Last month saw the highly anticipated release of Apple’s new handsets, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, and the response has been astronomical. To date Apple has sold more than 10 million units of the phones, over a million than it managed with the iPhone 5s and 5c, and excited consumers queued outside high street stores for up to 5 days prior to its release. They knew that whatever the phone looked like, it was going to be big!
And big it was. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is much larger than its predecessors, boasting a screen of 4.7 inches for the iPhone 6 and 5.5 inches for the iPhone 6 Plus, compared to the measly 4 inches for the 5c model . This deviation from Apple’s previous stance with handsets (that smaller is better) is not one that has gone unnoticed by fans and critics alike. And whilst Apple has seemed to embrace this change (no real surprise there), there is one group of people in particular who have taken a great deal of humour in Apple’s sudden change of heart- Samsung and Samsung users.
The feud between Apple and Samsung is a very well documented one. The fierce battle between the two rivals has stretched from legal courtrooms to social media forums, and the animosity between its consumers is no less intense either. Apple has dominated the market for many years now, with elite products such as its iPhones and tablets. And whilst Samsung and its users are quick to point out that the features of Samsung phones are actually technically superior to that of the iPhone, Apple sales continue to rise, helping to tighten their stranglehold of the market. The truth is, Apple iPhone users (like myself) have bought into the lifestyle of the iPhone. We have bought into Apple’s brand rather than the iPhone’s technical features, which insinuates a lifestyle of privilege and exclusivity.
As a result, dedicated Samsung fans have been left to “defend” their decision not to make the switch from Samsung to Apple, with many having to endure a lot of mockery from Apple users, especially regarding the size of Samsung’s signature large phones.
But now it seems like Samsung and its users are having the last laugh. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook stated that the “iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are the biggest advancements in iPhone history”, but Samsung users would do good to point out that most of the things the new iPhone 6 boasts of (4.7inch screen and its bigger battery life for example) has already been done and perfected by Samsung in previous models. Not only that, but Samsung itself has also taken to poking fun at Apple’s new model. In one of their most infamous ads, there are two unidentified phones, one standing up straight, whilst the other is bent over in a bow of reverence. The tag line reads “bend to those who are worthy”, whilst advertising the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. We can only assume that the ad is a hit at Apple in response to criticism by consumers that the iPhone 6 Plus is so thin it bends with ease, sometimes by sitting on it or by just putting it in their pocket.
So what does Apple’s sudden switch-er-oo from small petite phones to larger thinner phones tell us?
It tells us that everything and everyone is subject to change. Even the most successful, formidable and iconic brands like Apple must be open to changing and willing to adapt to what the people want. And clearly what the people want right now, are bigger phones. Apple could no longer be stubborn and ignore the cries for an upgrade to the iPhone’s interface and aesthetic features, cries that have been audible from as far back as 2012. There could no longer be that resistance to change.
Though some may argue that the change is not a radical one, it is still a change for Apple, and sometimes a simple, seemingly small change is all you need to make all the difference and keep your customers happy. And in an increasingly competitive market where people are constantly being offered more choice and other alternatives, change is not only desirable, it is necessary.
Written by Ebony Ezekwesili
Ebony is a recent 2:1 law graduate from the University of East Anglia. Passionate about marketing and sports, she is currently writing a book on business transformation change lessons from the World Cup 2014. She is also a sports writer at ebonylovessports.blogspot.co.uk