Apple – Elitist or not?
By: Gurman Bhatia
Do you own an iPhone 4S? If you do, either you are benevolently blessed by the Goddess of wealth or you are a dedicated Apple fan. In a span of ten years, this very league of fans is what the technology giant has created. Though the creator and innovator has passed away, but the innovations still rule the heart of millions. Though they rule the hearts of many, in whose hands do they rest? That is what we are here to question.
A budget phone for Apple is an iPhone 3GS and costs around 20000 Indian Rupees. In a population where more than seventy percent still have phones costing below five thousand, the concept of a ‘budget’ phone is questionable. So it is indeed for the elite. So it does cater to that select 2-3 percent of the population which can spare a certain amount of money for the gadget they love.
Then why the hype around Apple? What does the love entail? Why the excitement? Apple dares to put a price tag of a whopping Rs 60000 and expects that people would pay the amount for a talking female robot – ‘Siri.’ After all it is Siri that makes the iPhone 4S exclusive-it makes it “the best iPhone ever”. After the iOS 5 update is taken out of the Dual Core Processor,the iPhone 4 is same as the iPhone 4S except for of course, Siri. Who pays that much for a phone that responds to your voice? I know there is a lack of people who could help, but I need not pay 20000 more for a robot who can understand when I say ”call Jack” and not when I say ”Jitender”. That would not work in India. A person would spend that much money only if he/she wants to flaunt the new iPhone and flaunting is for the upper-classes.
Credits: Gurman Bhatia
The iPad is one thing that is known to have revolutionized the market as its entrance marked the emergence of a new segment-that of the Tablet. At first when it came, it became THE gadget. People who were using both a Laptop and a Smart Phone wondered what purpose this particular gadget would serve. Yet, they went for the device. Later on it started being used for presentations, reading, gaming and education. But, you did all that on your phone and you did all that on your computer as well. Why was there a need to spend an amount (with which you could buy a decent laptop) on a device that was somewhat restricted as far as the basic functionalities were concerned? The whole concept of the Tablet seems over-rated in my opinion. Its just a cumbersome and over-priced phone sans the functions of calling and texting.The Mac – One great device, that did not go down well with Indians. Windows still happens to dominate the scene. The very idea of a Mac is somewhat aristocratic. Now this is one product which I believe is under-rated. What makes for the lack of Macs amidst the Indian consumers?Firstly, it is the lack of official Apple Stores. Second comes the pricing and limitation of external softwares. Another factor that discourages people to go for a Mac is the fear of the switch to a relatively novel Mac OS from the usual Windows. The fear of switching to a ‘difficult’ and ‘complicated’ operating software was very evident. Yet, how can one ignore the fact the the Mac is a looker? How can one ignore the speed?.The price here is acceptable for the product that you get, but the attribution of the same as an item of luxury poses as a problem.The iPod – Now this device did extremely well. Reason – the price. Starting at Rs 2000 and going upto Rs 12000, this product became the one device that everyone wanted. From the ten year old kid to his sixty year old Grandmother, this was something that even the so called middle-classes could afford. It was revolutionary as it changed the way we listened to music. It in fact,changed the way people ‘carried’ music.As soon as the other brands start getting positive feedback, Apple goes on a suing rampage. It believes that every other attempt on a Smart Phone or a Tablet in the market is a violation of their copyright and is a replication of their design. The latest one being their issue with South Korean electronics giant Samsung. Is it really the similarity of the design or is it Apple’s insecurity towards the success of the Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Tab? Is this threat so difficult to bear?The rivalries go on pounding. First with computers and Microsoft then with the Phone market and Samsung. Apple is known for being the bad guy. Now, is this because it is exceptionally great and other brands are jealous? Or is it because Apple wants to stay at the top and is insecure?
We leave you with this and a little bit more to question. Is Apple there in the market for the common man/woman and if not, will it ever be?