All Financial Wisdom

Apple and iPhone are the Tech Equivalents of Donald Trump

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Bit of a misleading title. I do not want to say that Apple is a company prone to nonsense, disorganization, ignorance, machismo or so many other flaws that adorn the US president. As for corporate culture, Apple is almost the opposite of Donald Trump. But they agree on one crucial factor: both have the ability to absorb all available attention regardless of the direct impact they have on the lives of those who read about them.

‘Apple’ and ‘Donald Trump’ are popular search terms. Each search term awakens interest on the part of the readers and when a news story includes them, it invariably gets more traffic than the average.

The company that Tim Cook runs has done laudably, bringing success to a new product category, the smartphone, and generating valuable technology that has helped transform society. The other has used much less admirable methods to become the most powerful man in the world, but both company and president also agree that they have legions of devoted admirers and bitter enemies, very inclined to maximize their failures and ignore their successes.

No doubt, stock analysts and investors have a lot of interest in what happens with Apple. And, of course, the weight of the US in the world forces us to pay attention to Trump’s moves. But in both cases the level of scrutiny brushes the ridiculous. Each gesture is an avalanche of information.

In the case of Apple and smartphones, the national market is dominated by Android, with more than 90% market share, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Even from the point of innovation, it seems to make sense to notice that so much comes from Apple. The company works less on disruptive technology, and focuses more on incremental innovation.

It takes the things that the competition does, introduces them in the way it considers most appropriate (when it seems appropriate), and takes advantage of its magnificent brand image to sell with huge margins. Their detractors believe it is pure posture, while their admirers point out that they simply always do better than the rest.

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Apple can get the same reporters saying that wireless charging was not really useful (it is) boast of its advantages only when it is built into an apple maker device. How do they succeed? Trump and the sadly deceased Steve Jobs concurred in their constant use of hyperbole – in his way of insisting crudely that things are ‘huge’ or ‘great’ regardless of what they really are.

As in the case of Donald Trump, Apple thrives thanks to its way of being different from all others, to its emphasis on a brand that denotes qualities, whether or not they have them. Yes, it is fair to say that Apple has a much better brand/reality ratio than Trump’s, but in both cases they have managed to generate a social construct that allows them a success that bewilders those who have not mastered the same formula.

And finally, let us not forget, in both cases it is relatively unimportant what the rest of the world thinks, for both Apple and Trump have the middle of the country on their side.

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