If You Want To Beat Apple, First You Have To Be Apple-like
Every company on the technology sector wants to be like Apple. To sell electronic devices at premium prices, with exorbitant profit margins and religion-like customer loyalty. The things is that none of these companies have actually tried to understand why Apple has achieved its success or how it has managed to maintain it despite the tragic loss of a high-profile leader.
Apple has built its empire by making compelling products that do things which persuade buyers to change their way of thinking.
The iPod was a better way of consuming music. Once people experienced the flexibility of the music player and the ease of use of the iTunes Music Store they stampeded to abandon record stores and CDs.
The iPhone took mobile web browsing and made it a joy, at a time when WAP and mobile websites were common the iPhone offered a far superior portal to the joys of the internet. It wasn't a great phone when it launched, but Apple delivered update after update to both hardware and software, maintaining backward compatibility all the while.
The iPad brought the ease of use of the iPhone to a big screen and computing into the lounge. Apple didn't worry about the effect of its new tablet on its computer sales. Conversely as the iPad has hit a trough Apple has released the MacBook which potentially disrupts in the other direction.
All the while Apple has maintained a quality customer experience. From the Genius Bar in Apple Stores throughout the world, to the standardised connectors which meant that accessories could be re-used between generations.
Apple has a clear focus on delighting and supporting users. No person ever walked away from an iPhone and said it was too difficult to use. Nobody walked out of an Apple Store feeling that they didn't have a source of information that would resolve a problem or assist in completing a task.
For the Samsungs and Googles of this world, who lavisciously eye those profit margins, beating Apple is about beating Apple, in features, in costs, in innovation.
They're getting it very wrong. Before you can hope to beat Apple you need to think like Apple, treat customers with the same respect that Apple does and give them a reason to love you.