Two Important Articles

“The Unexpected Reason Apple Is Dominating the U.S. Smartphone Market – It’s not just lavish marketing and the threat of green bubbles—Apple’s commitment to supporting old phones has allowed it to capture a part of the market once cornered by inexpensive Android devices”:

I can’t get this article out of my head.

Last night I wrote about the “New York Times”‘s new Audio app. And I promptly received e-mail from “Times” subscribers complaining that it doesn’t work on Android, at least not yet.

You recall the memo. Apple lost the market share race in smartphones, although it won the profitability game. Steve Jobs threatened to sue Google for Android, calling it a copycat. So Apple kept raising prices and the world went Android. Or did it?

Apple’s market share is climbing around the world, and it’s primarily due to used phones. You see they have a shelf life, value, that Androids do not. And they tend to look the same to boot. So you can buy an old iPhone for a couple of hundred bucks and be a member of the club.

And those club members get hooked on the Apple ecosystem and buy not only further Apple products, but Apple subscriptions.

To the point that Apple’s U.S. smartphone market share was 50% in June, and 52.5% in December. And one of the great drivers of this increased market share is the youth. If your messages appear in a green bubble, you’re ostracized, it must be blue. The youth start trends, you lose them at your peril, they form brand relationships at a young age, so this is a good sign for Apple.

And overseas, you can get a high status iPhone for a couple of hundred bucks used. So market share is climbing there too.

So, wait long enough and the iPhone might dominate around the world.

And why is this happening? Primarily because Apple controls the operating system and supports old iPhones with new software for years.

So it appears conventional wisdom is wrong. The iPhone is not a niche product solely supported by the wealthy.

You can keep your Android phone. You can tell me how it’s more customizable, but there will come a point, much earlier than with an iPhone, that you’ll have to replace it, because it’s no longer supported by software upgrades, if it ever was, and on a smartphone security is key.

Also, you can shoot the messenger, but when adults see the dreaded green bubble in their iMessage thread, they wince and wonder who is using an Android phone. Furthermore, when they send a message to an Android phone they don’t get a message that it’s been delivered.

This is what’s happening. Make your own choices. But be aware of everybody else’s.

“Office Brainstorms Are a Waste of Time – Giving workers alone time could yield more innovation than getting everyone in a room, research”:

I hate collaboration. My best ideas come when I’m alone. And they come to me when I’m doing something else, standing in the shower, hiking… It’s when I’m relaxed, not under pressure, focusing elsewhere that inspiration arrives. Oftentimes in the evening, late at night, when everybody else is decompressing and incoming trickles down.

As for having everybody in the office… If they’re there to come up with ideas, this article says that’s not the way to do it. Sure, there are other advantages to being in the office, but coming up with new ideas in a group is not one of them.

Also, this speaks to music creation. You can write a song by committee, but the best stuff is written alone. Even the Beatles…turns out John and Paul didn’t write those songs together, especially as the group aged. Do it alone and it’s more personal. You work when you want to.

Furthermore, I’m a big believer in inspiration. Sure, if you have to deliver you can’t wait for inspiration, but the best stuff always comes from inspiration, you’re elated, it’s like you’re channeling the work.

Elton and Bernie worked in two rooms.

I know, in Nashville they have appointments to write songs, but that’s why Nashville popular country music has such a bad reputation, it sounds like the songs were written by committee, appealing to the lowest common denominator. Then again, dig deeper and you find that so many of the great songs written by committee really weren’t. One writer comes in with an idea, and the others inspire him and help him to finish it.

Read the article, food for thought.

P.S. You have to pay for news like this. Both stories are based on fact. This is not what you find on social media. Meaning there end up being two tiers of people, the informed and the uninformed, those in the know and those who are not. If you read the WSJ and the NYT cover to cover every day…you’ll find you can hold your own with any CEO on the planet.

P.P.S. Those are free links, a perk I get from being a WSJ subscriber.

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