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Marketing, Opinion

iChoose > Samsung v Apple

So my iPhone 3GS is dying. (Yes, I haven’t updated yet, get over it). The screen fades to black once the battery hits 60%. Last week it stretched to 30%.

So I decided to take it to the Apple Store in the Sydney CBD to get it checked out and was told that I’d have to make an appointment for a week’s time to speak to a ‘Genius’. Excuse me? You want me to wait a week? (So am I am).

What is it about the Apple brand that let’s it get away with things like that? If it were another piece of technology then, maybe I would have kicked up a stink, and demanded it be looked at or at the very least get it sent away. But not with Apple. I’ll just go back next week.

But at what point, will Australia’s obsession with supporting the underdog impact Apple?

Yesterday, Samsung won the battle with Apple in the courts to be able to sell its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet PC to rival the iPad. The legal battle had been going on for months and in the process Samsung got a lot of free publicity for a product which Apple didn’t want sold in Australia. Apple claimed Samsung had copied its touchscreen technology.

Now, the Galaxy Tab will go on sale later next week, giving consumers another option in this rapidly expanding market. Unsurprisingly I saw a note in the New York Post this morning, suggesting the iPad3 will be released earlier that expected with a retina display. That points to one of the key reasons why the Tab was given a break, because once the case was heard in full, then its technology would have been superseded anyway. So now it has at least two weeks to enjoy the lead into Christmas sales.

Without going into the specifics of Galaxy Tab vs iPad and which is better, I’ll be keeping a close tab on what kind of an impact Samsung will have on Apple. What will intrigue me more, is why a consumer decides to pick Samsung instead of Apple.

At the end of the day, it’s the brand’s position which sets it apart from its rivals. Apple products are seen as premium products, and its Apple Stores are promoted that way too. In fact, Apple Stores, like the one on George St, Sydney, become ‘anchors’ for affluent areas.

As reported in Forbes magazine, Apple Stores can boost foot traffic to nearby stores by as much as 20 per cent. So there is a perception that Apple is a top shelf brand, but of course you need products to back the perception up.

When did I become an Apple player? When I was fed up with my old Compaq PC constantly shutting down and that big red X popping up in Windows. So I bought a MacBook Pro two years ago (which hasn’t had any unexpected errors)… followed by an iPod, iPhone, iPad….

But at what point does that brand loyalty end and what causes it to end? I might just have a peek at the Galaxy Tab when it’s in store… just to see what it’s like…

MEMO>ricardo

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