By Jacob Fisher, Staff Writer
The lively stage of the Moscone Center bled anticipation. The soon-to-be most profitable company was about to make its mark on history by combining three revolutionary ideas into one compact product. Apple was about to announce the iPhone, a stunning combination of a “widescreen iPod with touch controls”, “revolutionary mobile phone”, and a “breakthrough internet communicator”. The stage was set. The pressure, made weightier still by a 150-million-dollar investment, was riding on the back of one of history’s most influential people. Steve Jobs was about to give the people what they wanted.
Without a doubt, his two and a half year project succeeded. From early products like the Apple II and Macintosh to modern devices such as the MacBook and iPhone, Apple has kept a well-executed hold on the number one smartphone in the United States. The company now owns 45 percent of the smartphones market, with competitors such as the South Korean conglomerate Samsung only holding just over 20 percent of the global market share as of this year. Yet, fear of stagnation seems to be leaking in. A national survey of over 1,600 people, led by personal finance website WalletHub, has shown over a quarter drop of consumers planning to buy the iPhone 11, due to supposedly “new” features already being well-adapted into Android products. Now, with companies such as the American tech giant Microsoft dipping its toes into the turbulent waters of the modern smartphone industry, will the massive power of Apple continue, or has their long reign come to an end?
Today’s modern audience is becoming more skeptical of the tech giant than ever. Ethan Birnbaum, a tech-enthused freshman explains just how bored and unimpressed people like him are becoming with this tech company, giving a dry review of “Apple’s fine, Apple’s okay”, and explaining, “I think that they are way too overpriced, and not putting their hands in enough stuff.” Birnbaum, like other consumers, has noticed that Apple is no longer coming out with new and exciting features, but simply releasing a slightly better phone with each model. “In [Apple’s] future when their business practices get old, they will start to fail as a company,” he speculates.
Meanwhile, our technology technician here at Sheyenne, Ms. Werner, never grew up with Apple; in fact, Sheyenne’s new iPads are the first time she has consistently used Apple products. After responding negatively to the tech company’s price point for phones and computers, she added her professional opinion. “I think they offer certain features that other brands or companies don’t offer, however there’s many companies that offer things that Apple doesn’t offer… I think the competition is going to catch up to them.” For office workers like her, she gives a simple solution to anyone’s tech problems: use Windows.
To ask about smartphone preferences around the student body, however, one may find that Apple still has many loyal customers. A sampling of Sheyenne students responded positively to owning their products, despite Apple’s lower rank in satisfaction surveys. The American Consumer Satisfaction Index found that 3 Samsung phones, the iPhone 8+, and even the iPhone SE outranked the iPhone X, yet projections show the company having a successful year in 2020-2021 with the onset of 5G technology. There are also rumors of products such as Apple AR glasses, smart spectacles meant to release in the near future. Let’s just hope, for the sake of half a million workers, that this Apple floats.
The Mustang Post
All feature news content is produced by students in the Newspaper program at West Fargo Sheyenne High School.