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Letter to the Editor

To the Editor of The New York Times Claim

I never understood hysteria around Apple’s products, but after reading Manjoo’s (2015) article, I am seriously thinking over buying the new iPhone. Why has my view changed so radically? The answer is very simple. I find Manjoo’s arguments very convincing to join the army of people that value constancy, and do not frown at “a status symbol” (Manjoo, 2015).

Reasons

I enjoyed reading Apple’s iPhone Keeps Going Its Own Way, because it encouraged me to take a completely new look at innovation. Innovation is evidently the most popular word in the modern world. Every day, we hear about innovative products, technologies, or education. Experts convince us that innovation is a key to competiveness (Hering & Phillips, 2005; Conte & Vivarelli, 2013), and it is not surprising that we want to reach success by consuming goods and products that are said to be innovative.

We want multifunctional laptops and brand new smartphones. At the same time, many of us are ready to pay more to become the happy owners of the new iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus, which, upon closer inspection, are not new at all. Why do we willingly pay extra money to get just “a pressure-sensitive screen, better cameras and a new color – pink, or “Rose Gold” (Manjoo, 2015)? There are several good explanations for this.An excellent reason is offered by Manjoo (2015) who notes that “the iPhone breaks the rules of business, especially the rules of the tech business.” The major rule suggests that gadgets are commoditized and get cheaper over time. This idea does not work in relation to iPhone.

The product has firmly occupied its place, and no competition is able to shake its position – the position of an expensive, still the most wanted product.AssumptionBreaking business rule has made iPhone a status product. Its position is not challenged by the fact that Samsung or Xiaomi offer products of the same, or even more, elegant design and better cloud services (Manjoo, 2015). Status is not only, and not so much, convenience and effectiveness, but rather an opportunity to stand out. It is a chance to say: “I own a product that makes me special. This product shows my high position.”

Evidence for the Reasons

iPhone’s becoming “single most profitable product on the planet” (Manjoo, 2015) is not a miracle, but the result of an excellent knowledge of human psychology. Let us refer to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to prove this statement. When our basic psychological and safety needs are satisfied, we search for meeting social, esteem, and self-actualization aspirations (McLeod, 2014). The most effective way to satisfy these needs is to build some special status by taking part a particular social group. It is an honor to be in the group of people who own the new iPhones. Having iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus means that you have enough money to buy it. Your social status …

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