doesn’t want to do that. Nor does she want to start deleting a million things.

Enter Android again. Copying music to and from? SIMPLE. Downloading and installing ringtones? SIMPLE. Don’t have enough space for something? Swap out the SD card (and yes, even non-techies understand this).

So, similarly to what we see on Daring Fireball today, Apple is seemingly losing the “functional higher ground.” I don’t know that I would have agreed completely, but knowing someone who is not computer savvy saying, “I think I’m done with iPhone” is a problem. Doesn’t matter that Android is fragmented. Doesn’t matter than Android gets shittier versions of apps. Doesn’t matter that malware threats are far more common and can do far more damage. These threats don’t stop people from buying Windows year after year after year. It won’t stop Android users either.

AND… let me reiterate this again. PERCEPTION. IS. EVERYTHING. Do you know how many people won’t try another iPhone for how shitty the iPhone 3G was (or even the iPhone 4 with how quickly it would get slow and the home button would stop working)? The funny thing about how this works is, because Apple is one company making the whole widget, people won’t care if that was “just an iPhone 3G” problem. They’ll perceive it as Apple being the problem (which, technically, is correct). Contrast with Android, where someone may perceive Samsung to be the problem, even if it’s Android, and go buy an LG or HTC phone (with the same problematic or insecure version of Android) and not give another thought to it. Android’s perception problem is clouded and shrouded by the handset manufactures. You can simply have a “better Android” by buying a Motorola Phone or…. You see my point?

*I* know the iPhone is a great phone. I know iOS is a great OS (even if Apple does need to rein in on the quality some). Apple, you don’t have a problem yet…. but you will if you keep sliding down this slope. Fix the software quality. Don’t rush to get software out on hardware schedules. Stop making things needlessly difficult in some places (I really shouldn’t need iTunes for ANYTHING anymore, as far as getting stuff to and from, especially updates that require more space with OTA).

Finally, fix the space problem, Apple. 5GB TOTAL free per iCloud account in 2015 is simply not acceptable. If I’m buying 64GB hardware from you, you should either match that or, at the very least, give me 5GB free per device for my account. I have no problem with you wanting to make money on storage, but the free amount of storage is almost insulting, when comparing to what Google and Microsoft offer their users free.

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