Apple has, since the Jobs 2.0 resurgence, always been a marketing company that just happens to sell tech products. The key to understanding Apple’s appeal goes all the way back to the famous Superbowl ad and subsequent TV ads where the Apple user is a cool, sophisticated, composed guy and the Windows user is a nerd.
Apple sells to people who’re afraid of being nerds. By having an iSomething they can imagine themselves to be “with it” and “cool” and desirable in a way they never managed during High School. The difficulties and expenses associated with using Apple products become, in their minds, “easy to use features.” They’ve bought into a belief system and as we all know, True Believers remain faithful even unto the very end.
That’s why Apple doesn’t have such significant penetration in parts of the world where the US dynamic of jock/nerd in High School tends to scar so many for so long. That’s why emotionally self-sufficient people just look for feature-price ratio and buy Android phones.
The big question for Apple is whether they can keep this religious dynamic going now that Lord Steve has passed on and his disciples seem less savvy about why people really buy iStuff.