There is a certain uniformity amongst tech journalists in USA. They all have Apple Macs, they all have iPhones, and, generally speaking, they all love Apple, and particularly the clicks than an iPhone story generates.
They can, therefore, be forgiven for feeling the rest of the world shares their opinions, but a recent survey by the Verge has revealed this may not quite be the case.
The professional survey, performed by consulting firm Reticle Research between September 28th to October 10th, included 1,520 people nationally representative of the US, based on 2016 US Census estimates, and can, therefore, be assumed to be more representative of the average US resident than the average tech buyer.
Given income inequality, this means someone with a household income of only $56,516 who would find spending thousands a year on expensive Apple products somewhat abhorrent.
The survey reveals Apple is even less trusted than Google, being greatly distrusted by 10% of people and only greatly trusted by 27% of people. Only 5% of people greatly distrusted Microsoft and 33% trusted Microsoft greatly.
In fact, 20% of people surveyed would not care at all if Apple disappeared tomorrow, and less than 40% would care “very much” if they did. Only 10% of people disliked Microsoft so much they would not care if they disappeared tomorrow, whereas 63% would care very much.
While the Verge theorized about Apple losing the trust of the market due to fumbles and anti-consumer mistakes such as losing the headphone jack, I think it is much more likely that Apple’s “let them eat cake” approach of making high margin devices only for those who have money does not sit well with the average consumer. While their products may be aspirational, this is more about image than substance.
With the rich only getting richer and the poor getting more numerous and poorer, I suspect Apple will continue to rake in the cash but will be increasingly be seen, like the old Vertu brand, as the simple status symbol the company has always aspired to be, rather than an actual technology leader.
See more relevant slides below and see the full survey at the Verge here.
(Photo credit: Journalists at a Microsoft event, windowsphonethoughts.com)