Relatively speaking, 2016 was a rough year for Apple. Although the company continued to make money hand over fist, 2016 marked the first time Apple experienced a year-over-year decline in iPhone sales. On top of that, Apple’s new MacBook Pro lineup elicited an onslaught of criticism from folks who viewed the device as underpowered and embarrassingly overpriced.
But if we smash through some of the hyperbole and dire projections about Apple’s ability to innovate, we find that Apple still has a knack for delivering products and services that keep consumers coming back for more.
According to Brand Keys’ 2017 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, Apple delivers a best in class user experience across every single category in which it competes, from smartphones to music streaming.
When it comes to the smartphone category, the top driver is Apple. In tablets, it’s Apple. In laptop computers, it’s Apple. Yes, this despite the launch of the somewhat deflating MacBook Pro.
What about online music? Goodness me, it’s isn’t Spotify. It’s Apple Music.
Even in the headphones product category, Apple-owned Beats ties with LG as the category driver.
Can it be that at a time when Apple is subject to criticism from seemingly all sides, it’s still the most emotionally involving, customer-pleasing brand of all?
Brand Keys’ latest study provides a good opportunity to point out the dangers in getting swept away in the hive mind mentality that tends to hover over Apple. If you didn’t know any better, you might reasonably assume that the new MacBook Pro, for example, was nothing short of a flop. In reality, Apple’s revamped MacBook Pro has proven to be extremely popular with consumers, with Phil Schiller even stating this past November that Apple’s “online store has had more orders for the new MacBook Pro than any other pro notebook before.”
It’s easy to get bogged down in sales figures and pessimistic diatribes about how Apple’s best days are behind it, but it’s important to remember that when it comes to providing users with an intuitive and enjoyable user experience, Apple still knows how to deliver.