Image via Wikipedia
I bought my first Apple in 1984. It was a Mac. For the next tweleve years I was an Apple user. I took the abuse, and one day left for Dell. Six years or so later I came back and while I still own more than a few Windows machines mostly Netbooks, one full size laptop and two desktops that rarely get used any more, the more I use Apple products, the less and less I want to use the other brands.
1. They care. I had an issue with my natively unlocked iPhone 4 that I purchased in the UK about a year ago. I went to the Apple store, and within 30 seconds I was told "no problem, we'll replace it." How would you do that with an Android or Nokia. They don't have "stores" or failed at it. Now, imagine doing the same at Best Buy-without the "extended" warrenty at Best Buy or Radio Shack. They may not even have the same phone in stock, they will need to find a manager or they'll just make you wait. Google doesn't really make and sell phones, and RIM, well, they sell through the channel, usually the mobile operators, so let's not even go there.
2. Two of my Macs, a 13" Mac Book Pro and a 15" Mac Book Pro developed some issues. In the case of the 13" it was a failed hard drive, and I didn't have Apple Care on it. Fixed overnight, at a cost of $200.00, roughly the cost of Apple Care had a I remembered to buy it when the computer was new. The 15" was a bit more complicated. But three days later, after exhaustive testing and reimaging of the hard drive, it's fixed and ready to be picked up. Cost. Nothing.
3. On a trip earlier in the year, I used Shazam to grab a song I liked while driving in Portugal, with a SIM from Portugal Telecom, in said unlocked iPhone, using my USA iTunes account. That set off all kinds of security issues within Apple, rendering my iTunes accounts "locked." I called Apple, and within 30 minutes iTunes was "unlocked."
4. Updates. When you update your Mac, or your iOS devices, it takes a few minutes. Even if you haven't done it in weeks. When you update your Windows laptop or desktop it takes hours. To Google's credit Android updates very well. The only problem is you never know if you'll get the update for you phone, even those a year old as the carrier often decides, or the handset manufacturer does. Neither is incentivized to have you "update" your one year old phone. As a matter of fact, both would rather see you "upgrade" and lock yourself into a longer agreement with the carrier. Apple. Well those older Macs and older iPhones still work just fine, and for the most part run most of the apps.
5. When you go into an Apple store you are helped. When you go into a Microsoft store, you help yourself. The ratio of employees to customers is about the same. Apple stores just have more of both. Google doesn't have store and Samsung has "showplaces."
Gateway was the first with stores. They failed because despite going into a Gateway store, you had to "order" and have the PC's delivered. Nokia had flagship stores in London, NYC, Chicago and Moscow. You could buy Nokia phones, accessories and even before those, there were Club Nokia dealers around the world. The only problem was the carriers didn't catch onto Nokia's Smartphones early on, and Symbian's OS and device variation killed them. Too many flavors, versions made it harder on the consumer, and the developers. Oh. That's Android today. Apple has one flavor. One version. Makes life easy on consumers and developers.
As much as I love to try out other platforms, it's at this point purely academic. Apple won. They won on design. Functionality. Ease of use. Service.
Game. Set. Match.