Choice is good, right? Maybe better than no choice, but sometimes too many choices cause their own problems. Take technology. Please. Choices for anything and everything abound in the 21st century. Most people choose Windows as their primary personal computer. Most choose Android as their primary smartphone. There are other choices– Macs and macOS, PCs running various flavors of Linux, iPhones and iOS, but most choose from the many choices on each of the major platforms.
Choice is good, right? There are so many choices with so many ramifications for each choice, that many customers get confused, become frustrated, and simply make a quick choice without giving considerations to other options (which, in and of themselves, cause more choices).
While various standards have emerged to help advance technology, those advancements also bring about more change with more choices and combined create a kind of technology fragmentation chaos. How many versions of Windows are available? How many Android smartphones are on the market? How many different flavors of Linux can you put onto a traditional PC or even onto a Mac?
Fragmentation is everywhere, despite the standardized internet protocol which helps to connect our devices. Forever and a few years we’ve been told that Apple will suffer as hardware becomes commoditized and less expensive. As the argument goes, nobody will pay Apple’s ridiculously high prices because quality is the same at one third the price.
Maybe so, maybe not, but there are absolutely zero signs that the argument holds any water. Humans are aspirational creatures and we want more or better or both. Apple provides limited choices but nearly always at the premium end of the product spectrum, which, by the way, is exactly where aspirational humans go hunting.
Apple’s limited choices help to make sense and safety and provide security at a time of growing technology fragmentation. Generally speaking, Apple’s devices provide customers with better security, more privacy, a vast improvement in both the shopping and service components of product ownership, and despite what you’ve read about Apple’s diminished marketshare, the company does quite well with about 35-percent of the smartphone and tablet market, while banking nearly 90-percent of the industry’s profits.
Most of us do not like chaos, do not appreciate choices to the point of confusion, and are willing to pay a little more for a little extra that helps to reduce to stress of technology ownership (at least, relative to others on the market).
While Windows PC makers tout choice as a good thing, Apple does not mention that too many choices are a bad thing. The customers who can figure that out already know what Apple’s products bring to the table. Easier choices, fewer choices, better privacy and security, higher resale value, longer product life cycles– exactly the opposite of what purveyors of too many choices do not have.
If differentiation is a key component to a company’s success in a complex marketplace, Apple seems to be doing well in an atmosphere of chaotic fragmentation.