You first swept me off my feet at the vulnerable age of 14. I was enticed by the convenience that came with your 1st Generation iPod Shuffle and seduced by your capability to store up to 240 songs on a pocket-sized device. Ever since that first purchase I became infatuated with you: craving your new releases and lusting over your convenience.
As eight love-filled years passed by, my loyalty to you only grew stronger with my collection of Apple products, including various iPods, iPhones, and iPads, as well as an Apple TV and the MacBook that I currently write on. However, like many first-love stories, this is one that has ended in broken dreams and shattered expectations.
It’s the end for us Apple, and here’s why:
You see Apple, you came into my life at a time when I didn’t fully understand what love was. I had very little knowledge about the basis of a healthy relationship, and I had absolutely no grasp on these new feelings that you had conjured inside of me. Over time, it seemed increasingly apparent that I had become comparable to a naïve young school-girl and you were a charismatic young man who would say anything to win my affections. It didn’t matter that there were other phones out there with more capabilities, or that there were cheaper and equally efficient laptops – my love and devotion were saved for one brand and one brand alone.
You swept me off my feet in a way that no other brand had before.
I recently sat down with marketing expert Paul Sadler who told me: “Brand loyalty is critical if you want to keep a customer after their first purchase”, and in doing so highlights your immense success in establishing an ongoing relationship with your customers. This was furthered when he stated that Apple is the poster child of brand loyalty; this is how you have convinced consumers that you are the most logical choice when purchasing a new laptop or phone. This is why you are the most successful company on Earth, and why people will queue up days in advance in order to be the first to get their hands on the release of a new iPhone or iPad.
You have successfully formed an ongoing relationship with millions of consumers and, although many show little sign of reducing their loyalty, an increasing amount of people are starting to catch on to your lies and deceit.
“Some customers that were once quite loyal no longer want to be dictated to… Apple used [to] tell others to challenge the status quo… Challenged them to not necessarily conform to the bigger brands… Apple has in many ways lost sight of their original vision,” said Mr Sadler.
People are finally starting to see through your charm and deceit. You have become too big for your boots. You’ve changed Apple, and people like myself are finally starting to wake up.
There are many phones on the market that are as, or even more, capable that don’t expect the same amount of money. I’ve flirted with the idea of moving to Samsung, but your advertisements on television and bus shelters are a constant reminder of the love we used to share. Despite my loyalty, your products are made to break. I have had to return your products multiple times for flaws in your design that are completely out of my control. Also, despite having paid over $1000 for my last phone, all it took was one drop and it was all over. My cracked screen is a bleak metaphor of the damaged, ongoing relationship we had.
It almost seems like you are purposely creating conflict and drama between us in order to squeeze me for all the money that I have left.
Why are so many people out there so infatuated with you? You don’t care about us. All you care about is your own personal and financial growth. Yet I still find it so hard to let go. You’ve made me believe that I need you, but it’s time that you face reality: you need me.
Perhaps the most heartbreaking reality of all is that deep down, it wouldn’t affect you in the slightest if I was to leave. You have so many adoring fans that we both know you don’t care if I stay. It doesn’t matter that I’ve put so much time and money into this relationship, you already have that money. You, Apple, will still be feeling the benefits while I’m left in the dark. Alone.
Love is not always what it’s cracked up to be, and sometimes two people can grow apart from each other. I am truly happy for you and everything you have achieved, but this relationship is becoming increasingly exhausting. I can’t keep giving you my loyalty and money when I feel like I am receiving absolutely nothing in return.
I’m leaving you Apple and I’m bringing the kids with me!
– Jameel Khan
Top photo of multiple mobile devices by Jessica Heckley.