Just a month ago, an interesting survey revealed the cult like power that Apple’s marketing division had managed to generate around iOS devices. It found that many people had already made up their minds to buy the iPhone 5 or trade-in their iPhone 4 for it, even before a decent description of the product was released. The faith consumers have in iOS products is amazing because most often Apple manages to release spectacular products, with superb range of accessories, applications and services to match. However, this may not be enough to overcome Android, its chief rival. According to recent studies, Android is still the favorite amongst early adopters (a small but crucial segment of consumers). Accordingly, 40% would opt for Android while only 32% would opt for an iPhone.
Apple has mastered the art of basic economics. By creating an almost complete veil of secrecy around its iOS products, it manages to generate an amazing amount of hype around its brand. Then, in a carefully orchestrated marketing campaign, it releases the products to the public. In the eyes of its adoring fans and much of the rest of the public, Apple seems to releases some sort of magical device every time. It is like Christmas, the atmosphere and the yearlong wait, really enhances the image of the gift regardless of its real worth.
However, amongst early adopters this strategy is not very effective because this group is most likely to cycle through devices frequently. Android has the advantage here because it can release products into the market more frequently. This would normally be not much of a threat to Apple but recently its rivals have begun releasing an amazing range of products that frankly outclass the iPhone 4 (and based on what we know, even the iPhone 5). HTC, Samsung and Motorola have begun releasing phones with very innovative features, even forcing Apple to fight dirty with patents. Given the competition, Apple might want to start releasing iPhones in a more frequent schedule, perhaps a bi-annual cycle.