Essential Luxury Brand
People pay for a luxury brand, more so than the product.
The iPhone 4, iPad 2, MacBook Pro 2008, and OG AirPods were status symbols. Do you remember?
Is an iPhone still a luxury item if everyone has one? Anything short of the latest, highest-spec model (14 Pro) won't catch anyone's eye. Having a smartphone of any kind is a privilege, but it hardly signals that you're worthy of great respect and admiration, in a Western country at least.
By contrast, imagine seeing someone in an Armani suit with a Louis Vuitton bag getting into a Lamborghini. A smartphone could never garner such social currency. Though you can guarantee they won't be pulling a Nokia out of that £10,000 bag...
What Apple does have, in a greater capacity than before, is control over people's lives. Not only are users addicted to their Apple devices, they are trapped in the ecosystem, where all their tech connects via Apple Pay, App Store, Apple TV, Apple Home, Apple AI and so on.
One does not simply cut ties with their Apple.
Open "Focus Mode" on your iPhone to switch between work, personal, social and sleep modes. Notice how the Apple has subtly infiltrated every manner; every hour of our lives.
Each morning, you pass the same people at bus stops and on street corners - all of them, absorbed in their iPhones, totally oblivious to their surroundings - like drug addicts, with cleaner clothes. How many of them would beg for their fix of Apple if they had to?
Luxury is no longer reserved for the upper-class. The mid-range tech market serves to gather those who are not enticed by or cannot afford luxury tech. Entry-level devices include the iPhone SE, which sells at half the price of the flagship model, and lacks just a few modern bells and whistles. A concession ticket into the ecosystem - no stragglers. Every person must know how it feels to ride in first class, so they'll never want to ride in economy ever again.
What was once a luxury has slowly morphed into a necessity. Or has it all happened rather quickly? I'm not sure.
Apple: perhaps the world's first Essential Luxury Brand.
Question for you to ponder: When you're buying a new phone, do you see it as a luxury or a necessity purchase?
See Our Blog for the latest industry news, tech tips, company updates, and anything else we feel like writing about.