Brand loyalty is sometimes difficult to justify in the cold light of day.
Consumers often develop an innate bias towards (or against) a particular company’s products, based on anything from first-hand experience to anecdotal evidence or negative PR coverage.
Once these preferences are hardwired into our psyches, it can be difficult to break free.
There are people who’ll only eat a particular brand of baked beans or sauce, even though they’d struggle to tell the difference in a blind taste test.
Some consumers argue owning a particular brand makes them seem sophisticated or superior – even though those sentiments may not be as commonplace as the products themselves.
Apple is a case in point.
When the iPhone and App Store launched within a day of each other in 2008, it was genuinely groundbreaking.
Smartphones were born in that moment, with former market leaders including BlackBerry and Nokia unable to effectively replicate Apple’s ingenious app-based infrastructure.
It’s no surprise that Apple has thrived while its former rivals have effectively vanished from the nation’s phone stores and Best Buy lists.
Coming full circle
However, the iPhone was launched over ten years ago, and the smartphone market has evolved at an astonishing pace ever since.
The rival Android operating system debuted 15 months after the iPhone, with a new generation arriving once a year – today’s version is 9.0, better known as Pie.
Having evolved from a poor Apple imitation into a pioneering operating system in its own right, Android now powers half of all UK smartphones.
Along the way, Android handsets have received numerous technologies ahead of their Apple-owning compatriots.
Android phones were the first to get OLED displays, wireless charging, NFC payments, predictive typing, push notifications, 4G support, facial recognition…the list goes on.
In short, owning an iPhone often places its users behind the technological curve – a fact underlined earlier this month when Samsung and Huawei debuted folding phones.
For the many, not the few
However, there’s a good reason why Android has replaced Apple’s iOS as the platform of choice for tomorrow’s technology.
The number and variety of Android firsts is attributable to its use across a variety of competing manufacturer devices, from Samsung and Sony to Huawei and HTC.
These companies are locked in mortal combat with each other (as well as Apple) to see who can bring new features to market first.
And while affordable smartphones tend to be Android handsets, some of the premium models currently on sale could potentially tempt Apple loyalists to look elsewhere:
Samsung Galaxy S10. Samsung releases a new Galaxy smartphone every spring, and its 2019 model is undeniably impressive.
The edge-to-edge AMOLED display measures 6.1 inches, incorporating fingerprint scanning and abolishing the home button that’s historically dominated the front of smartphones.
Five camera lenses include a 123-degree wide-angle unit, while one S10 can donate power to another via Samsung’s Wireless PowerShare technology.
Google Pixel 3. Early cynicism about Google’s ability to assemble a smartphone melted away when the Pixel arrived in 2016.
Today’s third-generation model is widely believed to have the best camera of any smartphone, while results are displayed on a screen with glorious colour definition.
Stereo speakers eclipse the rather piddly sound output of lesser smartphones, making this a powerful multimedia companion.
Huawei P20 Pro. Huawei’s had some bad press in recent months, but the quality of its P20 Pro smartphone is beyond debate.
It packs 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage into a 180 gram handset without impacting on its exceptional battery life. Apple iPhone users would probably be envious of this attribute.
This was one of the first Android handsets to celebrate low light photography – something other manufacturers are belatedly trying to copy, as we discussed recently.
Fairphone 2. We live in an age of growing environmental awareness, with activists gluing themselves to trains and Parliament to campaign against plastic overuse.
For anyone wanting to reduce their ecological footprint, the Fairphone 2 shows what can be achieved. Its six main components are all modular, and can be replaced to extend its lifespan.
Twin SIM slots make this the only phone you need to own, while internal storage is expandable and the device is constructed out of conflict-free tin, tungsten and gold.