• FIC Hansraj

A DRACONIAN CANVASS: AN APPLE OR AN APPLE?

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but does the Apple you read about on the internet, satiate your thirst, or does it keep you coming back for more? With Apple continuing to assert dominance over the tech market, they have been found guilty with tons of alibis proving them to be the finest. Nevertheless, a crucial question remains, How do they maneuver such a gambit? Hold tight, because you might be taken aback to realize that the answer is YOU.


Apple and its consumer behaviour

TWO APPLES IN A POD?

With the launch of their new series of iPhones on 7th September, Apple made several headlines, in continuance with their tradition, leaving everyone chomping at the bit for the most awaited 14 series. While the internet is heated with arguments where some are claiming that there are little to no changes, Apple fanatics have come forward in Apple's defense to prove that the company has lived up to its reputation. Each main concern deals with the irrational decision to leave the 13 and go for the newer version.


In financial terms, the new release persevered to witness a hike in the share prices by 3.9% due to the ginormous pre-orders the 14 series have garnered and already making it a success before the series have actually been released. It’s 14, but is it different? The internet doesn’t think so; the tweets don’t seem to overlook the minimal changes that the new series accommodates. A discreet being wouldn't walk the extra mile to get his hands on the 14 at an exorbitant price of $799 when the 13 version is readily available at his fingertips at a steal price of $699.


WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?


THEN HOW DO WE EXPLAIN THE BAFFLING APPLE FEVER?

Simple. Apple deploys emotional advertising in its favour to ramp up its sales; Its pride band iWatch marketing strategy, black lives matter emoji, and other gimmicks act as a catalyst to captivate the minds of its consumers and presents an image that the brand cares about them. This instils an emotional unity of thought among its users.


However, the 13 vs 14 debate can be concluded by stating that the result will leave Apple Inc. prosperous anyhow, regardless of whether people switched to the new version. At the end of the day, Apple creates a problem and solves that problem at the expense of your cost, while they keep the extra profits.


CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR AND THE WALLED GARDEN

Consumer behaviour is an ever-changing dynamic force, with improper fluctuations that can arbitrate with retrospect to the economic climate. Any simulation can easily deter the ingrained habits of consumers that could easily leave anyone bamboozled.


The tech tycoon has no issues with tracing along the thin walls of their consumer behaviour. Humans seek and want superiority; they are willing to spend a fortune to get it. And Apple excels in doing precisely that. Their innovative and creative schemes lured people to taste a fraction of the perfect world they have framed inside the walled garden. Once in, there is little to no way outside the four walls. They are subject to a cycle of an ecosystem where apple products are only compatible with apple products, thus allowing them to thrive seamlessly in an unmatched environment.


Apple builds its ecosystem strategically in a way that its products interact smoothly with one another. FaceTime, iMessage, and iPad, for example, are built with the ability that allows you to carry on your iPhone conversations on a tablet. The same was implemented as a new feature on the Macs in addition to supporting full phone calls. A habitual use greases the oil for a more effective and efficient performance among its devices. This ecosystem induces its users to ply along the inner walls of the ecosystem, without any fascination to try something different.


REPACKAGING MODEL

“Think Different”. Apple is living up to its tagline, but not in the way you might've speculated because its products say otherwise. Is this a sign that the iPhone has reached its peak? While the strategy of trapping consumers may work in their favour, it is evident that the company has reached its product peak from the minute changes in its new product. Each year, a new Apple iPhone and iWatch series are launched and its revenue is incessant.


At the onset of its launch on 13 October 2020, the iPhone 12 was considered the ideal phone for any user. Everything was crisp; embodied all that you want in a smartphone. The subsequent release of the 13 and 14 are perceived as gimmicks of the 12, and one finds it difficult to tell them apart. Trying to justify upgrading is a handful. Then why are people going crazy over the launch of the 14 series? Because, it’s Apple; a symbol of class, repute, and finesse.


The revenue graphs of the tech giant show higher and higher bars with the release of a new series of its products every year. Suppose, a user wants to upgrade to the new series today. What would the user do with the older iPhone? Sell it or in most cases throw it away. Millions of users may be doing the same. This generates tons of e-waste which harm the environment. In 2019 alone, $7.49 billion worth of raw materials were dumped as e-waste. As a global tech giant, whose primary focus is on producing planned obsolete goods rather than durable goods, Apple is partially accountable for this global issue.


Is Apple imprudent to this global issue? Not necessarily, because they have adopted an exchange program as a part of their business model. This allows you to turn in your old phones for a company credit score and a discount on your next purchase of an Apple product. It also refurbishes and later re-sells them to earn a quick profit. Stats show that due to this recycling model, they recovered $40 million worth of gold in FY 2015. Apple benefits again! Create a problem, solve and market it; Apple’s way to wear a tech crown.


THE REALISATION: SHOT ON IPHONE

The launch of the 14 series has seen a wave of mixed emotions in the public, the revenues tell a story, and the technical tells a different one. But what really is all this 13 vs 14 debate for? It all comes back to us, our expectations from the tech giant. The 12 series was a whole new upgrade, the upgrade looked like one. The 13 looked different from the 12 series, the design, the features, once again, UPGRADE! Apple didn’t leave a chance to amaze us with so many technological changes in the series that followed in the past years. It led us to crave more, we expected it to add something different every time it launched anything new; forcing us to ask WHAT IS ENOUGH?


It would be an understatement to say that expectations were high this 7th of September, and the iphone 14 proved to be a disappointment. If you have a free shot, you would upgrade to the 14th. But at the cost of your expense, will you want to upgrade to the 14th? With that being said, the appreciation the iPhone 14 fetched is an enigma that baffles everyone. Is this a certainty that Apple's consumers are lost within the labyrinth of the walled garden?


Authors: Mananpreet Kaur and Hausianmuan Samte

Illustration by: Muskan Bansal