While Google claims the world’s population is using about 1.5-billion Android devices, Apple claims over 1-billion people are using its products; Mac, iPhone, iPad. That 60-40 split seems at odds with claims that Apple’s products always have less than 20-percent marketshare, but other numbers indicate an issue less considered.
Apple fatigue. Or, put another way. Device fatigue.
Look at the disparity between iPhone users and Mac users. Some reports say the Mac has a user base of just under 100-million. That pales to the iPhone’s user base of many hundreds of millions of users. Even the iPad has a few hundred million users.
Why the great disparity between iPhone numbers and Mac numbers? And if that disparity is so large, and it is, how much more so is it for Watch and Apple TV (neither of which get their numbers mentioned by Apple in public)?
Here’s the reality. Most people want, need, and use a smartphone. Many people want, need, and use a tablet, but not as many as those who want, need, and use a traditional PC (Mac included). It’s early in the 21st century, but it’s clear that the smartphone is the product of the century. Everything else is a sideline business of nominal value.
Shouldn’t those numbers tell us that the vast majority of people don’t want more than a couple of devices? Smartphone and PC. Apple wants Windows PC notebook users to switch to an iPad and there’s both logic and common sense behind the proposal. Most of what most of us use a Windows PC notebook to accomplish can just as easily be done on an iPad (which is likely going to last longer and be easier to use, not to mention more reliable and secure).
Traditional Windows PCs sales are down. Even Mac sales are down. Tablet sales, including the iPad, are down. Smartphones seem to have hit a plateau; that point where market saturation occurs because nearly everyone who can afford a modern smartphone already has one.
Yet, Apple pushes forward with new products, including Watch and Apple TV, neither of which sell in numbers sufficient even to make public.
The problem could be defined as Apple fatigue, but it’s more likely a general malady closer to technology device fatigue. The great masses of computer users throughout the world are content with a smartphone first, a PC or Mac second, and anything else is the result of generous disposable income and the need for affordable convenience.
I own everything Apple but that’s the anomaly. Thanks to my part-time system administrator status, my parents have everything, too, but mostly use their iPhones. Their Mac often gathers dust, and their iPad is used to consume photos and videos while watching TV at night. They don’t have the time or inclination to use every device Apple makes and that’s likely a scenario repeated a few billion times across planet earth.
Devices are nice to have but few of them are necessities, each one comes with a monetary price tag, and a time price tag, so the natural inclination for the masses is to limit what they own and use. Let’s call it device fatigue and recognize that it’s a real thing.