The reason that Beats were so well-known and accepted is that the company spent a great deal of money on inviting celebrities to shoot for their advertisements or wear a pair of their headphones when recording their new albums…In short, Beats has subtly told you, through its advertising, that owning a pair of Beats is fashionable and cool. This is why Beats became so popular over the years. Apple did the same thing to its own products…
— Ziang Ren
Before you read on, take a few seconds and look at what you are viewing this article with. Then think about what your friends might use. Do you notice something? It turns out that if you happen to be in high school or college, there is a good chance that you and a substantial part of your friends are using an Apple product – be it iPhone, iPad or Mac/MacBook. And not only just for spending your free time with them, but also when you need to complete an assignment from school. If you walk into your high school classroom or college lecture hall, you are likely to notice an unending wall of MacBook laptops. Why is Apple so popular among us?
Perhaps one of the biggest reason is the design. Apple products have always been known for their slick and fashionable appearance. The latest iPhone X serves as a perfect example with its feature full-glass and edgeless design (though in the meantime is the most fragile iPhone ever); and the relatively new MacBook Pro that adds to a sense of profession with its sharp silver body (and the debated TouchBar). These are but a few minor examples of Apple’s innovative work that reflects Apple designers’ attention to details and bravery for adopting unprecedented ideas, most of which turned out to be good (or at least looked good).
Apple, at the end of the day, is not a device manufacturer, even though more than 70% of its revenue consists of device sales. Apart from designing fancy-looking devices, Apple also focuses on integrating its services with its devices, notably the App Store and iTunes. The App Store served as a central distribution that supplies users with an infinite number of useful applications and games. Its strict standards ensured safety in most circumstances and (more recently) a consistent experience across different Apple devices. You can expect a similar performance of your favorite app on your iPhone walking through a busy street and continue the flow seamlessly on your iPad when you have settled down in a coffee lounge. You might not have particularly noticed it before, but you can definitely imagine the frustration when you find out that your favorite app does not work properly on your iPad. The iTunes is started as a media player, and then evolved into an internet streaming platform where you can subscribe for music, podcasts, tv-series and movies, and it allows you to stream your content anywhere with an internet connection on any Apple device. What better can we ask for when we can view the programs we love whenever we like from our pockets?
These service Apple provides, however, are not by any means unique. There are Netflix, Google Play Store, and Amazon Kindle that also feeds our demand. Apple even got some of its inspirations from its competitors, with the media streaming idea inspired by Netflix. What Apple did was that it integrated its services with the devices it produced and managed to enclose its users – us – with a complete and constantly evolving environment within which you can seamlessly switch from one device to another. So, say, now you have your new iPhone X, and is already attracted by its beautiful design. You start subscribing for your favorite programs, but then found out that they are not available anywhere else, or its way easier for you to just stream them between your iPhone, iPad and Mac but not on some other Android device or PCs. Now, that you need a new laptop or smartphone or tablet, would you give up the comfort you had with all these devices? Probably not. This is exactly what Apple did to make its products engrossing, and it did so very successfully that few managed to escape. Apple is also the first company ever to publish a smartphone (as we now know it) to the market and remained the only company that sold smartphones for a relatively long time. This essentially gave Apple a head-start in capturing potential customers and market share. With this advantage, it is easy and profitable for Apple to build on what it has to keep the old customers and attract new ones – by means of advertising.
Speaking of advertising, one of the best examples is Beats, the audio device company that is known for its headphones. Many of your friends may have a Beats headphone at hand. Maybe you are listening to your Beats right now. But for what reason did you or your friend bought the headphones? Beats headphones are not especially known for their audio quality. In fact, there are tons of other headphones that provide much better audio experience and sold at much lower prices. The reason that Beats were so well-known and accepted is that the company spent a great deal of money on inviting celebrities to shoot for their advertisements or wear a pair of their headphones when recording their new albums. If Justin Bieber happened to be your favorite singer, or Jay-Z the rapper, or even LeBron James your basketball player (yes, James), or Serena Williams, appear in front of the camera with a pair of Beats, it would be pretty much irresistible to buy a pair of Beats. In the slight chance that you managed to, you have already buried an unconscious desire to own a pair of Beats. This is even more so if some of your friends happen to own Beats and wear them all day and appear to enjoy them. In short, Beats has subtly told you, through its advertising, that owning a pair of Beats is fashionable and cool. This is why Beats became so popular over the years. Apple did the same thing to its own products, as the company incorporated Beats as its own in 2014.
Apple is also planning for the future. The company has already published a few sets of its smart furniture and a physical embodiment of its AI assistant Siri as a housekeeper to manage your work and leisure. Apple is also competing in the self-driving motor vehicle industry, and of course, the car will support its AI assistant and media streaming. With this swift progress, Apple is hard to lose grasp on its customers (though keeping customers by engrossing them with products does not seem as acceptable as by considerate services). We will surely see Apple become increasingly popular among us teenagers.