Loyalty is something a company like Apple, and Samsung, and LG, love to hear. They would very much like to have created something that you like so much that you decide you’ll stick with that company when they release the next big thing. Apple wants you to upgrade from your iPhone 6s to an iPhone 7, Samsung wants you to pick up the Galaxy S8 after you’re done with the Galaxy S7, and, well, LG would just like you to check out the G6 and stick around for what’s next.
I’ve used an iPhone for the last several years as my daily driver, but it took an article about China and smartphone consumers there to make me realize that it’s not necessarily the iPhone itself that keeps me coming back, but rather the software that Apple has installed on it.
iOS has kept me loyal to Apple. Not the iPhone.
John Gruber has had a thought experiment for quite some time now, where he states he would much rather use iOS on an Android device like the Google Pixel, than have to use Android on an iPhone. I agree with him on this. I think Android has come a long way over the years, and I certainly don’t think anyone who likes using Android over anything else is somehow wrong (they really aren’t). I’m just the most comfortable in using iOS, and there are some features that I just prefer using.
A comfortable routine with iOS keeps me buying iPhones and using them as my daily driver, while I pick up Android phones to play around with, test out, review, and see what Apple could do better in certain areas.
For example, while I love the camera on the iPhone 7 Plus, there’s no denying that Google’s software makes the camera in the Pixel and Pixel XL better, especially in low light. I don’t have any doubts that Apple will improve the camera in the iPhone 8 at least (the iPhone 7s/7s Plus though…), but now there’s a definitive bar they need to reach.
The iPhone 5 was my favorite iPhone from a purely hardware perspective, but since then I’ve basically checked out when it comes to the design of a phone. LG and Samsung have spiced things up, thankfully, and even Xiaomi released a phone with no bezels (except on the bottom) last year that is certainly attention grabbing.
The iPhone 8 may revitalize my love for the iPhone hardware, but I’m not holding my breath on that. But as long as Apple doesn’t completely dismantle iOS and start “fixing things” that aren’t broken, I’ll probably still try to buy it. All I’m saying is that Apple better leave Control Center alone.
What about you, though? If you’re loyal to a smartphone company, whether it’s Apple, or Samsung, or HTC, what keeps you coming back? Is it the hardware of the phone you’re using, or the software that you use every day? Or maybe it’s both? Let me know!