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The iPhone 5 has now been launched in over 30 countries and prepares for wider launch worldwide. While consumers have seen the disappointments of iPhone 5 and the mocking the new phone has received largely from competitors and select group of critics, Apple has already managed to sell over 5 million units. The iPhone 5 remains one of the most promising smartphones in 2012 and for consumers all around the world it is still the best smartphone. A recent survey by Change Wave has slated that over 19% of over 4000 surveyed consumers have expressed interest in buying the iPhone.

The number is significantly higher at 90% for those satisfied with their recent iPhone 5 purchases. But why is the iPhone 5 still captivating consumer despite the problems mentioned above? Despite iPhone 5 price in India being over Rs 55000, Why are consumers willing to forget the flaws in the Maps or camera and body to still own it? This post intends to examine the mind of an Apple consumer.

Design is King

There are some products that users crave to own mainly because they are prestigious. There are some more products that users crave to own mainly because they have a personal attachment with them. With the iPhone, Apple had managed to create something that fit snugly into both these categories; a personal device that looks luxurious on its exterior and yet manages to be easy and comfortable to use for just about anyone. To make this possible, design plays a crucial part. The iPhone 5’s sleek exterior, its razor thin profile and ergonomic screen size, make the product stand out head and shoulders over competitor smartphones. The focus of iPhone has been to stand out and yet not be too flashy, to look elegant and yet be as personal as possible. The iPhone 5 seems hands down the best designed phone in 2012 slightly ahead the HTC One Series, Asus Padfone 2 and Nokia Lumia 920. While competitors have had attractive colour options and wider screen, some going on to make rounded or curved bodies, they seem to end up looking either plastic or too dull. It is no surprise that Apple is now fending off competitors who have taken a leaf or sometimes entire chapters out of its book on design. The iPhone 5 is easily recognizable as a phone compared to the clutter of similar designed phones in the market.

It’s all about Perception

Apple has managed to create incredible brand value for the iPhone. From its very outset, the iPhone has been touted as being the best phone that users can buy. While there are several premium end offerings being made by competitors including premium car manufacturers such as Ferrari and Aston Martin with diamond studded exteriors and pure gold plated bodies. The iPhone is undeniably the #1 choice among most influential people as well as the common consumer, this despite competing brands having as many features or much more at competitive rates. With an iPhone user, the perception about the phone as the best remains intact. The iPhone 5 doesn’t really exceed the specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S3 or HTC One X+ significantly, in fact these devices have had additional capabilities such as NFC and Wi-Fi Direct etc. which the iPhone 5 still lacks. Typical iPhone user buys the product because of the perception of the brand, the association with being elite and being state of the art. The perception is not unfounded; however it is also not exclusive to the iPhone.

Celebrity Value/Exclusivity

A major reason behind iPhone’s appeal is also its consistent association with celebrities and thought leaders. The same approach once used by Nike to rule the sportswear market has done wonders for the iPhone brand as well. When Samuel L Jackson or John Malkovich interact with their iPhone 4S in the Ads they are pretty much being honest. Every celebrity more or less uses an iPhone. This is not just popular main stream celebrities but even technology professionals and journalists such as Walt Mossberg and Steven Wozniak. Even the recent photos of Felix Baumgartner, who made the highest free fall uses an iPhone. This goes to show that the iPhone is the most elite phone to own there is. While it is popular among so many people, there is still a sense of exclusivity associated with the iPhone 5. Not many people will be able to afford the iPhone 5 contract free, not many people would appreciate all the features of the iPhone 5 (mainly due to unavailability of LTE technology and lack of data in Apple Maps), making it a fairly elite and exclusive phone. For most people, owning an iPhone makes them feel part of the elite group of iPhone users. This sadly has been absent with most other smartphones. In fact even when Samsung invited Kate Upton to launch the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, she arrived sporting an iPhone 4S


There is no doubt that the iPhone 5 is perhaps the most anticipated phone in 2012. It may have missed the mark regarding meeting consumer expectations. But for the typical consumer all that matters is the dotted ‘i’. The iPhone 5 will continue to be unassailable as the best smartphone of the year in consumer minds mainly due to the value the brand has created over the years and the feeling of being a part of the ‘elite’ group. The iPhone is the greatest smartphone brand ever made; with its hype and ability to flood the news channels and all over the Internet. The iPhone 5 will remain the greatest iPhone ever made even in the near future.


About The Author

Ashwin works with which is a price comparison website that helps users find the best price of mobiles, books, camera and lots more. Ashwin is a graduate of State University New York with an MS in Information Systems and an MBA from Amrita School of Business Bangalore. He writes on smartphones, gadgets, technology , ecommerce and marketing.


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