Each year, a new iPhone launches, and the prices are bumped up. The company adds or upgrades features and hardware. This leads to a rise in the prices of the phone. So, something that was just Rs 40,000 a few years ago now costs almost twice that much. Moreover, most companies are selling their flagship devices with top-of-the-line features and best-in-class experience at that price point. So, why pay a premium for an iPhone.
Until a few years ago, the price of an iPhone was correlated to the ‘snob value’. The phone was and is still a premium product, and that’s why most people buy it. But over the years, Apple has been successful in developing an ecosystem. So, when you are paying double the price, Apple is not charging you a premium on just the brand but to be part of an increasingly interconnected ecosystem, one that supports seamless interaction between devices.
The phone or the pad is an entry fee into the Apple ecosystem. If you are trying to pair an Android tab with an iPhone or vice versa, there is no simple way of doing it except putting everything on the drive and then accessing it from either device. With Apple and iCloud, the connectivity is better. Plus, you can start to toggle calls, messages and content between the two devices. So, if you have bought an iPad or an iPhone, the next logical choice becomes buying the other device.
In the case of the iPad now, Apple has played it smart by introducing a new OS that is similar to iOS, but still a bit different. The tab allows you more opportunity and real estate to work on things you start with a phone.
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Apple is not unique in offering such services. Samsung is doing the same, and most likely, you can replicate the features with different Android devices. But what can be done with a litany of apps on an Android — Samsung is smoother — flows much better within the Apple ecosystem.
The Continuity umbrella is expanding to more services.
Besides the Handoff — Chrome offers this feature now with more clicks – AirDrop (file transfer) and Instant Hotspot (sharing of data connection), the company has enhanced its sidecar feature, which allows you to transfer files and data seamlessly from one device to another. More so with the new Monterey update for Mac PCs. The addition of a screen helps expand viewing and collaboration with Apple devices.
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The real credit for Apple lies in bringing in more devices that can be interconnected. Samsung may be replicating the experience with its suite of services and bringing in more integrations, but it’s a relatively new entrant. If you are using an Android, it is more likely that the speakers you are using are of a brand different from the phone and the watch or the laptop that is being used. So, Airpods connect more seamlessly across services than other earphones.
But then there are disadvantages to the system. You cannot switch to other devices so easily or migrate to better sounding earphones. In a world that is more interconnected, that is a setback. You will have to sacrifice on Apple waiting on technology to mature to bring in new updates.
Apple has its challenges as well. Google, Samsung and Microsoft are all trying to get into Apple’s game and make devices more interconnected either through collaboration or internally developing processes.
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So, is the price justified? Yes, and no. Given how fast the technology is changing, Apple needs to equip its phones with more features; otherwise, users will migrate. But as long as the company keeps adding more devices to its ecosystem and making them more connected, it can get away with the premium pricing. The increasing number of services is also a plus, and Apple is giving a thrust to content.
Apple changed the industry last year with the introduction of Apple silicon. For a moment, Macs became the hot-selling item in Apple’s stable. Even if the phone does not become the selling point, Apple has enough devices to attract customers. Others need to counter, and fast.
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