Steve Jobs and Tim Cook has an unique of explaining about Apple's unmatched position in the PC and mobile market when it comes to trying to innovate and create magic. And Apple truly believe its devices and services are magical. It's what they strive for.
And I agree that when it comes to Apple's services, apps, and products, its easy to use, gets you excited about using it, and waiting for the next generation of innovation.
No Magic – But Not Inferior
Having said that, Apple's rivals don't have this kind of magical formula. However, they don't need it. This is evident by Microsoft's dominance and Google's Android market share of the mobile devices even though Apple's products and customer satisfaction are so much better.
Yes, yes. Market share means nothing and I agree with you. But those less willing to look past that only cares about that as do many who cares more about cost. And iOS devices do cost than their competitors.
For Samsung's Galaxy Tabs or phones or Microsoft's Surface tablets, they don't have Apple's iOS magic in terms of design and ease of use but they're also good enough that many in the market will discount the difference.
Then There’s The Price
Then there's the price. Apple's designs is unlike anything on the market and Apple doesn't cut corners when it comes to parts and components and attention to the details. Again, Apple's competitors don't have that issue: good enough is the mantra. This allows others to price their devices cheaper. And for many, "good enough" devices with a lower price point is very attractive.
Consumers probably know this when they pick up an Android device but they can live with it. Again, it is not saying non-Apple devices are inferior. Far from it. Have you seen the iPhone's competitors on the market now and what new devices are waiting in the wings?
At the same time, Samsung and others are going on different directions. For instance, they're going with bigger screens. It may not offer better mobile experiences but "bigger" always sounds better because it makes one think he is getting more value. Also, there are gimmicky features that looks great from a marketing perspective but adds little value to the mobile experience (some might argue that Siri falls into this category. For now, I can’t argue against that). Honestly, what good is wireless charging if you still have to leave your phone by the charging station. But being able mention this for marketing purposes sound good.
Furthermore, Apple's competitors do recognize the magical characteristics of Apple's products and some are even trying to duplicate that. There are some OS features that Android, Blackberry OS and Windows 8 are ahead of iOS. And Woz was right when he mentioned the iPhone has fallen behind some of its competitors in some respects.
Need Something Magically New
With all that said, there really is only one thing Apple can do. Continue to innovate and create magical products that allow its fans to use them to create their own magic. And I think that’s key here. Many of us are not only on our iPhones and iPads to consume information and communicate but to also create. It’s an added element to the whole mobile experience and a shift away from the PC dominated production.
I’m definitely not demanding that Apple produce a revolutionary device every other year or distrupt a brand new industry every five years or so. However, I’m used to see Apple far, far ahead of its competition like when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPod. Or like when Steve released the original iPhone back in 2007 all the way through iPhone 3GS.
I began to see the gap close around the time of the iPhone 4 release.
So, I don’t know what the right call is as an Apple or even a mobile fan. I like the competition that the mobile giants offer each other and the market pressure exerted by changes in mobile behaviors and tech advances.
How ever Apple wows us with the next iOS update or hardware changes, Apple fans will continue to appreciate the magic coming out of Apple and that the “good enough” crowd will always be around.