It’s been asserted that a media bias swings news coverage in favour of Apple. Britain is obsessed with technology. Sorry. Britain’s media is obsessed with the idea that Britain is obsessed with technology. Namely, Apple technology. To that end, every news outfit has an online presence and nearly every outlet as an iPhone app.
Android phones have a quarter of the world’s market share. This is compared to around 17 percent for Apple. If you hang out in media or creative circles, you’d be forgiven for thinking that everyone has an Apple. iPhones, iPads, MacBooks – the whole sleekly designed, friendly-interfaced gamut of gloss.
Being an Apple user is a bit like joining the CIA – once you’re in, you’re never really out. You’re tied in to buying corresponding products that sync with your MacBookPro. And if you want it repaired, you go to the Apple Store where they charge you Apple Rates.
Step out of the land of air kisses and into the real world. Everywhere I’ve travelled has a computer repair store. A computer repair store that has spare parts and fixes PCs. I can guarantee you that the chap in the computer shop in Congo has only seen a handful of Macs in his life. The PC dominates everywhere that isn’t meeja or art. Even the newsrooms for which iPhone apps are developed are run on PCs.
But does this constitute a media bias or gullibility? Sales and marketing rely heavily on PR. Apple has crafted itself into a ‘must have’ brand – the sort of thing you really can’t live with. From apps that tell you what time the next train is to apps that mock a vuvuzela, the iPhone is fun. The BlackBerry is marketed to those who want to be seen as more business-minded. Android goes to the rest of the public – who want a phone that doesn’t have the gimmick of the iPhone, works like an iPhone but can sync more easily with the PC they have at home.
The same logic works for an iPad. There are hundreds of PC-based options that do just what the iPad does at a fraction of the price. But all the Apple alternatives lack the showmanship Steve Jobs has implanted in every product.
Why the fixation with developing iPad applications? Image. Style. Apple is seen as the forward-looking brand. PC-based computers are seen as the old guard. Even if you own a PC, you most probably desire an Apple. If you’re a news organisation desperate to sell your copy in an ever-expanding interweb, you want to be seen as on the pulse. Fresh. Modern. Different. Apple sells you the idea that you are special – better than anybody. You want to design an app. Because an app is something those creative “influencers” use. Isn’t it?
The case isn’t that there’s an Apple bias in the media. It’s that Apple has managed to get the media to buy into the ideal of the Apple.
You, Steve Jobs, are a very clever salesman.