I Ditched My Android for an iPhone. Here’s What That Reveals about Apple’s (AAPL) Long-Term Strategy.

Jul 23, 2022

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I have been an Android guy since… forever. At least a decade.

I was “that guy” — the one who sent green messages in group chats. The Android user in a sea of iPhones.

Then I moved with my wife and kids to Florida, far from Louisville, where my brother, Andy, and my parents live.

If you put a plane ride between grandparents and their grandkids, you’d better have amazing picture and video capability for keeping in touch.

We relied on GroupMe for that for the most part, but the app has grown to be downright terrible. How Microsoft (MSFT) screwed that up, I’ll never know.

So when I moved, I decided to trade in my trusty Android phone for an iPhone. I didn’t tell anyone I was doing this; I just started texting the family group chat to see who would notice the blue bubble first.

Not surprisingly, it was Andy.

The reasons I switched were simple. Apple (AAPL) ostracizes Android users (green-bubble people) by making iMessage work poorly with non-Apple phones, and turns Android-user videos into videos with resolution designed for an ant.

FaceTime was another strong selling point, and I have to admit, it’s pretty nice. And while there are plenty of other perks to having an iPhone, I miss many features of my Android phone that, to my surprise, no iPhone users knew about.

iPhone users live in a bubble of their own, blissfully unaware of the offerings beyond the iOS platform.

And that’s just how Apple wants it: all of its millions and millions of customers engaging with each other in an ecosystem of devices, apps, and payment systems designed to ostracize the outsiders and reward the insiders.

But is the strategy working? Is the iPhone gaining market share with consumers, or am I the anecdotal outlier?

iPhone Is Gaining Market Share

I’m actually far from alone.

People talking about switching from Google’s (GOOGL) Android to iPhone have almost DOUBLED in the last three years, while mentions of people switching the other way are down more than 30% in the same time frame.

That is absolutely amazing, and part of the reason Apple’s share of global phone shipments is up from 14% to 17%. (Samsung’s share is 21% — shocker, huh?)

And as the chart below shows, iPhone demand is beginning to ramp up this quarter.

With demand for worldwide smartphone shipments falling 9% year-over-year, and Apple clearly winning market share, investors find themselves in a situation where Apple is fighting against a trend and succeeding.

LikeFolio data shows that consumer demand for all of Apple’s products has only moved up by 3% year-over-year… but with the iPhone accounting for over half of Apple’s overall revenue, the 28% year-over-year gain in iPhone demand could produce a welcome surprise for Wall Street.

Earnings for Apple are after the bell on Thursday, July 28.