* With apologies to Michael Jackson, Lego Batman, and all of you.
I use an iPhone for many reasons. The hardware is a work of art and Apple's industrial design team seems to always find new ways to push the limits of material science. Likewise the silicon, the performance of which merely reflects Apple's accelerating lead in chipset design.
The software experience is still clearer, more consistent, and more coherent than anything else on the market. Apps still tend to come out first, a few still only, and many remain simply better than on other platforms. Accessibility is a priority. And security and privacy, two things I care deeply about, are protected in ways not just beyond what other companies will do, but what they can.
iPhone isn't perfect. It's not the greatest at everything. And Apple still has a long way to go when it comes to services. But overall, iPhone best lines up with what I want from the more important, most personal device in my life. The one that knows more about me than any doctor, lawyer, cleric, or significant other.
Increasingly, I think, others are finding the same. That's why Apple and Tim Cook have said numerous times on numerous calls over the last couple of years that the number of Android switchers just keeps going up.
And that's why Apple's new iPhone campaign focuses on just that — switching.
May 29, 2017: Apple has posted three more videos for you to switch over!
Apple has added another three videos to the company's new series, detailed below, to help encourage and de-stress the switching process.
They focus on security:
Smoothness of experience:
And staying connected:
Switching made easy
If switching is hard or stressful, people will be reluctant to do it. They'll stay with what they know, even if they're not really happy with it. So, Apple is highlighting how easy they've made it to switch.
There's a Move to iOS app in the Google Play Store that walks you through getting all your content and information over to your new iPhone. That way, there's almost no stress when you make the switch.
Of course, Google wants iPhone users as much, if not more, than Android users, so every Google service you can think of has an app for iPhone. Simply download them, log into your Google account on iPhone, and it's almost like you never left.
You can even use many of the Google apps without logging in, letting you enjoy some of Apple's focus on privacy with your experience.
I've written about Apple's custom chipset advantage and it's great to see Apple telling that story now as well. There's a palpable performance improvement from designing for both single-threaded processes — which is what typically constrains interactivity — and overall efficiency.
It's what lets iPhone be a supercar rather than a tractor-trailer, dragging excess memory and cores behind it just to handle the overhead.
I use iPhone because of the overall experience, not because Apple is leading in silicon. But the nerd in me loves that they are.
Apps, updates, and security
When Apple updates the iPhone, be it the yearly jumps to completely new versions or the numerous bug fixes, performance improvements, and feature enhancements, the update goes to all iPhone customers, in all countries, on all networks, all at once.
It means developers can count on almost everyone being on the latest version of iOS, allowing for better, smoother, apps with all the latest features. It means no one has to worry about their device not getting the latest security patch or being infected with the latest malware.
Call me paranoid, but I dislike the idea of anyone who's not me knowing everyone I meet, every place I go, and everything I do. Data is more valuable than money — just look at all the money big seach and social companies spend to get it — and the amount being harvested from us just keeps increasing.
Being able to find a picture of my sister with a zebra in Albuquerque today is certainly convenient. That technology being used to retroactively find excuses to jail journalists and dissidents in the future will be devastating. And if you think that's paranoia, I'll think you haven't been paying attention lately.
It might be too late. There might be nothing we can do to prevent the rise of pervasive surveillance, but I'll give my money to Apple for now even if all it does is slow things down slightly.
Will it work?
Apple's focusing on other advantages as well, from Apple Store where you can learn about all the latest technologies and arts and get your devices fixed at the same time. I'd add in accessibility as well, which Apple has made a top-down, front-facing feature of every new product release and software update. Their commitment to it is, simply put, second to none.
But there are some things working against Apple as well. Samsung, LG, and others were first to market with features like edge-to-edge displays that are appealing to new buyers. Google is also offering features in Photos, Assistant, and other services that, despite privacy concerns, are hugely appealing.
Moreover, many people are moving towards social and messaging layers as primary interfaces, be it Facebook or WeChat, and while that reduces the friction in switching to iPhone, it also reduces the friction in switching away.
These videos and the new site, while cleverly encapsulating what Apple believes are its core advantages, need to both understood and accepted by potential switchers to be effective.
That is, if they're not just meant to keep the conversation alive and interest piqued for the next big upgrade — and switcher — cycle, widely expected to come with iPhone 8 this fall.
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